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UCSD Minority Students Walk Out Of Teach-In

Above: Students gathered outside of UCSD's Price Center on February 24, 2010 to stage a student-led teach-in in response to the 'Compton Cookout' racially-themed party and the administration's response.

— An attempt to quell racial tensions at UC San Diego fell short today. Hundreds of minority students walked out of a "teach in" organized by university officials.

Several hundred students wore black T-shirts and held their fists in the air as they marched into UCSD's main campus auditorium for the teach-in.

The event was the university's response to the spate of racially charged incidents on campus. Officials were hoping the teach-in would help begin the healing process.

In fact, Black Student Union Leader Fnann Keflezighi was invited to speak. She called on students to walkout of the room an hour into the event.

“We want to walk out of this university sponsored teach-in because a teach-in is not what is needed right now,” Keflezighi told the crowded auditorium. “Right now real action is needed. So please join me in our teach-in and follow me to march out of this room.”

Minority students leaders want administrators to implement a list of 32 demands immediately. They want officials to fix what they call a racial state of emergency. Students say the racially derogatory incidents speak to a larger problem of institutional racism on campus.


UCSD Students Say Deeper Racism Exists On Campus

UCSD Students Blast Chancellor Over Racially Charged Incidents

NAACP Speaks Out Against UCSD 'Compton Cookout' Party

UCSD Party Called Horrible Act Of Racism

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Avatar for user 'erinc'

erinc | February 24, 2010 at 5:06 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

as a ucsd graduate student, i am so happy this event is getting coverage. today was a celebratory, exciting, emancipatory event - not just for minority students but for those in the university community who support and sympathize with the realities of their campus life.
we're looking forward to real change in our community and stand with the BSU and their demands.

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Avatar for user 'Mom'

Mom | February 24, 2010 at 6:39 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

Finals are in a few weeks. I'd hate to see people failing classes because they are distracted by:

1) a DVD release party that someone, without checking, blew up into something it never was; and,

2) the glamor of being involved in "a cause" which seems so important, so deep... only to those directly involved in it. What credibility these kids had in my eyes, and any sympathy I had for them, has vanished directly as a result of their behavior.

To those directly involved, just to refocus you for a moment: You fail those finals, you'd better expect people to say "don't let the door hit you on the butt while you're moving out of the dorms", because there are hundreds of kids who are waiting to get into the school. And you will have to pay back the student loans, with or without a degree.

The administration didn't have to cancel all their appointments, give staff two hours off (paid) to attend the "teach in" and encouraged them, and the faculty, in the strongest possible terms to attend the meeting. But they did. That's what academics do - they meet and try to find common ground. The response? You didn't meet all our demands right away so we're walking.

My current feeling about it all? Walk. And don't let the door hit you too hard on your butt as you go through it. There are hundreds of kids waiting for a slot in the university. Good luck paying back your student loans without a degree.

Enrollment -
African-American 368 2%
Asian 10,248 44%
Mexican-American 2,344 10%
Filipino 1,035 4%
Latino/Other Spanish 667 3%
Native-American 92 0%
Caucasian 5,986 26%
Other/Undeclared 2,403 10%

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Avatar for user 'RLozaxx'

RLozaxx | February 24, 2010 at 6:56 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

Dear 'Mom'-

Just because some folks decide to believe in something (i.e. themselves) doesn't mean they'll fail at school, or anything. A strong sense of agency is far more self-serving in the most loving of ways, so much that I'm sure these youth and adults have little need for your 'sympathy.'

To those directly involved, stay involved. Those of us who are indirectly involved will continue to show solidarity in these forums, which is more than 'mom's' 'sympathy' can ever represent.

My current feeling about it all? Walk. There are hundreds of kids waiting for a slot in the university, and next to you with fist in the air.

Enrollment -
African-American 368 2%
Asian 10,248 44%
Mexican-American 2,344 10%
Filipino 1,035 4%
Latino/Other Spanish 667 3%
Native-American 92 0%
Caucasian 5,986 26%
Other/Undeclared 2,403 10%

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Avatar for user 'Student88'

Student88 | February 24, 2010 at 9:18 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

People are ill informed about what happened and the parties involved. It would be irresponsible to label the entire school as racist; the majority of the campus is against the actions of the Koala and against the party that was held off-campus. Additionally, the majority of people do not even know what demands BSU asked of the school's administration. Although some are reasonable, many of the demands are outlandish and prioritize black students over other minorities.

These are UCSD's BSU's demands:

UCSD should foster a culture of racial tolerance and acceptance, but elevating one group over every another is irrational. If these demands are met, the black community at UCSD would essentially be segregated from all other groups. Some of BSU's demands are contradictory. You can not teach cultural diversity for example, by forcing students to take courses on African American Studies. It would be more reasonable to make it a requirement that students take a course in ethnic relations. BSU does mention this, along with gender studies, but still propose that a course dedicated solely to African American studies be taught.

Although the oppression of African Americans is a large issue and should be studied, the injustices done to other races are rarely discussed and should be of equal importance. Few people know about the genocides in Cambodia and Turkey (the Armenian Genocide) or that the majority of enrolled Asian American students come mostly from East-Asian and South-Asian backgrounds and not from Southeast-Asia- these students tend to be of lower-class backgrounds. Native American studies are completely neglected and their population is severely under-represented at the university.

People view the school as an evil entity, but don't seem to realize the institutional factors that led to, for example, the low representation of African American students in higher education. If you look at the demographics of the top universities in our nation none have high African American enrollment. This is a much larger issue than people make it seem. In order for students to be prepared for college, they must be equipped with educational tools starting at a young age. If students aren't able to do well in high school, the chances that they'll make it to college are diminished. What happened at UCSD is a product of a larger educational issue. Schools with high concentrations of African Americans are generally under-funded and are unable to produce students prepared for life outside of high-school, if their students are even able to get that far.

Actions regarding education need to be taken at higher levels, state and federal, in order to weaken racism at lower levels.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 25, 2010 at 2:54 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

UCSD is turning away thousands upon thousands of well qualified, bright, and motivated students simply because they have the wrong skin color. Race-based admission policies are inherently discriminatory and morally wrong.

Now it appears an off-campus, non-affiliated, unsanctioned, private party is being used as an excuse to expand those discriminatory policies by UCSD Chancellor Fox and the Black Student Union. Their reaction is hypocritical, self-serving, and quite racist. Many San Diegans are ashamed of Chancellor Fox and are now calling for her resignation, as am I.

All race-based student organizations also need to be banned to insure UCSD is truly a color-blind institution of learning, not racism.

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Avatar for user 'rgasca'

rgasca | February 25, 2010 at 6:51 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month 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.






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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 25, 2010 at 10:33 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago


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:

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






...and the rest of the reasonable rational moderates of San Diego

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 26, 2010 at 9:55 p.m. ― 7 years, 1 month ago

Nope, the organizers only used his image. He was not the sponsor, but this failed comedian is more than happy to cash in on the silly behavior of these guys. The PIKE members (and yes, yes, PIKE distanced themselves immediately and suspended them) wrote the invitation, which, as you may recall, kicked this whole thing off.

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