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UCSD Students Blast Chancellor Over Racially Charged Incidents

Audio

Aired 2/19/10

Black student leaders at UC San Diego blasted Chancellor Mary Anne Fox and other college administrators in an emotionally charged campus forum. The forum was even more volatile due to another racially-charged incident that took place Thursday night.

Black student leaders at UC San Diego blasted Chancellor Mary Anne Fox and other college administrators in an emotionally charged campus forum. Students say the campus climate allows for racially offensive incidents to take place.

UCSD students attend a campus forum on February 19, 2010 to discuss recent racially offensive incidents at the school. Minority student leaders blame UCSD administrators for not doing enough to value black students.
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Above: UCSD students attend a campus forum on February 19, 2010 to discuss recent racially offensive incidents at the school. Minority student leaders blame UCSD administrators for not doing enough to value black students.

Some students broke down in tears while others yelled at Fox. The impromptu meeting follows several days of public outcry over a racially-themed party organized by UCSD students mocking black culture.

Black student leaders handed Fox a list of 32 demands. The demands include everything from creating a safe, central space for black students on campus to fully funding recruitment efforts for black students.

David Ritcherson is the president of UCSD's Black Student Union. He helped to pass out transfer and withdrawal applications during the heated exchange.

“Do you know how many students in my community are about to fill those out and leave this university?” Ritcherson asked. “Convince us to stay by funding our programs, Chancellor Fox.”

The forum was even more volatile due to another racially-charged incident that took place Thursday night.

UCSD students who operate an alternative newspaper called The Koala allegedly used racially offensive language during a program on the university's student-run TV station. UCSD's Associated Students has since shut down the student-run TV station.

Penny Rue is the vice chancellor of student affairs. She says these incidents have to stop.

“We have the moral high ground. It is repugnant and we will say that as clearly, as many ways as we need to. Not in our community -- racism not in our community,” Rue said.

UCSD Chancellor Mary Anne Fox addresses a group of black students regarding a series of racially-charged incidents. The campus forum took place on February 19, 2010.
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Above: UCSD Chancellor Mary Anne Fox addresses a group of black students regarding a series of racially-charged incidents. The campus forum took place on February 19, 2010.

The Koala staff also allegedly left a racially inflammatory note inside the TV station. That note is now in the hands campus police. Black students want those students expelled. The Koala has a history of inflaming racial tensions on campus.

Fox said she is reviewing the student demands and promises to take action. She called the incidents "outrageous" and "inappropriate" and said they will not be tolerated on campus.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mom'

Mom | February 19, 2010 at 6:15 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

The kids at the Koala are notorious jerks. The Administration CAN do something about them, and it's probably past time.

As for the "racially themed" party, what I have heard is that it was a DVD release party by a Gangsta Rapper named Jigga2Jones and NOT a slam-on-blacks put on by a fraternity. Assuming it's legit, there's a video on You Tube under "Compton Cookout" and his name.

~If~ it's legit, the media's playing the wrong slant on this story. Perhaps they should do something about THAT.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 20, 2010 at 10:04 a.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

The Koala has been around for a long time and used to be a far smarter paper, more Crumb-esque satire. Last year, they had a whole issue of rape jokes, and these days their troll-like, inflammatory humor is again beyond tasteless. Mostly really lame and straining to be offensive. I believe in free speech and satire, but I don't understand their advertisers. Why would the wave house want to e associated with them? That is who should act now.

In terms of the party:
The point is not that somebody got offended. If that Jigga guy is not simply trying to grab a slice of the free media coverage to boost his sales--which is my sneaking suspicion--then he ought to seriously consider speaking to African American students at UCSD. The problem is not the style, the theme itself, or the frat. Not alone.

The problem is that for years UCSD has had a vast underrepresentation of African American students, which leads to an unhealthy environment in which students feel threatened and have to put up with discriminatory remarks every day. The administration has done nothing to alleviate the grievances, but kept as much on the down-low as they could, all the while paying lip service to integration and diversity. Nonsense. They simply don't care and have no incentive to spend their beloved resources on increasing the actual diversity on campus. So Jigga's comments are at best well-meant, at worst misinformed and opportunistic.

