On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” National Correspondent Kyung Lah reported on Republicans who are supporting GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at the University of California, Berkeley.
Lah said that at UC-Berkeley, a school that “symbolized free political speech on America’s campuses,” the Berkeley Republican Club’s Trump cut-out is “head-turning, ridiculed, insult-receiving.”
The report then played a clip of someone telling one of the workers at the Berkeley GOP club’s table, “I’m shocked, that anyone on campus, anyone your age would be doing that. I’m ashamed.”
Republican student Claire Chiara said that she’s heard, “They’re going to come after us, we don’t belong on this campus, we don’t have a place on this campus.” Lah added that Chiara’s attendance as a California delegate to the RNC “led to online threats.”
Chiara added, “People feel like Republicans don’t have a home here, and it’s a little bit intimidating to have people walk by and want to yell at you or denounce your beliefs, simply because you’re sitting out there identifying as a Republican.”
Lah asked a gathering of the Berkeley Republican Club how many were “reluctant” to share their beliefs. Almost all of them raised their hand.
One Berkeley student interviewed by Lah said that supporting Trump “kind of puts a target on your head, as well.” Lah added, “Especially if you’re club president Jose Diaz.”
She then played a clip of a person telling Diaz, “I don’t know your ethnicity, but none of the racist issues bother you?” And “I saw you, I was kind of stunned.”
Diaz said in the report, “They question, you’re Hispanic, why do I support Donald Trump?”
Chiara stated, “There’s a complete lack of tolerance for an idea that any member of the Berkeley community could hold the beliefs that we do.”
Lah then said, “The irony runs thick to these students, a place that forged free speech on campus, uncomfortable with political speech with which they disagree.”
Lah added, “Now, we spoke with the head of Berkeley’s Political Science Department, and he says that these conservative students actually end up thriving on campus because their beliefs are constantly challenged. Those conservative students for their part, they agree. They say they love their campus, and they’ve learned an important lesson, Erin, that it is best in political discourse to have your beliefs challenged, and to defend them, rather than just to feed into your own biases.”
Anchor Erin Burnett remarked, “A benefit they’re getting, and perhaps some of the other students on the other side are not.”
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