To Mrs. Rose Hamid,

As a student of Winthrop University, I want to tell you that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you experienced such outright hatred on my campus at a political rally for the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for both metaphorically and literally standing up for what is right. In no way should you feel ostracized because of your faith and in no way should you be convicted because of your convictions. You have as much of a right to stand for what you believe in and to partake in the pursuit of happiness just like any other person here in the United States. Many of the same people in that crowd seem to believe that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights made exclusive to people that look and think like they do. Mrs. Hamid, I want to assure you that they are wrong and that you are courageous.

I am extremely proud of you and the many others that stood for what is right at that rally. You had the courage to attend and to show Trump supporters who Muslims actually are and to counter the imagery of Muslims that Trump creates for his supporters. I want to thank you for wearing your star of David which read Muslim to show Trump supporters the stark comparison to what their favorite candidate has been suggesting and what took place in Europe just decades ago. I want to thank you for having the bravery to do this despite the infamous track record of Trump's campaign with protesters.

Tonight I stood in the crowd before the event began and I heard people around me pointing to your shirt in fear which read, "Salam I come in peace". I heard their comments and they shocked me because I had never heard such blatant ignorance and intolerance be uttered by another person and I'm sorry. I'm sorry that because of their irrational fears you were targeted and that your religion had been vilified by a crowd who supports a candidate who stands on a platform based on xenophobic and hateful rhetoric, I'm sorry that his words have harped on the fears of his supporters and have caused harmed.

I want to assure you that this is not what my university or the student body here stands for. From the day we step foot on Winthrop's campus we begin embracing, celebrating and learning about diversity. In fact, it's one of our values here at Winthrop and that value was defiled tonight on our campus during the Trump rally. Seeing you heckled by the crowd and removed from the arena left me speechless and with tears in my eyes and many of the students here feel the same way and have expressed outrage for what happened to you here on our campus. After I got home from the rally I watched and read your interviews from various news sources and I am blown away by the amount of integrity with which you responded to the incident. There is a lot that we can learn from you and I hope that you'll return to our university to speak with students here about your experiences and so that we can show you who we actually are here at Winthrop.

Mrs. Hamid, you are loved, you are valued and you are courageous.


A Winthrop Student