Instead of yet again bashing the bad, bad media for not doing their homework, those interested in the event should do their own homework and ask African American studens on campus how they feel and why they think this is a big deal. They do and that can't be talked away, dismissed, or declared as a wrong reaction. There is a disturbing amount of "blaiming the victim" going onin the discussion and in posted responses to the media coverage.

UCSD has a structural problem, and faculty, students, and the administration need to take a good hard look at it to change anything. It is an excellent school and should show its pride by standing in for the most underrepresented group on campus.

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Avatar for user 'Potter97'

Potter97 | February 20, 2010 at 4:44 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, first, there was a “Compton Cookout” theme party; then there were claims of a chilly University climate; now, there is a list of 32 demands.

I suggest that the “Black student leaders” of UCSD take a step back, focus on their near-term and longer-term goals, and then articulate measures which will help achieve these goals. These should be goals that entire University community embraces.

Vice Chancellor Rue is right to deny racism in the UCSD community, but, have the University authorities determined that the “cookout” event was racist?
Although I’m no expert on popular culture, there are myriad examples of extremely provocative, edgy, pushing-the-boundaries-of-good-taste entertainers/others who parody ethnic, religious, and other stereotypes. Examples would be Dave Chappelle and his “Chappelle’s Show” on Comedy Central, or the much milder Jeff Foxworthy and his “redneck” act on “Blue Collar TV.” These are examples of satire, though many would say they perpetuate hurtful and harmful stereotypes, and are not humorous. They are not examples of racism.

The “Compton Cookout” event was clearly ill-advised, and I would expect the fraternity members who took part are learning just how thin the line is between parody and hateful prejudice. But shining the media spotlight on the “Cookout” in order to precipitate expulsions does nothing...this was satire, and not hate crime.

As for the University climate for Black students…well, someone has to make a case. The incident at “The Koala” may be an indicator, but those folks have a dicey reputation at best. Certainly, the 2 percent African American population at UCSD seems incredibly low, but what does it mean, and how did it come about?

As a taxpayer, I reject Mr. Ritcherson’s Hobson’s-Choice ultimatum to “fund our programs” or we leave. Students and the administration/others—reasonable people all—should be able to agree. Let the investigations run their courses. It is better to get this right than be done quickly.

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Avatar for user 'Mom'

Mom | February 20, 2010 at 4:53 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

No, the point is that a group of students went off - without checking the facts - on a bit of gossip, slandered another group of students, caused disruption on campus, made a number of reports to officials that had the University apologizing profusely for something it had no control over, and damaged the reputation of a solid institution. The kids ~all the kids~ have final exams coming up soon. The last thing they need is someone to be playing with their emotions. Everyone's upset, not just one group.

And, yes, in this case, the bad bad media ~was~ bad. They picked up an undocumented story and ran with it - making wild accusations without checking facts. Yesterday I heard NPR radio stating that it was a party run ON campus and run by a fraternity. I expected better of them.

You state that you suspect Jigga is capitalizing on the press to further his sales. I bet his sales are picking up big-time - but why is it you suspect he's jumping in late? I don't know if he is or is not capitalizing on this or if he hosted the party. It certainly looked like he was involved, but I didn't attend so I can't be sure. But I didn't go off on a tear without making sure of the facts first, either.

The victims here in this situation, so far and until proven otherwise, are the frat members who have been slandered by a group of people who got into a mob mentality and exploded without thinking, UCSD's reputation, and, by default, ~every~ other student, staff, and faculty there.

As to the Koala, they insult everyone in the crudest possible manner. I can't think of a group they have not slandered, mocked, and disparaged. Welcome to the club. Leaving a note that says someone ought to be lynched in a place where the writer knows it will upset the finder is hardly a threat when the Koala is involved. It's just more of their obnoxious button-pushing. I dislike them, but they have their place. They remind us that the world is NOT sanitized and homogenized. They are the thorn that reminds you that you better learn how to deal with these types, because they exist and they are not going away. Ban them from campus? Fine. The shock to the kids will be twice as hard when they run into them "in the real world."

I've spent a lot of time on campus. My experience has been that if a student reports even a whiff of anything that can be labeled "discriminatory" it's taken very, very seriously. If an employee makes comments that are not in compliance with the "Principles of Community", they're outa there before they can take their next breath. (Tenured faculty - well, once you've got tenure you have to practically axe-murder someone to be let go. But they're not immune to censure.) UCSD is, as are many institutions, a completely artificial environment. The administration goes out of their way to sterilize and sanitize it for the students. For better or worse.

