The politics of the presidential race bled into a commencement ceremony Sunday at California State University, Fullerton, in an incident that has continued to resonate on social media all week. Commencement speaker, Maria Elena Salinas, a famous anchor for the Spanish-language network Univision, was booed by the attending crowd after she specifically praised Hispanic students in Spanish and made a critique of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Resentment flared during Salinas’s address to graduates of the College of Communications. Members of the audience first began to yell at her when she specifically praised Hispanic journalism graduates only (many of the graduates were reportedly not Hispanic), and isolated the other ethnicities. The booing became louder when she then criticized Trump.
“Imagine: They blame us so much for so many things that now they even blame us, the media, for creating Donald Trump. Imagine that!” she said, as many in the crowd started to boo her. “Isn’t that terrible? But we didn’t, right? We didn’t. Who did? I don’t know. But they are to blame.”
“She started getting pretty political in her speech, and I think that rubbed people the wrong way,” attending graduate Doris Muñoz said. “People were making kind of sly jabs at Donald Trump, but she just totally took him on.”
Students also were not fond of Salinas addressing the praised Hispanic students in Spanish only. Some attending graduates shouted “English only, please” at Salinas. “If they complained about me speaking Spanish it’s sad racism is on the rise,” Ms. Salinas said in a tweet on Sunday following the speech, referring to those who booed her.
Another student yelled: “Get off the stage.”