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Lawmakers Denounce UC San Diego Race-Themed Party

Editor's note: UC San Diego spokesman Jeff Gattas' name was misspelled in this story. We've corrected it. We regret the error.

State lawmakers say they are angry and saddened by a racially themed party near UC San Diego that mocked Black History month.

The party was promoted as the “Compton Cookout” and invitations encouraged students to dress and act like African-American stereotypes.

Democratic Assemblymember Steven Bradford says the party was organized by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He’s encouraging U.C. officials to take action against the fraternity.

“I challenge the UC system to revoke the charter from not only UC San Diego but every UC campus in California that has this fraternity on their campus,” said Bradford.

In published reports, the president of the UC San Diego Pi Kappa Alpha chapter denies his fraternity organized the off-campus party.

UC San Diego spokesman Jeff Gattas says the chancellor has called for an investigation. Gattas says UC San Diego also is organizing a “teach-in” next week to raise awareness about racial harmony on campus.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Student'

Student | February 18, 2010 at 4:42 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Democratic Assemblymember Steven Bradford needs to get his facts straight before slandering an innocent student organization.

Also whoever wrote this is a horrible journalist, his name is Jeff GATTAS...not Gaddis.

This is hastily written.

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Avatar for user 'cjames420'

cjames420 | February 18, 2010 at 9:51 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

The student who posted the first comment is not taking into account that U.C.S.D is a school of students with high GPA's and intelligence, and will draw the attention of California law makers. I would think this student would be ashamed his school has drawn this attention. Instead the student is focusing on
slander and the incorrect spelling of Jeff Gattas. Maybe a high GPA is not necessarily a measure of character.

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Avatar for user 'jenjen'

jenjen | February 19, 2010 at 2:39 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

One of the things that UCSD tries to teach is the importance of getting it right. Some of the organizers of the event in question were apparently Pike members, but the fraternity's UCSD chapter itself has vigorously denied that this was an official or frat-sanctioned event. Unless Bradford has some evidence to the contrary, which has so far not been made public, Student is correct in suggesting that this is an overstatement.

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Avatar for user 'rgasca'

rgasca | February 25, 2010 at 6:49 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

As women of color at the University of San Diego, we are outraged and saddened by the events and actions of the students involved in the “Compton Cookout” from the University of California San Diego. This is not merely a disappointment in the implicated fraternities, but also in any other persons who planned or attended this event. To those students who were affected by this disgusting display of racism, know that members of the USD community support you. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.

Incidents like this confirm that the legacy of American colonialism still pervades our everyday lives. White supremacy and heteronormativity, built on the backs of people of color and low-wage labor, are the standards by which social structures are constituted and passed down to the next generation. The party that was meant to be a lighthearted event parallels 20th-century lynching parties where throngs of people would congregate to lynch one or more African-Americans and then proceed to feast and BBQ.

It is a mockery, an attraction created for the socially and politically protected so that poverty and racism are no longer real and viable issues; instead they have become themes for parties of the privileged. This heinous disregard for the plight of people living in impoverished communities justifies their continued dehumanization. The students who took part, whether they organized or attended this racist, heterosexist, classist party, must be held accountable for their actions and make a public apology for this inexcusable gathering. We call for this to be an educational moment on the themes of self-definition and community self-determination because, in the words of Malcolm X, “Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.” We stand in solidarity with UCSD’s Black Student Union and support its important demands.

ADRIANA SECORD

ALYSSA CROW

C. MARIE HOLLOWAY

RACHEL GASCA

SARAH MIRALLES

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 26, 2010 at 5:19 a.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

Rgasca,

You are incredibly misinformed and quite uneducated with your blanket statement that you have copied and pasted throughout the KPBS articles.

The creator and mastermind of the "Compton Cookout" was in fact, a black man. See his response to the Black Student Union's overreaction here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y95G-L...

We think you owe an apology to every single Caucasian you pass at UCSD and should be grateful to attend such a world-renowned institution. "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." -Mahatma Gandhi

BILL JOHNSTON

DAISY MCCLEMONT

ROGER STANFORD

LYDIA ALLEN

STANLEY WERNER

...and the rest of the reasonable rational moderates of San Diego who sat in committee and concluded we should answer your blanked post with a blanket post

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