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UCSD Students Demand Swift Actions

Above: UCSD students gathered outside of the Price Center on campus on February 24, 2010 to protest recent racially-charged events on campus.

Audio

Aired 2/25/10

A campus teach-in at UC San Diego turned into a walkout yesterday. Several hundreds of minority students defiantly marched away from the campus event which was designed to quell racial tensions.

— A campus teach-in at UC San Diego turned into a walkout yesterday. Several hundreds of minority students defiantly marched away from the campus event which was designed to quell racial tensions.

UCSD officials were hoping the teach-in would begin to heal the pain caused by a series of racially charged incidents on campus.

Instead, student leaders used the event to further criticize the university. They say officials have ignored longtime calls to fix racial inequities on campus.

Black Student Union leader Jasmine Philips says a teach-in won't solve the problem.

“The university and this administration has refused to take action for too long,” Phillips said. “The UCSD administration is at fault for the fear, discomfort, alienation, and anger being experienced by students on this campus. And the chancellor and vice chancellors must hold themselves accountable.”

Seconds later Phillips left the podium and led the several hundred students out of the auditorium. Black student groups want officials to adopt a list of 32 demands immediately. The demands include more funding for recruitment and retention.

Student leaders say they won't be satisfied until they see a detailed report on their implementation.

Penny Rue is UCSD's vice chancellor of student affairs. She says the university is analyzing the costs connected to some of the demands. But she says UCSD is taking action.

“While no one relishes this type of scrutiny, we do appreciate the chance to be really clear about what our institutional priorities are and to move forward from here with members from the community.”

Meanwhile, black student leaders are working with members of other minority student groups to put added pressure on the university.

Related

UCSD Minority Students Walk Out Of Teach-In

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

Comments

Avatar for user 'john39'

john39 | February 25, 2010 at 11:18 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

On a recent visit to the UCSD campus, I observed many, many "minorities". They appeared to be of Asiatic races. Perhaps the "recruiting program" for these minorities should be applied to black candidates. My sarcasm is intended. The fathers and mothers of candidates, while they are in schools, are responsible for preparing them to excel enough to gain entrance to the UC system. The job of UCSD is primarily to educate these students. I would also suggest that an emphasis of this education is in studies that prepare graduates to lead useful, productive lives. You know, things like engineering, medicine. Until the fathers and mothers of ALL candidates take responsibility for preparing their children for a positive undergraduate experience, there are bound to be racial discrepancies in the student body. Please don't bring back racial preferences. Let excellence speak for itself.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 25, 2010 at 1:55 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

It is time for UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and her administration to step down!

The overt and institutional racism exhibited by Fox and the Black Student Union is appalling and truly shameful. Caucasians are a minority at UCSD and to accuse them of discrimination based on the actions of frat boys off-campus at an unsanctioned event is a terrible injustice.

UCSD Demographics: http://studentresearch.ucsd.edu/sriweb/UCSDCollegeProfile.pdf

What is more of an injustice is to alter the admission practices to put one race ahead of another. That is the DEFINITION of racism! Sadly, this practice has been utilized by universities for decades now and it looks like UCSD will now accelerate such discrimination.

The only thing this event sheds light on is the vitriolic hatred and racism espoused by the Black Student Union. If Chancellor Fox had any sense of justice, respect, and compassion for the students at UCSD, she would condemn the Black Student Union and remove funding for all race-based organizations to create a truly color-blind university.

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Avatar for user 'HereWeAre'

HereWeAre | February 25, 2010 at 3:57 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Commenters here seem to mistakenly think that having a lot of Asians on campus and/or having color-blind admissions will somehow create harmony and a sense of community? When you're on campus, does it feel communal? Do you sense harmony?

john39 - From what I understand, the opinion of the hundreds of students who rallied yesterday is NOT focused primarily on academic preparedness (although no one would argue against academic support or against parents helping their children be good students). Instead, there is a sense that the UCSD administration has not done enough to foster a campus that feels safe and welcoming to black students and other minority groups, and that this has been an ongoing issue that recent racism has highlighted. Yes, having more black students on campus would help, but would it be enough? And why would such students come to UCSD under these circumstances?

