Donald Trump visits Louisiana before primary


Donald Trump reads off of a recent CNN poll. Trump, the leader in the 2106 Republican presidential race, held a rally at the Lakefront Airport on Friday, March 4, 2016. Photo credit: Zach Brien

Marie Simoneaux, Staff Writer

With the Louisiana presidential primary hours away, candidate Donald Trump was greeted with both cheers of support and cries of reject at his rally in the Lakefront Airport in New Orleans on Friday, March 4.

While Trump’s fans eagerly awaited his arrival, his adversaries gathered close by, armed with their instruments and signs, in protest of the Republican front-runner.

Outside, the Trumpets Trump Drumpf protest group showed their disapproval in New Orleans style, complete with second line, while the Black Youth Project 100 fought to keep New Orleans free of Trump’s ideology, said protester Naima Savage.

“Donald Trump’s hatred of Black people and other people of color isn’t welcome in New Orleans and we will no longer accept it as the norm in America,” Savage said in an official statement released on March 3.

As the protests steadily increased, so did support.

Roger Villere, Jr., chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana, said he came to the rally to show his support for Trump and that he fully expects Trump to win with ease on at the Louisiana primary on Saturday.

“We’re excited have Trump here, being that our primary is tomorrow. It will give the voters one last chance to hear what he has to say and decide who they want to vote for,” Villere said.

As the trumpets blared and the drums beat, Sheldon Howard, 28, fought a quieter war.

“I’m just here to observe and listen in to what Donald Trump has to say,” Howard said.

Hidden behind his “Make America Great Again” sign, Howard held a different message, a sign for Hillary Clinton.

“Trump says he’s going to make America great again, but Hillary wants to make America whole again, and it doesn’t matter if I’m a Democrat, or a Republican or an Independent, I just want my voice to be heard,” Howard said.

After Trump arrived, tension grew. Multiple parties were escorted out of the rally, after being pointed out to security by enthusiastic supporters.

Phil Reidy, 21, said he came to the rally with one purpose, to get kicked out. Reidy and Paul Bently, 21, came to the rally wearing shirts that read, “Jews, Muslims, journalists, who next,” and “You know damn well who David Duke is.”

Reidy said it did not take long for them to be escorted out, despite their mild behavior.

“After we revealed our shirts, a gentlemen next to us noticed and tapped a security guard, and yeah, we were taken out pretty swiftly,” Reidy said.

Reidy said they were lucky and that many of the others being escorted out were led with much more force.

Savage said that speaking up is worth the risk, and it is important to stand together to challenge the rhetoric Trump relays.

“Our organization was founded to create justice and freedom for black people. Donald Trump embodies everything that is opposite of that,” Savage said.

According to a recent poll from the University of New Orleans released on March 2, Trump is expected to win in Louisiana.