Student protesters of Donald Trump at the Cy-Hawk tailgates Saturday were met with a protest of their own when a woman ripped one of the protester's posters after saying a racist comment.
The poster, held by Jovani Rubio, read “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” Rubio was protesting against Trump's comments on undocumented immigrants, saying it was personal because he and his siblings are “anchor babies” born in America while his mother was an undocumented immigrant.
During the protest, a woman wearing an ISU shirt stepped up to Rubio and ripped his poster in half. Before ripping it, she mentions voting for white supremacy.
Other attendees can be heard cheering after the poster is ripped.
The woman who ripped the poster, Shelby Mueller, 20, from West Des Moines, did not wish to comment on the situation as of Sunday night. Mueller is not an ISU student.
After Rubio taped the poster back together, he said a middle-aged woman wrote on the poster with a marker, telling Rubio afterward that her writing meant “I love Donald Trump.”
Rubio, senior in mechanical engineering, is a part of Students Against Bigotry, a group that organized to protest Trump and advocate for politically correct speech. The group gathered to see Trump in person, though the businessman changed plans and met with supporters and game attendees inside Jack Trice Stadium instead of lot S-7.
Samuel Van Oort, sophomore in political science, said he and his girlfriend had joined the crowd to hear what Trump had to say, but that he found the student protestors and joined their cause upon arrival.
Van Oort said he began to hear two people ask each other if they should rip the poster and that the protest was an embarrassment. It was then when he began to videotape the event.
“I could not believe that happened. There was so much tension there,” Van Oort said. “I felt something was bound to happen. At least nobody got seriously hurt.”
The video had 8,122 retweets as of Sunday at 3 p.m.
Rubio said, though his poster was ripped, he did not want to retaliate.
“I knew if I were to react the way she wanted me to, I would only prove them right," Rubio said. "If she rips it in half, I’m going to put it back together and put it up.”
Rubio said the supporters of Trump and the other visiting politicians also had questions for the protestors, such as do they pay taxes, were they born in America and can they speak?
Mueller issued this statement on the incident Monday night during an interview with the Iowa State Daily:
As of Monday, Rubio said Mueller contacted him and apologized for her actions. Though he said he did not fully accept her apology, he appreciates the action. Rubio said he just wants Mueller to become educated on civil rights.
The group of three or four students held signs that read, “I did not struggle for 16 years to be called an anchor baby by my future president,” and similar messages.
Maria Alcivar, graduate student in human development and family studies, said many of Trump's comments during his campaign have offended her and qualified as hate speech.
“I just cannot imagine hate speech coming out of my future president,” Alcivar said. “That’s why we’re here. We feel strongly about what’s coming out of Mr. Trump’s mouth ... because it’s hurting us. It’s hurting our community.”
Alcivar referenced comments Trump made against immigrants and war veterans at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, and women during a debate.
“It’s [Trump’s comments] getting people to like him based on fear and anger,” Alcivar said. “I want to make America great again. Tell me how we are going to do that by encouraging communities to be against each other.”
As the protest continued, Rubio, Alcivar and other protesters were joined by more protesters as Trump supporters and tailgaters gathered to see the visiting politicians.
Chris Reed, ISU graduate student, was asking the protesters questions about an hour before Rubio’s poster was ripped about why they were protesting Trump.
Although Reed did not agree with the views of the protesters for Students Against Bigotry and had his own views on illegal immigration, he questioned the way they were protesting
“Who's likes bigotry?” Reed said. “Who’s going to say they’re for bigotry?”
As for the woman who ripped the poster, Rubio said he wants her to apologize, and to see ISU administrators take action.