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Avatar for user 'gabbynormal'

gabbynormal | February 20, 2010 at 8:20 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

The real world, at least in the US does not have porn on broadcast TV and forces you to pay for it (in terms of student fees).

Koala is just a support system for unimaginative drunks who want to piss away their parents money. Why is UCSD tolerating it?

UCSD should kick out students in Koala for using the N word and references of lynching. That would teach them about the real world, because in the real world, you use that word in a corporate setting, you are gone.

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Avatar for user 'jdblanco'

jdblanco | February 20, 2010 at 9:50 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Mom, you are wrong. The fraternity members are not victims. Nobody who uses hate speech and expresses racial discrimination against a historically underrepresented minority, within a system that tolerates or actively promotes institutional forms of inequality on the level of its policies and principles, NOBODY who exploits this inequality at the risk of exacerbating the deep-seated tensions and resentments that are its consequence, is a "victim." As a tenured professor at the university, a member of an historically underrepresented minority, and a father who works day and night to educate his seven year old daughter about the kind of bulls---- she is going to suffer because her father was born with brown skin, I am telling you that the people who threw this party are the perpetrators, not the victims, of hate speech; and no perverted logic on your part to blame the real victims (i.e., US) for hate speech will change that.

For people who have never experienced racial discrimination, it's fine to mouth pedantry about how we all have to "toughen up" to the reality that "the world is not sterile or sanitized" (sic). For you, the violence of being a daily target of unknown forces, both institutional and popular, that have made an issue of your Difference, and the history that accompanies it -- this is something you watch on TV, or read about in a book, in the safety of your confidence, which has never been challenged, that at the bottom we are all equal citizens with equal rights and equal opportunities.

Do the events of the past week all boil down to the question of whether or not students have the right to exercise free speech? No. The scandal isn't that the right to free speech might even include the right for individuals to denigrate and stereotype people: I can turn the TV to Fox News Channel and see the proof of that for myself any given day. The scandal is that an event like this could only happen in or around a university or institution that has failed in its commitment to academic and cultural diversity. The scandal is that many students at UCSD consider black people and communities as a product of their imaginations and consumer habits: an entertainment commodity we pay to watch on MTV, or hear on the radio. A stereotype we have the “right” to enjoy and take pleasure in, because we have paid good money to possess and consume it in the privacy of our homes, parties, and TV screens. The scandal is that many whites – and even Asian Americans in California – do not belong to a community that involved and involves the active participation and vital humanity of another community of color, another historically underrepresented minority. It's not hard to see why: only 1 of every 50 students on this campus is African American, and only 1 of 10 students is Latina / Latino.

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Avatar for user 'jdblanco'

jdblanco | February 20, 2010 at 9:51 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

(continued) When you deny a person, or group the right or opportunity to be part of a community, you deprive that person or group of the right and opportunity to represent and express their humanity on their terms. The dehumanization involved in the promotion of stereotypes is just a surface expression of a deeper, systemic dehumanization that has taken place, and that continues to take place in our university. The tragedy is the system that allowed, and even promoted, the permanent absence of a group (or various groups) of human beings from any meaningful participation in any form of community in San Diego. That the system (and now, its students) even defended the poisonous campus climate of de facto segregation by citing its defense of "free speech." That is the tragedy, that is the scandal.

Jody Blanco
/>jdblanco@ucsd.edu>

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Avatar for user 'LC'

LC | February 20, 2010 at 10:34 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Jody,

What has completely flown past you - because it doesn't fit cleanly into the narrative to which you have committed yourself - is that it is beginning to look like the party was a DVD release party thrown by an African-American hip-hop artist. Your meta-level analysis of racial exclusion in America makes you blind to the immediacy of any actual encounter. If the frat members (whose ethnic and racial identities have so far been unmentioned) who have been suspended by their frat, who hear the calls for their expulsion from the university, were, in fact, simply attending a DVD release party with a somewhat ironic theme, then yes: they are being victimized. And this is orthogonal to the question of whether more could be done to recruit African-American or Latino students to UC San Diego. (In fact, the ratios of African-American students throughout the UC system is about 6% - which is the ratio of African-American Californians. The 2% figure for UCSD is also roughly equivalent to the demographics for African-Americans in the San Diego area. UCSD's demographics are heavily skewed toward Asian and Asian-American students, many of whom, I know, are weary of being made "implicitly white" for their academic success.) The representation of Latinos in both the UC system and UCSD as a whole is somewhat less than their representation in the state, but that is also true of white UCSD students, who are also a minority (26%.)

