PSU professor addresses protests, fear of students after electio - KPTV - FOX 12

PSU professor addresses protests, fear of students after election

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Rally at PSU on Wednesday. (KPTV) Rally at PSU on Wednesday. (KPTV)
Dr. Winston Grady-Willis (KPTV) Dr. Winston Grady-Willis (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A Portland State University professor is speaking out about the recent protests over President-elect Donald Trump, saying there’s a real sense of palpable fear among some people.

Dr. Winston Grady-Willis is the director of the School of Gender, Race and Nations at PSU and says this is a very interesting time, both in Portland and across the country.

He said a lot of young people are protesting out of real concern for their personal safety, including students in the LGBT, Muslim and immigrant communities.

Several students who wear the traditional headscarf known as the hijab have reported being verbally attacked, including one who was told to go back to her country.

“For many students it's this literal fear that once I step foot off campus, once I'm on public transportation – particularly for those students who self-identify as Islamic, as Muslim – there's this fear for their personal safety and it's something that I haven't seen since 9/11,” he said.

He said the Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 600 hate crimes across the U.S. since Election Day.

Grady-Willis hopes to see PSU become an official “sanctuary” campus for such students, meaning that federal officials – like Immigration and Customs Enforcement – would not be welcome. While it is not a legal designation, “sanctuary” churches and cities have historically been respected by federal agencies.

Wednesday, roughly 200 students rallied together at PSU to protest Trump and ask campus leaders to make that “sanctuary” designation official.

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