By Kiera Bell
Donald Trump took to Twitter and allowed millions of users to witness his threat to cut funding to the University of California Berkeley because of his “disagreance” to their protest. Recently, sophomore Akshat Bhat and his friend and roommate Rohan Pai, a junior at Berkeley, wanted to make sure the students on their campus as well as people nationwide were aware of Trump’s “Presidential Actions” – also the name of the app they created.
Bhat and Pai created an app that “pulls primary source documents such as executive orders and presidential memorandums directly from the White House website and onto the app user’s newsfeed.” (Snow, The Daily Californian)
The app was inspired by a tweet Trump wrote on Twitter at 6:13 a.m. EST (1113 GMT). “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
Is this yet another abuse of power? One could say so.
Students attending the protest were angry and refused to allow Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the event on their campus, and the protest turned violent.
“Mr. Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, is known for his gleeful attacks on political correctness that can sometimes veer into offensive and racially charged language. He has called feminism a “cancer” and Malala Yousafzai ‘schoolmarmish,’ and as a gay immigrant says that he has faced backlash from other gay people when revealing his politics.” (Fuller and Mele, The New York Times)
Stemming from Yiannopoulos’s background, one could see how this could affect individuals who do not agree with his ideas pertaining to certain groups of people.
It is widely accepted that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with fighting for one’s beliefs, even if there are those who don’t agree with the thoughts or actions behind it. But for funding to be threatened, especially when Berkeley receives over 400 to 450 million in funding for research annually, is over the top.
What will happen to other schools that decide to exercise their rights and protest for change? As a student, I personally wonder what could happen to my university if we disagree with peoplewhose ideologies differ so greatly from our own and would not stand for our right to disagree.
“I think it’s a great idea that these students created this app and also for making me aware that I too could access it and continue to be aware,” said Alexis Nickson, a senior at Delaware State University. “For Trump to threaten their funds because they came together as one and fought for something they believed in is unprofessional, no matter the damage, deal with those students,” she also added.
Many people need to be aware that sources such as the “Presidential Actions” app that informs readers of what Trump’s actions are during his days in the White House, for example, are accessible and necessary for both knowledge and accountability. It is very important, especially in these times, to stay aware.