Can you not see how this is increasingly resembling "outrage theater," or farce? If you are, indeed, UCSD faculty, I fear for the lack of critical rigor or logic being taught to its undergraduates. Just like the Duke lacrosse case ended up doing far more harm than good to the cause of real social justice, so does a misguided enthusiasm to grab onto something that looks like a "teachable moment" when the emerging facts of the situation - that the frat boys were guests of an African-American musician - don't do the kind of work you want them to do.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 12:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

LC,

Inappropriate rhetorical generalizations aside, did you not notice that the DVD defense only appeared days after the incident, published and pushed by a man who has plenty of money to gain from the controversy itself? This guy has no interest in the students, in equality, in anything we are discussing here. So the frat needs to realize that if they are in fact running with this angle, which they so far have not done officially, then they are merely rehashing a market scheme that exploits, reproduces, and perpetuates stereotypes and racist attitudes--but then again they show up at discussions and openly refuse to apologize, so I guess I shouldn't expect any sort of self-reflection on their part, should I?
FYI, this moment is indeed being taught, but shockingly a vast majority of students shrug it off, mumble something about freedom of speech, and in short express that they don't care because they are not affected. Why is it so bad to talk about this? Why is it so horrible if the frat should consider that they perhaps were not thinking and that they hurt students? PIKE could have manned up and taken responsibility, they didn't. Please explain again why I should feel bad for them?

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Avatar for user 'LC'

LC | February 21, 2010 at 3:11 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Because, as PIKE has said from the very beginning, it wasn't a PIKE event. It was an event which some PIKE members attended. PIKE is in little position to speak institutionally about the event: they could only follow along with the findings as they emerged. The frat itself can't run with an angle at all. And, as more details emerge, it seems 3 of the 4 hosts of the party were African-American.

Perhaps you might want to reflect on why people might be unwilling to appear at the discussions that are staged to then bring up a familiar litany of "demands." Why should they? Media reports still claim that the students hosted the party, that it was on campus, that it was a frat-sponsored event - all things that we know not to be true. Yet these "discussions" are predicated on them.

The reason people shrug it off is that there have been too many cases that seemed "outrageous" at first that, when details emerged, turned out not to be. (Again, the Duke lacrosse case is the classic example; the recent NBC cafeteria-menu case being another.) Also, as others have pointed out, there seems to be some selectiveness about sensitivities. Would there have been uproar about a "redneck" or "hillbilly" party? What about the various Mexican-themed or Asian themed ones? And the painful part is this: if this was hosted by African-Americans and is considered culturally insulting by other African-Americans, doesn't that suggest class conflict between college-educated, aspiring members of a minority and the ones that aren't getting the benefits of a college education? How much of the identity politics at play here is really covert - and reactionary - class war, being waged downward?

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 4:18 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

If we can assign responsibility to groups because of belonging to the group, then PIKE is in the unfortunate position of having to distance themselves entirely or defend, justify, or apologize for their members' behavior, who identified themselves as members, not as a group of individuals. If we can't, then throwing all students of any ethnicity into one pot isn't fair game.

I find all of this extremely sad and disheartening, no matter which group of individuals chooses to perpetuate stereotypes of any kind. However, as I pointed out above, that is not the actual point of the discussion, it is merely what everyone insists on arguing about in forums, mostly in a disgusting knee-jerk fashion from which I want to exclude this form (for now)--a fact I am grateful for! It brings tears to my eyes to think that such dumb discriminatory "joking" is going on in the year 2010. Aren't we better than that?

I do want to reflect on this and find several possible answers. For one, it is very very hard to stare somebody you deeply hurt into the face and pretend nothing is wrong, so why would anybody do that voluntarily? Also, they are entirely free to appear as a group, read any pre-written statement of their own making, not show up and hand out written statements instead, anything. But to pretend that nothing is wrong is less than helpful in the discussion.

