Dozens of black college students in Georgia said they were asked to leave a Donald Trump rally on their campus Monday for standing silently on gymnasium bleachers before the business magnate began speaking.
Valdosta State University students said Secret Service agents were told by Trump to remove them, according to Jennifer Jacobs, a Des Moines Register reporter who was at the event. Representatives for Trump and the Secret Service didn’t immediately respond to inquiries.
“I think we got kicked out because we’re a group of black people,” a tearful student said in a video posted by USA Today. “I guess … they’re afraid we’re going to say something or do something. But we just really wanted to watch the rally. To get kicked out because we’re a group of black people … shows you how racist our own school is.”
Another student said the group decided to stand quietly in the bleachers wearing black attire to as a statement. The group had no intention to disrupt the candidate, the student said.
The incident happened the same day Black Lives Matter protestors interrupted a Trump speech during a campaign stop in Virginia. At that rally, a Time magazine photographer was thrown to the ground in a chokehold by a Secret Service agent after stepping outside of the press pool.
Trump has drawn widespread condemnation in recent days after being slow to distance himself from white supremacists supporting him, namely KKK leader David Duke.
A video tweeted by a Valdosta student appears to show Snapchat footage of the group as they were ejected.