CaliforniaDefender - It's easy to say that white people are a minority at UCSD, but let's be serious. The statistics you link to show that there are 13 Caucasian students for every 1 African-American student. Think of the history of whites using their power against black people in this country: kidnapping, slavery, lynchings, discrimination in many forms to this day. Now this tradition continues with white students espousing racist stereotypes and using the most offensive racist language. How would you feel? And how would you feel if the organization standing up for you was then accused of being racist?

Espousing color-blindness works only IF you don't think there's a problem. And if you can't see the problem, you're not looking very hard.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 25, 2010 at 5:18 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

HereWeAre,

The VAST majority of white students who attend UCSD display absolutely no discrimination towards those of different races. However, it is easy to see how such actions by the Black Student Union and Chancellor Fox can build and promote animosity between all. Just the presence of racially based organizations on campus create walls of separation.

Admission policies already favor and give unfair advantage to those who are not white. Continuing or expanding this discriminatory policy is in exact contradiction to what a fair and open public university should stand for. This is why Chancellor Fox should step down or be removed.

You also seem to think that the history of all whites is that of kidnapping, slavery, and lynchings to this day. Please tell me, when was the last time you saw whites enslaving blacks on the UCSD campus or anywhere for that matter? Every group of people in power on this planet throughout history has done bad things to those who weren't, including blacks who have done many awful things as well. This is simply your attempt at misdirecting the debate.

Now you ask me how I would feel if the same incident happened to me? It has, almost every day, and I ignore it as my time is more valuable than wasting it on confronting such childish behavior. I would also never stoop so low as to demand special reparations and treatment because of it. That is the definition of discrimination and quite dishonorable. By demanding such things the Black Student Union is confirming their racism and that is far worse than what they are opposing.

Lastly, you think I'm not looking very hard? The truth of the matter is that you and your cohorts will use any excuse, no matter how trivial or minuscule, to further your racist agenda. Shame on you for dragging down our society and taking time away from the rest of the hard working faculty, staff, and students at UCSD.

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Avatar for user 'nomis'

nomis | February 25, 2010 at 11:47 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

The irony I find is that group of "minorities" want equal opportunity by limiting the opportunity of others, including those of other minorities. Not withstanding that the other sides of this story were not even invited to argue their side, the media or broadcast outlet of not only the group that caused the alarm but all other have been stopped because complain of few. Going for the lowest common denominator should not be a standard that we set our community for. However, by pandering to few that what exactly are doing. For arguments case, say they don't like what "Compton Cookout" was all about, do the same people complain when they dress in straw squirts in Hawaiian BBQ, have their colleges call Arabs as towel heads or even say a word when their own leaders call them the N word. If anyone or group needs to change view or compile others to do so, it starts from home. The day I see blacks of this country stand up to like those of Jesse Jackson and .... for calling them the "N" in casual normal matter, is the day I stand next to them to compile others to show respect. Respect is earned, not bought.

ps. KPBS don't forget to invite the other side

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Avatar for user 'patiklee'

patiklee | February 26, 2010 at 8:03 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Why is there a "Black Students Union?" Is there a "White Students Union?" Hmmmm...I don't think so. That would be considered "racist"

Additionally, rumor has it that the noose was planted by a minority to draw more attention to the situation.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | February 26, 2010 at 10:26 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

I don't condone the idea of the Compton Cook-Out, even if was instigated by a black man, but I do feel this issue has been blown out of proportion. Some of the comments by the editors on today's show indicate to me that they have a story line going on between their ears and since it sounds good they keep telling it, but is that the reality? Black Americans have made significant contributions despite the barriers against them, but I'm getting really tired of being demonized for being white, as if I grew up wealthy, as if my parents and those who came before them didn't have to forge the way across this land. History is chock full of injustices made by one group on another and even within the same group divided by religion or class. To be honest, with the way I grew up working for every dime I feel I have more in common with the working class black man than I do with a wealthy white person. I did go on to college by the way, via military service, so it's not like I'd fit in in a place like La Jolla either. Realize this, realize that sometimes even as a white man might judge you by your color, you too can be guilty of seeing what you choose to see without consideration that most of us are just like you, struggling and scratching and clawing just to keep our heads above water - and we're not all out to get you or keep you down.