Regarding the phrasing of your point, LC, may I point out that the attitude you express: you say these are "discussions that are staged to then bring up a familiar litany of 'demands'," do you see a problem with this view? It carries over into the next paragraph, where it becomes clear that what happened at Duke apparently should influence what is going on at UCSD. If I understand your point correctly, and please feel free to reiterate, then this is all predicated on a "Boy Who Cried Wolf"-situation in which "too many" cases turn out not to be as dramatic as they were displayed. I really don't understand the connection: how many cases is too many? Who decides that? What does the way African American students feel at UCSD have to do with Duke? How is this related to the artificial, institutional creation of a distorted academic community? What does Duke have to do with the administration's long-standing failure to support minorities and to include them in the shaping fo that community?

Please be aware that I consider most of the ongoing "is it racism?"-debate entirely beside the point. Hopefully it is just a sociocultural reflex and not the actual effort to cover up a more complicated and less simplistic debate that would have to involve much of UCSD's leadership as well as PIKE.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 4:18 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

(continued)
Also, I am sorry that you have to listen to another "litany" in which a minority argues its rights to be a part of the community in which it exists and in which it is excluded and in which it feels unwelcome. I for one am interested in what students at UCSD see as real problems and ways to improve the school. Neither of us, I assume, are on the ground and are in their shoes, so why not listen? What's the big deal? Is it really that hard to take their demands seriously, to read them, to consider them, and to find what is and what is not doable? Why?

Finally, regarding the class war. Just so we are clear: you are arguing that wealthy, college-educated African Americans are reproducing stereotypes as an expression of their feeling superior to other African Americans? Assuming for now that you are, then why are African American UCSD students fighting this event and the images it portrays? Aren't they the group you are arguing is fighting socioeconomically incapacitated AFrican Americans? The point is lost on me. By the way, I would like to point out that Jody has a related, though differently phrased view in paragraph three: "The scandal is that many students at UCSD consider black people and communities as a product of their imaginations and consumer habits: an entertainment commodity we pay to watch on MTV, or hear on the radio. A stereotype we have the “right” to enjoy and take pleasure in, because we have paid good money to possess and consume it in the privacy of our homes, parties, and TV screens." If this isn't class war, then what is?

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Avatar for user 'LC'

LC | February 21, 2010 at 4:43 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

expat - If the event was, in fact, a self-satirizing event which invites people outside of a community to "play" at exaggerated ethnic characteristics (language, clothing, food) analogous to the way that Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick's Day have become, then it is obvious why middle-class and aspiring African-Americans would chafe at it: becoming bourgeois is about getting distance from overtly "ethnic" characteristics. Upward mobility is class betrayal, and in America, casting ethnicity mostly-overboard is part of the Faustian deal which upward mobility demands. This is, of course, part of the history of the invention of whiteness.

With some reason, the African-American students are demanding (among other things, some of which are, I feel, are being smuggled in) the right to delineate the meaning of blackness in America for them. They certainly have a stronger right to do so vis-a-vis anyone who is not black. However, they are motivated to jettison any definition of black identity which is at a conflict with their aspirations, which puts them at odds with African-Americans who continue to identify with working-class or street black culture. So, they battle the representations: a clean-cut battle when the signifiers are produced by non-African-Americans, but a lot more complicated when it turns out to be an internecine conflict.

The students have a right to feel safe and a part of the campus community. They have a right to get help in succeeding. They don't have the right to invent a caricature of racist, insensitive frat boys (do we even know what races the party attendees are yet? Do you think it doesn't matter?)

And, again, I think a lot of UCSD students shrug this off because - they're mostly Asian. There has been little address of this: we're talking about the daughters and sons of people who fled the Khmer Rouge, the Cultural Revolution, the WWII internment camps. That doesn't mean that there should be discussion, but it can't take the form that is associated with dealing with the centuries- long legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. And attempts to make it "you and us against them" fall flat as well. Part of the problem is the nature of the university itself. Does it exist to produce and legitimate the middle class, or not? If not, doesn't it need to become universal? And if it becomes universal, haven't we just extended high school by four years?

