When Talladega College in Alabama announced their marching band would attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, liberals and black activists went nuts. The historically black college has faced wide criticism for what some say is support for Trump’s presidency. The response to the criticism, however, was amazing.
Talladega College was founded in 1867, when two former slaves set out to provide an education to children of former slaves. On December 30, the college announced that their marching band, the Talladega College Great Tornado Band, would march in Donald Trump’s inauguration parade on January 20. The college was invited by Trump’s Presidential Inauguration Committee.
The decision was immediately blasted by left-wing black activists, school alumni, and Democrats. They argued that Talladega College should join those who are boycotting the inauguration because they hate Trump.
College President Billy Hawkins, however, stood firm on his decision. He appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Thursday to explain his reasons for the band’s participation.
“As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power,” he said in a statement.
On Thursday, Hawkins said he has received a lot of pressure from alumni, who said he had “shamed the college” and that he is “a disgrace” to African-Americans.
“It’s been pretty nasty,” he added.
But in the face of the barrage of criticism, Hawkins stood firm in his decision.
“It’s about the students to have an opportunity to participate in this national stage, in this inaugural ceremony,” he told host Bill O’Reilly. “It’s a civics ceremony. It’s not about politics.”
During his appearance with O’Reilly, it was mentioned that the band had established a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for the cost of the trip. Fox News reports that, after the O’Reilly appearance, Trump supporters stepped up and raised more than three times the amount the school needed.
The historically black college in Alabama needed to raise $ 75,000 for travel, lodging and other expenses. Through a GoFundMe page, more than 4,700 people have donated $ 280,000 and counting in just nine days.
The donations starting flowing soon after Talladega College President Billy Hawkins appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” on FOX News on Thursday. Before the appearance, the band had raised only $ 57,000.
What do you think about the Talladega College Great Tornado Marching Band’s decision to participate in Donald Trump’s inauguration parade? Let us know in the comments!