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Avatar for user 'expat'

expat | February 26, 2010 at 1:19 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, it's rough being a privileged, white male, huh?
I know, I feel you pain.
It's so hard, after we still get the better jobs, the higher pay, the safer neighborhoods, the better living conditions, the better education, more freedom, less incarceration, and, and, and... We really got a raw deal.
You're right, we should totally gang up and create a whites-only union...oh wait, except that the whole world used is largely still one!!!
Just because you think you have no prejudices does not mean that this is any less evil, that the students feel any less hurt, that this is any less problematic. Perhaps pull your head from the ground and listen to your fellow students for a second. You think they are kiddin? CD, do you think this is a new thing for African American students? Then how come Fox got a similar list five years ago and nothing happened? How come the UC president vowed to increase diversity almost ten years ago and nothing has changed? This has been brewing for a while now, read up on it.
This is real, if you like it or not. Society, and especially this part of the country, is fundamentally biased, ethnic minorities are constantly "kept down," whether you are aware of it or not. That you seem to be oblivious to this is sad, and you should take a good, hard look at your life and think what you can do to help. Solidarity in numbers, so go out there and help your black fellow men instead of complaining about them here. "Feeling" solidarity is not enough.
Oh, and nomis: telling others what to do and what they ought to be feeling isn't helping.

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Avatar for user 'flagwaver'

flagwaver | February 26, 2010 at 2:10 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

would this be so funny if it was a "Beverly Hlls" party and everyone walked around with fake long noses, and talked about how they were going to screw their gentile neighbors with big interest rates on loans at their pawn shop or jewelry store? Should we say, bring your women, and have them whine and cry all evening and act like a "chosen person"? Should we say, act rude and obnoxious and have no manners, and be loud. Make sure you talk "show business" and discuss the fact that it helps being Jewish in order to get ahead in this arena and laugh and laugh.

. It goes both ways my friends, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
If we allow such poor taste and "hate" to denigrate one group, why should't this type of "hate" and poor taste be allowed for all ethnic groups. Wouldn't this be a wonderful society? You guys are in college, act your age.

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Avatar for user 'HereWeAre'

HereWeAre | February 26, 2010 at 9:13 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

CaliforniaDefender -

First, calling people racist because they are speaking up against racism is a classic case of blaming the victim (or at least diverting the blame from the true offenders).

Second, I never said anything about "all" or even "most" whites (now or in the past), so you can drop that.

Next, why are you trying to shame people who feel unsafe and unwelcome on their campus for trying to do something about it?

If you felt unwelcome and unsafe where you lived, and I refused to consider both historical and present-day reasons for this feeling, do you think you'd stop feeling unsafe and unwelcome?

I mention the past because it matters. Ask any grandparent. Ask anyone who studies societies or histories. Ask any artist trying to keep alive a tradition. If you really think we're in a post-racial society, you haven't been paying attention.

See, the past is tied directly to the present. Racism is not just about individuals treating others poorly or exhibiting hate. It's about systems, habits, and structures that allow ignorance and discrimination and play a role in denying equal opportunity.

You seem to think that the Black Student Union is unfairly demanding "special treatment" or "reparations". Have a look at this and see if you can empathize. http://vceba.ucsd.edu/pdf/Do%20UC%20us%20Campaign%20Report.pdf

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | February 27, 2010 at 3:30 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

HereWeAre - - -

1. Where is the victim? If you actually think that you were victimized by an off campus, unsanctioned, private party that you did not attend... I'd say it looks like you're going to be the next great ambulance chasing lawyer who's willing to sue their own mother for 9 months of womb entrapment.

2. And I quote HereWeAre: "Think of the history of whites using their power against black people in this country..." That is an all-inclusive statement. Don't try and back-peddle, just apologize and move on.

3. I'm not trying to shame anyone who feels unsafe or unwelcome as an individual. I'm simply exposing the shameful behavior of the Black Student Union as an organization.

4. I don't always feel safe where I live. But I'm not going to blame Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pinochet, Santa Ana, Geronimo, Sherman, Forrest, Caligula, or the crazy cat lady across the street. Ok, well maybe her. I do agree with your assessment that we don't live in a post-racial society. Discriminatory admission policies, race-based student organizations, and affirmative action all keep us firmly planted in a race-delineated society.

5. "404 - File or directory not found." I tried, but I just can't empathize with a 404 error message. Perhaps I'm just not sensitive enough to the history of the long oppressed 404 error message, who simply want to warn us, and yet receive so much flak for it. Actually, I've already read the Black Student Union's demands and all they are espousing is racism and discrimination. It is even right in their name.

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