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 5:42 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Good points, I think you are right on track with much of it. And yet I see a significant difference between St. Patrick's and a "Compton Cookout." I spent a year in Boston, and neither Irish nor Irish Americans had a problem with it...perhaps because none of them happened to be little people, but also because nobody in their right mind actually believes that this is what Irish people are like. Can we really say the same thing about the "Cookout?" I would not try to defend either side if this was really as clean-cut of a case of two factions of African American students battling it out. But this is not a case of prep-school elites versus kids from the ghetto (another fairy tale Hollywood has dreamt up). This is about groups pretending that there is nothing wrong with telling others who and what they are, claiming the right to misrepresent and stigmatize them, and widely distributing this. The party invitation does all of this in an unapologetic, even cocky fashion that the authors knew would inflame and provoke.

This isn't a sophisticated, satirical event involving and representing various ethnicities. This party is merely a symptom for a chuckling, aloof, and overall arrogant kind of racism that is making the rounds these days. I include the "harmless" telling of racist and antisemitic jokes into this as well as the "innocent" condescension with which many ethnic groups are met these days whenever they insist on their rights. "What's the big deal, right? I mean, we're all Americans, right? Why can't they just be happy?" This kind of attitude is pervasive, and we fault the school's leadership with not noticing it, indeed not noticing it for so long that it verges on delusional to call it accidental. UCSD is a major business with major government and defense contracts, and they want nothing to do with all this culture crap, it only gives you a bad reputation for being too much like Berkeley with all its wackos, right?

Did the students smuggle in some demands? Sure. Does that make their list invalid? Nope. Some of the demands also seem more unrelated than they are, another inside-outside perspective problem:

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 5:46 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

(continued, sorry kpbs)
The Cross Cultural Center, the LGBT Center, and the Women's Center do some of the most valuable work on campus. They are very much alone and only thanks to them is there a level of interdisciplinary, inter-generational, and stimulating extracurricular engagement aimed at opening the minds of the students, something their schedule simply doesn't allow for. These centers are run by volunteers who spend their precious time giving UCSD something which many other universities have by virtue of their students themselves caring: a multifaceted, international, and tolerant communal space. Yet they constantly encounter administrative and academic resistance, and their volunteers are not comped in any appropriate manner. So to volunteer does not mean to work at a café, but to help UCSD become the open and tolerant community it constantly swears to be. Again, the administration could care less. This is just one example: the whole problem is really about the structure of UCSD, not the silly boys. They are a product of the education machine that churns out experts, not well-adjusted, responsible, open-minded citizens.

Your point about the frat-boy caricature is well taken. True, it is a tricky issue that in my mind would be best alleviated by these guys manning up and breaking with the image that is being painted of them--just like the African American students did. I am weary if too many similar people meet behind locked doors frequently, but if they have something to say I want to hear it.

One crucial point stays: this is an overprivileged group mocking the weakest group on campus--with the possible exception of Muslim and LGBT students. This matters and this is why many of the comparisons don't work.

Asian Pacific American students in my environment have addressed their position and side exclusively with the ethnic minorities, and to them this is racism, pure and simple. Playing one history against another is a futile--and to me not very ethical--task, many students simply don't have a connection to either. Not all students have to care, and that is exactly the problem. As long as people have the option of looking away they will. Our job as a community is to explain to them why that is the wrong choice, give them the history of looking away, and empower them to stand up in the face of discrimination to defend the weaker party.

I'll spare you the litany I have about the question of the U. UCSD needs to shape up. We are not another private institute where students exist to memorize things--another gross stereotype--but a public university in what I consider the most impressive effort at mass education ever made. We ought to be proud of it and have the self-esteem to give these guys a well-deserved pedagogical slap on the back of the head and possibly do the same to the always-lurking parents, who don't even show up in any of these debates, yet are never far when their little brats get themselves in trouble.

