Donald Trump has made much of his fortune licensing out his very famous surname. But as his presidential campaign continues, that name is taking on newfound, grassroots meaning as a hateful taunt.
The GOP presidential frontrunner launched his ascent in the 2016 Republican primaries by labeling undocumented Mexican immigrants "rapists," saying he will force Mexico to pay for a wall on the U.S. border and calling for a ban on all Muslim entry to the country. Now, reports the Los Angeles Times, high school basketball players in Iowa say opponents have used the name "Trump" as a racist chant against them.
According to the Times, when students at the "diverse" Perry High School recently played against "largely white" Dallas Center-Grimes High, supporters of the latter team began to chant "Trump." Dallas Center-Grimes athletic director Steve Watson told the paper about a dozen students participated in the taunting.
It's not the first time Trump's name has been used as an insult either, according to Perry High student Kevin Lopez.
"It is no secret that our great town is incredibly diverse, the student body and staff at Perry High School see this as an advantage and we come together as a town and celebrate our diversity," Lopez wrote in an open letter to the Perry Chief. "But, recently there has been a new chanting trend uprising at high school basketball games directed at us ... 'Trump.'"
"It is a chant said to intimidate and discriminate our Latino/Hispanic students and it is a chant that is fueled by racism," Lopez continued. "Monday night at the boys district game against DC-G in Adel, was the fourth instance this chant was heard. Monday night however was the first time we were exposed to such racism on social media, just to show how big of an issue this is actually becoming."
As Trump continues to dominate early primaries, winning three out of four of the initial contests, his brand has gotten too toxic for some in his own party.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently assured fellow senators that they could feel free to run against Trump's platform and record this year, and even "run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election," according to the New York Times. "We'll drop him like a hot rock," McConnell reportedly said.
But despite the veritable pile of red flags, others have not been so quick to call Trump out. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who dropped out of the race amid dismal poll numbers on Feb. 10, recently gave the real estate billionaire a ringing endorsement.
"There is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs both at home and around the world than Donald Trump," Christie said.
Unmentioned, however, was immigration or the wall.