EAST LANSING, Mich. – A Hispanic Michigan State University professor faces attacks from students for supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and appearing at an August rally.
Republican Hispanic professor Dr. Joseph Guzman is the subject of student outrage at MSU for his support of Trump, specifically for serving on his National Hispanic Advisory Committee and as co-chair of his Michigan campaign, the blog West Michigan Politics reports.
Guzman sat behind the presidential hopeful during a rally in Lansing last month and he was captured on video at the event, which prompted some students to produce a flyer attacking his role in Trump’s campaign as well as his teaching practices.
“Meet Your Professor!” the flyer reads above a picture of Guzman at the Trump rally, his face circled in red.
The picture’s caption said “Professor Guzman cheers on fascist oligarch while waving a Make America Great Again sign.”
“Professor Guzman is a member of the National Hispanic Advisory Council for the Trump Campaign. Guzman claims to represent the Hispanic community by advocating for unfair, and unequal working conditions for migrant workers that place them at the mercy of predatory bosses,” the flyer states.
The poster also included “student testimony” that alleges Guzman is a bad teacher who uses guest speakers that “don’t correlate with the class material” and who has “constantly tried to recruit people to join the humanities program.”
Guzman, a professor of Chicano and Latino studies, told the news site he’s also faced attacks from students and others over social media, in the halls of the university and while out with his family.
Regardless, he’s not wavering in his support of Trump, whom he met with in person last month, and he’s using the opposition as an opportunity to school students on civics.
“The First Amendment protects freedom of expression and association, particularly in the civic realm,” Guzman told West Michigan Politics. “It’s unfortunate that some think civic activity involves suppressing other individuals right to free speech with lies, smears and disruption.”
Guzman told City Pulse he doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a longtime Republican or that he supports Donald Trump, who aligns with the professor’s political views in many ways. Guzman said Trump’s economic policies, support for school choice, and opposition to abortion are some of the reasons he supports the GOP candidate, among others.
“I can’t go through all the gamut of issues, but I will say broadly Mr. Trump appeals to working people,” Guzman said.
“Mr. Trump is really intent on fixing things that are broken in our system, and we got a lot them,” he continued. “He has demonstrated he will show restraint, he will think about the larger interests and he won’t be influenced by vested interests. I think that’s very powerful.”
Guzman also defended Trump’s call for a tighter border with Mexico because the current situation leaves illegal immigrants vulnerable to coyotes who transport them into the country.
“Mr. Trump’s plan to strengthen our border and stop illegal immigration is tough and fair for all,” he told WMP.
“It will enhance security, address unlawful trafficking and keep Americans safe,” Guzman said. “Untold suffering is caused by human and drug trafficking stemming from our uncontrolled border, and it must be stopped.
“Mr. Trump’s plan to immediately secure our borders, end sanctuary cities, protect us from violent offenders and enforce current immigration laws is the opposite of Hillary Clinton’s dishonest 100-day amnesty plan and the Democrats’ other hollow, unfulfilled promises to Latinos,” he continued. “Voters have a clear choice in this election: address our border problems in a lasting way that is tough and fair for all, or continue with empty promises that compound human suffering and compromise our safety and security.”
At least one of Guzman’s colleagues is standing with him amid the criticisms, even if he doesn’t agree with the professor’s perspective.
Ruben Martinez, director of the Julian Samora Research Institute at MSU, told the City Pulse he has no issue with Guzman supporting Trump when the majority of Latinos do not.
“He’s a private citizen,” Martinez said.