Last week, Alabama college, Talladega College’s band, The Great Tornado, announced on Twitter that they would participate in President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration and needed $75,000 to go to DC to perform. Twitter went haywire with the announcement. A lot of people called them coons, threatened them with death and cursed them for wanting to perform for Donald Trump.
The Coach of the band and his family were threatened with death and all kinds of evil things ,but that didn’t deter the coach and the band members.
The historically black college, which was started by two former slaves in 1865, is officially headed to the nation’s capital, thanks to funds raised through a GoFundMe page by mainly Trump supporters.
As news broke that Talladega would participate in the Trump inauguration, a stiff debate ensued – from alumni of other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), band directors and even at Talladega College – expressing strong disappointment about Talladega’s participation, and seeming support for Trump, whose history with African-Americans and minorities hasn’t been very good.
The Trump inauguration team excitedly shared the news on their twitter page.
The school president Billy C. Hawkins on Thursday night in an appearance on Fox News’ on the ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ told host Bill O’Reilly:
“It’s about the students having an opportunity to participate on this national stage, in this inaugural ceremony,”. “It’s a civic ceremony. It’s not about politics.”
Before Hawkins’ appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, the band had raised only $57,000 for travel and lodging after the show, the school has raised over $570,000.
HBCU band directors’ comment about Talladega’s participation was:
“What we do as HBCUs is very special,” said Nathan Haymer, Southern University’s director of bands. “Bands are very special and our craft is special. When Talladega performs, they’re not only representing their school and state, they’re representing HBCUs as a whole. I hope it works out because it’s a reflection on all of us.”
The school president added:
“I get that folks are upset,” Hawkins said, “and I feel for those who feel the way they do. But I feel for our students. They want to go. I feel I have to be responsible to the student body. It’s about this band wanting to be part of this event. We are representing the state of Alabama. It’s about the experience. It’s about a peaceful transition of power. We’re confident we made the right decision. God did not put us in this position just to leave us at this point.”
Trump supporters also shared the GoFundMe page asking others to donate to the fund.
The Great Tornado – under the direction of Miguel Bonds – will be in Washington, D.C., for Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration celebrations in three days.