Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Maria Elena Salinas Booed At Commencement Ceremony For Speaking Spanish

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Commencement ceremonies are usually events in which graduates celebrate their accomplishments and family member sit and watch with pride as graduates walk across the stage. This past weekend, the California State University, Fuller’s College of Communication invited Maria Elena Salinas, who is one of the most prominent, Spanish-language journalist in the United States, to give their commencement speech. She did so with grace and she acknowledged the achievements of the Latino graduates and made some remarks in Spanish. This resulted in the non-Latino graduates and their guest to boo the Univision anchor. They yelled at her to leave the stage, according to a student at the ceremony.

On Twitter post following the event, the Peabody Award-winning journalist said she didn’t notice the outcry from the crowd, but said that it was “sad racism on the rise.”

The journalist, who is one of Univision’s most outstanding anchors, delivered two commencement speeches at Fullerton. One was delivered at the university-wide graduation, where she was given an honorary doctorate, the other at the university’s College of Communications commencement.

In tweets leading up to the ceremonies, Salinas said she was looking forward to addressing the graduates, noting that the university had the largest population of Latino students in the state. The university’s website puts the Latino student population at slightly more than 37 percent.

The second, smaller address was the one that created sparks, according to a first-person account by graduate Denise De La Cruz in the Orange County Weekly. De La Cruz describes Salinas’ speech as “well received” until the anchor “became a little too Latino-centric and blatantly anti-Trump.” Salinas made a point of singling out and praising Latino graduates for their achievement, and then speaking in Spanish to address their parents and pay tribute to their sacrifices to make their children’s achievement possible.

De La Cruz said that Salinas asked the crowd to repeat some Spanish motivational words after her, a move that prompted protests as some non-Latino students and parents in the crowd yelled, “What about us?” She added that the “tensions worsened as Salinas began offering advice to journalism students to use the tools of the media to rebut political figures such as Donald Trump,” De La Cruz wrote. “That’s when folks began yelling things to Salinas such as, ‘Get off the stage!’ and ‘Trash!’”

De La Cruz said she cringed as tension rose, and she found herself in the midst of the verbal attacks on Salinas and the anchor’s provocative comments. At one point, part of the crowd cheered Salinas on while the other yelled insults and booed, the student said. Eventually, De La Cruz said, Salinas “finally praised” students of other ethnicities, “but the damage was done.”

Fox News Latino