Students attending the same field trip as the two White teenage girls who wore “Make America Great Again” gear while visiting Howard University are disputing the girls’ claim that they did not know that the university was an HBCU.
Allie Vandee and Sarah Applequist, two New Jersey high schoolers, complained that they had been harassed for being President Trump supporters while visiting the school as part of Department of Education-funded Washington D.C. field trip. Both girls wore MAGA hats, while Vandee wore a Trump t-shirt.
But according to Buzzfeed, two Black students who were part of the same field trip claim that the supervisors recommended that both girls should probably take of their Trump gear off before stepping on campus. Eunissa Pullium and Quityn Rogers also say they warned the two offenders to take off their paraphernalia.
“Our tour guide told us it was an HBCU and everything and that’s when we looked at what they were wearing and said, ‘You can’t wear that to a historically black college,’” Pullium told Buzzfeed. “They just ignored it, like we didn’t say it at all.”
“Before we got in the cafe we told them to take off the hats,” confirmed Rogers. “I had a pit in my stomach, I knew something was going to happen. They ignored us. They took matters into their own hands and kept them on.”
Things, unsurprisingly, went awry as soon as the group entered the dining hall for lunch.
Vandee said a man spotted her, and said, “F—k y’all.” Another man allegedly stole Sarah’s cap before a supervisor returned it. Eventually they were forced to leave.
News of their failed trip went viral after Vandee tweeted out her outrage over being judged for being a Trump supporter. We now know it was fake outrage, and like many people suspected, an intentional move to antagonize students at the HBCU just a week after White nationalists descended on the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
“They just made it like a joke, like it was something funny,” Pulliam said of the experience. “We had to experience that with them and we felt disrespected. Our chaperones came up to them and asked them, ‘Do you feel uncomfortable?’ They didn’t ask anybody around them if they were uncomfortable.”
Rogers added: “You can wear political gear on a field trip. There’s nothing wrong with it. But when you’re going to particular places, don’t do that. You have to be nice. To me, I felt like that was wrong.”