‘Compton Cookout’ / UCSD Racism Protest Cheat Sheet
For those of you who are trying to follow the story:
- Frat boys throw racially “Compton Cookout” party, inciting outrage among black students and supporters.
- Kris Gregorian of the UCSD humor newspaper the Koala, says that protestors were “ungrateful niggers” on Channel 18. Campus reacts to racial slur: A.S. President Utsav Gupta freezes all funding to student publications.
- BSU makes a six-page list of 32 demands. University steps in, sponsoring a teach-in and march.
- Media orgs defend free speech rights, saying that Gupta’s funding freeze is unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment.
- Students walk out of the teach-in for a counter teach-in with their own speakers.
- Noose is found on the 7th floor of Geisel Library (image here).
- Student calls in and admits to leaving noose at UCSD. According to Vice Chancellor Gary Matthews, “It’s someone who didn’t think that leaving a noose was an issue,” he said.
(Unrelated: Doing this post has made me want to advise the Guardian on my very limited SEO knowledge. Come on — at least tag, link, and include related posts!)
You know what? This is the same shit that happens every year on every campus. You know why? People are ignorant and unexposed to their own identities when they arrive at school. They don’t see minority kids as a part of their community, so they throw around bigoted stereotype ideas in the form of theme parties. Then the minority kids speak up, and oh shit, they forgot the minorities are there for an education, too. Then they feel threatened by those who are confident to identify as people of color and respond hastily in all the wrong ways. It happened at Santa Clara in my first year as a recent graduate, and if I was there, man, I woulda thrown more verbal ‘bows.
To the Editor:
A couple of years ago, I had four hours to assemble a Halloween costume. My idea came while in Benson: dress as the typical Santa Clara girl — Juicy Couture sweatsuit, paparazzi shades, Tiffany’s bracelet and Coach handbag.
I ended up not doing it. People pointed out that I was (am) not blonde, Caucasian, a business major or Catholic. I also realized that the getup was perpetuating a stereotype, making fun of people in a tacky way, and would only be funny for about two minutes.
It’s disappointing to hear about controversies like the theme party, not just because they sound repetitive and are inherently frustrating, but also because the rebuttals against the original complaint often sound the same. I’ve heard a lot of “stop whining, and go back to where you came from.” But people who tell my Chinese face to “go back” don’t seem to realize that such a return trip is a 15-minute drive to Fremont, Calif.
I’ve also read a lot of “minorities should stop segregating themselves based on their culture.” But what’s so wrong with unifying? Sorority girls get together for their exclusive events, and I just wish more power to them and their sisters. What if culture is among someone’s foremost interests? What if someone is passionate enough about his or her identity that he or she is willing to mobilize others around it?
The problem is not that there are no efforts for diversity education or cultural awareness. The problem is that people go through these programs without taking the first step of fully realizing their own agency in the situations. These ignorant acts are repeated because the ignorance is never admitted in the first place.
Santa Clara alumna ’06
MCC Director ’04-’05
This will never end. I am no glossy eyed Ethnic Studies graduate. The majority mindset, which will remain the majority mindset for at least two more centuries, does not support proactive diversity “education” or “training.” They haven’t encountered it themselves so they shy away from it or label it as divisive or a waste of time. We then breed generations of youth who don’t know how to talk about cultural identities, let alone deal with identity politics.
And then they have to come up with a theme idea for their frat.
And then they smoke a blunt.
And someone says, “Hey, you know what would be funny?…”
And then they repeat this sad, cyclical history.