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Avatar for user 'LC'

LC | February 21, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

expat, I think we're communicating and can wrap this up soon. A couple notes of disagreement on this side: I don't think it is right to describe this "an overprivileged group mocking the weakest group on campus--with the possible exception of Muslim and LGBT students." Remember - this wasn't a campus event. The 'group' that created this event were, it is starting to shape up, African-Americans who are street-identified ("Jigga2Jones" claims to be an ex-con who talks about his own incarceration: I do not get the sense that he has middle-class aspirations, but there is still much that is not known, and I wouldn't rule out a Borat-styled maneuver, either. That we can't tell is, itself, fascinating.) I would agree with your characterization more if it turned out that PIKE members were primarily responsible for organizing this event. But the party was not intended to mock African-American UCSD college students. To be honest, the more that African-American cultures are understood *as* cultures, rather than as defective or regressive formations that "should" be outgrown in a "color-blind" "post-raciality," the better, and events like this might be part of the process of that kind of reconciliation with the realities of diversity in the US, particularly on the level of working-class peoples, for whom mutual self-caricature has long been a strategy to surmount difference. (Pious, austere gestures of abstract "respect" are something more associated with dominant classes.) If, it turns out, that PIKE took a significant role in designing this event, I would be more inclined to agree with your characterization.

And as far as the position of AP students, I will simply have to say that I have heard a lot of contradictory statements. When those statements are in the context of pedagogy, I will be frank: there is an echo-effect, and I know that many students will report what they think their instructors want to hear.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 21, 2010 at 6:31 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Actually, that last point about the parents was a cheap shot, I apologize. We must have over ten thousant parents involved, that would be a gross oversimplification. I suppose that is part of the problem: these students clash over things that were perfectly all-right wherever they come from. And that is also a lesson to learn: different rules in different places.

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expat | February 21, 2010 at 7:05 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, although I enjoy the exchange I know I should shut it already. Oh well, freedom of speech and all that.

UCSD doesn't have a problem with a party, a frat, or a group of students, but with itself and a misunderstanding of what it is. I wonder what Revelle thinks about all of this.

You see, I don't understand the even in terms of its organizers at all, even though they identify themselves as "the Regents community," which makes it sound more campus-related than it was. Woodstock is the prime example for an event defined by thos who show up, but so are anti-globalization protests and the like. An event may be planned in one way and get out of hand, and PIKE is absolutely right in joining hands with the African American Union in condemning this to distance themselves. (I honestly don't know about them to comment on the snide remarks about them. on various websites.) However, the people who made up the party were there for a reason, and I assume that most followed that disgusting invitation. These kids collectively positioned themselves in relation to poor, urban African Americans, claiming a superior status. There is no chance of reciprocal satire, the event's gesture is entirely top-down.

I think the kid who today announced he wants to host a follow-up party is a doofus for doing it now and in the way he did it, but the problem he points out is relevant for the weeks to come: now that we are all "aware"--though I have little hope for the average student--can we mock stereotypes or is that in itself impossible? (I assume the "Cookout" will become a fixture at UCSD...and shudder.)

That J2J guy...I don't know. He seems a second-rate Borat at best, I can't judge, I'm too much of a foreigner to really understand the subtleties involved in these stereotypes. In my mind he didn't earn all the money this will get him with his performance, but good for him. Either way, he has no interest in the actual problem, and I personally don't find him funny.

I wish UCSD had the funds or the interest to get Mooney to school and have him explain the whole thing.

LC, thanks for the exchange, feels good after reading through the youtube comments on j2j's video. ugh. I can only urge you to take Jody's points to heart...it's an ugly world out there.

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Avatar for user 'Sarah'

Sarah | February 23, 2010 at 6:27 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

I cannot understand for the life of me why - given two particularly ugly STUDENT led racial incidents, students both black and white are blaming
" Chancellor Mary Anne Fox and other college administrators." Wake up. The enemy is your own generation. I was a 60's style socialist. Even we were not this dumb.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 26, 2010 at 12:31 p.m. ― 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the compliment, Sarah. I don't know what you were doing in the sixties, but perhaps some more time listening to SDS or civil rights organizers would have done you good.
A generation cannot be an enemy, we are the product of our environment. And our perception of this environment, including crass discrepancies in diversity among faculty, students, organizational funding, and political participation leads us to the conclusion that the administration is indeed a big part of the problem. Fox got handed a similar list five years ago, nothing happened. The UC announced to address the problem even further back and not one thing has changed.
The problem is that these kids are getting into a school where other voices are too weak to teach them that this is not OK. And that they are too weak is largely an administrative failure.

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