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US Marines Cut Ties With Recruit Over Racist Incident at Donald Trump Rally in Kentucky

The recruit was expelled from the Marines after he posted photo on his Facebook page that showed him shouting at a black protester who was shoved and verbally abused.

by Tess Owen
Mar 5 2016, 8:25pm

Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA

The United States Marine Corps has expelled a young recruit from Indiana for participating in a racially charged incident at a Donald Trump rally in Louisville on Super Tuesday.

Shiya Nwanguma, a young African-American student at the University of Louisville, was shoved and verbally abused when she attempted to protest at the Trump event.

"I was called a nigger and a cunt, and got kicked out" Nwanguma said after the incident. "They were pushing and shoving at me, cursing at me, yelling at me, called me every name in the book. They're disgusting and dangerous."

One of the individuals involved in the confrontation with Nwanguma was Joseph Pryor, a native of Corydon, Indiana, who graduated from high school last year. After the rally, Corydon posted a photo on his Facebook page that showed him shouting at Nwanguma. The post went viral and eventually attracted the attention of the Marine Corps, which Pryor had just joined.

The Marine Corps recruiting station in Louisville told military publication Stars and Stripes that Pryor had recently enlisted and was about to head off for boot camp. Captain Oliver David, a spokesman for the Marine Corps command, said Pryor had not yet undergone Marine Corps ethics training.

"Joseph Pryor demonstrated poor judgement in his use of social media that associates him with a racially charged altercation at a political rally," David said. "Because of that we've decided to part ways with Mr. Pryor."

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He added: "Hatred toward any group of individuals is not tolerated in the Marine Corps and he is being discharged from our delayed entry program effective [Wednesday]."

Another member of the military got into hot water with the Marines back in November for his Trump fandom. Military officials scolded Reserve Corporal Jason Perkins after he wore his uniform while singing the national anthem at a Trump rally, a violation of Department of Defense rules about attending political events in uniform.

Violence and racism have become increasingly common at Trump rallies. In November, a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten and choked by security personnel after he disrupted a rally. "Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing" Trump told Fox News. Last week, a Secret Service agent grabbed a photographer by the throat and slammed him to the ground after the journalist tried to take pictures of African-American protesters being escorted out of a Trump rally.

Trump, for his part, has condoned the violence at times.

"You know what I hate?" Trump said when a recent rally in Nevada was interrupted by a protester. "There's a guy, totally disruptive, throwing punches, we're not allowed to punch back anymore. I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks."

At a rally on Friday in New Orleans, Trump was visibly exasperated when he was repeatedly interrupted by a constant stream of protesters chanting "Black Lives Matter." Their words were drowned out by Trump supporters, who yelled "All Lives Matter."

Related: Donald Trump Blames 'Lousy Earpiece' for His Failure to Disavow White Supremacists

One person in attendance reportedly held up a sign saying on one side "KKK 4 Trump" and on the other "Trump Duke 2016," a reference to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, whose endorsement Trump declined to disavow during a televised interview.

The New York Times reported that Trump appeared confused at first by the pro-KKK protester. "Friend or foe? Friends we don't mind," the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination said.

Follow Tess Owen on Twitter: @misstessowen

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