Michigan State chemistry professor Dr. Rob DeLuca is in trouble after posting Donald Trump-themed satirical valentines to a private Facebook group for students at the school.
DeLuca apparently picked up the Valentine’s, which seem to have originated with College Humor, on social media, and thinking they were hilarious, reposted them to “MSU Memes 2.0,” a private Facebook group where MSU students and professors share funny photos they find on the Internet.
The memes said things like “I wouldn’t deport you,” “I’m going to build a wall around your heart so that no one else can get in,” and “Illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs, but you’re stealing my heart.”
The e-cards were obviously meant to be satirical—and even a dig at the current President—but members of MSU’s “Latinx” community decided that poking fun at Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which target illegal immigrants from Mexico among others, was triggering.
They reported DeLuca to his faculty supervisor. DeLuca removed the offending images and made a heart-felt apology, explaining that he, most definitely, is not a Trump supporter.
“I was so sad to have inadvertently hurt the Latinx people I support wholeheartedly against the reactionary agenda of the President of the United States,” DeLuca said in a statement to Latino Rebels. “I loathe him and everything he stands for. I intended the meme to mock him and make him appear the fool that he is.”
He noted that he was against Trump’s “exclusionary policies”—and even added that he’d “called out” a white student, also a member of MSU Memes 2.0, for complaining that DeLuca’s situation was tantamount to censorship in what was supposed to be a lighthearted group.
“I also called out a white student who took issue with my apology, claiming censorship of the memes group,” DeLuca said. “It is the right thing to do when you have inadvertently hurt people you care about, to own it, apologize, and make amends.”
Unfortunately for DeLuca, the Latinx students were not satisifed in the least with his apology and demanded that DeLuca’s mis-step be seen as evidence that Michigan State University is an institution rife with discrimination, and DeLuca himself be seen as an example of white privilege.
“The point is that the administration does nothing in response to these issues,” an offended student told Latin Rebels. “Nothing will happen to Dr. LaDuca and we as a community feel that if it was a faculty member of color making bad judgments, they would definitely be in deep s**t. These are the politics of MSU.”