Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has faced criticism from both individuals and communities of color since he announced his candidacy, but he recently provoked their ire again when he refused to condemn the support of David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Trump later distanced himself from the remarks, The Hill reported, but he upset protestors again by shutting down Black Lives Matters protestors at his rally at Radford University in Virginia on Feb. 29.
When the protestors, who disrupted the rally for nearly 10 minutes by holding hands and chanting “no more hate,” were escorted out, Trump told the crowd “all lives matter,” The Washington Post reported.
Trump also asked one of the protestors if she was from Mexico when she began shouting out him in response to his description of how he would react to companies like Carrier moving its air conditioner production to Mexico.
At the same rally, press photographer Christopher Morris, scuffled with a Secret Service agent, who choke slammed Morris when he was trying to leave the media section.
Despite the unruliness of the rally, Trump is leading in Virginia ahead of Super Tuesday, on March 1, and his supporters seem unswayed by the outbursts. Thousands of people came to the rally, and dozens wore shirts that bore the slogan, “Finally someone with balls.” Even more people brought stickers that read “Guns save lives.”
The rumors of Republican dissent around Trump’s candidacy also didn’t shake his supporters. “The establishment needs to get behind him, just like [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie did," said rally attendee James Taylor of Indian Valley, Virginia.
Frank Pruitt, a Virginia Tech student, said he didn’t like all of Trump’s social stances, but he still supports him. “The way I see it is you are going to eventually have to vote for him if you want to support a Republican,” Pruitt said.
“And honestly, it can't be worse than Obama."