Iowa LULAC denounces comments at HS game, offers support to schools to combat hate speech, racism

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For immediate release

Feb. 26, 2016

DES MOINES, IA - The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa has offered its support to the school districts in the spotlight of what has now become a national issue of hate speech and racism.

Earlier this week, players from the Perry High School basketball team were taunted with chants of "Trump! Trump!" and "USA!" The reference is to Donald Trump, who has spread hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric during his presidential campaign. The chants were made by students from Dallas Center-Grimes toward Perry players. Perry has a 48 percent minority student body.

"Donald Trump's name has now become the new four-letter word for our community," said Joe Enriquez Henry of Des Moines, National LULAC vice president of the Midwest region.

The issue extends much deeper than chants of "Trump!" and "USA," he said.

"Racism is something that is taught, it's a learned behavior," Enriquez Henry said. "If we can reach our youth at a young age and educate them about what constitutes racism and hate speech, maybe we can end these harmful actions with our next generation."

LULAC officials this week have reached out to administrators at both school districts to meet regarding the issue, district policies regarding racism and hate speech, and how the civil rights organization can offer assistance. Meetings have not yet been scheduled.

LULAC leaders met with school administrators in Marshalltown when a similar situation occurred there.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future.

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or mwmediaconsultants@yahoo.com, or visit www.lulaciowa.org.

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