(TIML NEWS) The marching band of a small historically black college in Alabama will participate in the 58th Presidential Inaugural Parade, the school’s president announced Thursday.
The decision follows several days of controversy after the Talladega Marching Tornadoes initially accepted an invitation to perform on January 20, with critics saying the move amounts to support for President-elect Donald Trump. Trump made comments during the presidential campaign that were widely viewed as disparaging to people of color and immigrants.
Talladega College President Billy C. Hawkins announced the final decision in a statement, noting that the “lessons students can learn from this experience cannot be taught in a classroom.”
“We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade,” said Hawkins. “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.”
Supporters of the trip argued that the experience would benefit the band — and be a source of pride for the relatively unknown school.
Critics also have accused Trump of fostering Islamophobia and xenophobia in a divisive, bitter campaign.
“I think with Donald Trump being the type person he is, the band shouldn’t go,” Ike Chukwuelue, 25, a Talladega student from Atlanta, said Wednesday.
“Marching in that parade would basically be siding with Trump and his ideals and the way he chooses to go about politics.” Drop a comment below!!