Kalari Girtley, Daily Illini (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Oct. 3
Sounds of anger rang in the air and police were called to the scene as a crowd of protesters rushed Leo Buchignani’s table as he made remarks about affirmative action Thursday afternoon.
“Affirmative action takes the spot away from a well-qualified white man and gives his spot away to an unqualified African American,” Buchignani, editor of the Orange and Blue Observer, said to the crowd.
Dressed in a white t-shirt, with a black leather jacket and brown cargo pants with black shoes, Buchignani, senior in Communications, said this rally was a way to protest the University and its hypocrisies.
He said about two weeks ago, his group planned to raffle off two Derringer guns and to give away affirmative action to special groups. He said he told the University of this rally in advance, but they denied him at the last minute.
“We are just signing up more people for the Derringer raffle and challenging affirmative action because we think that race-based discrimination is racist,” Buchignani said. He announced to the crowd Martin Luther King Jr. would not have agreed with affirmative action because it discriminates based on race. This remark caused the crowd to surround the table, and people began to become confrontational.
“I thought he was going to get his lights punched out,” Efren Mckissic, sophomore in LAS, said. Mckissic said he was outraged from what he was hearing.
“We are going to keep criticizing the University for their hypocrisy for saying discrimination is wrong and at the same time doing it. They either stop discriminating, or let us discriminate,” Buchignani said.