Tuesday, March 2, 2010
From former FMF intern and blogger Kat
When I received an email from the UC regents and president Yudolf declaring that the racist events happening on UCSD campus were deplorable, I have to admit I was somewhat surprised. There is some controversy regarding the way he is running the UCs according to a business model rather than as an educational institution and the effect this has both quality of student education and the recent fee hikes. My skepticism came from wondering if this expression of outrage was true, or if it had more to do with concern that if the statement was not made, there would be a yet another backlash against administrators. I was also skeptical about whether or not speaking out against the acts via email would correspond to REAL action.
Several events have occurred since that have highlighted the importance of speaking out against racism and homophobia (and every other ism out there, though what has happened in this last week refers specifically to those isms.)
Friday, February 26th: the LGBTQ resource center at UC Davis was vandalized, with derogatory language written all over the door (full article available HERE)
Monday, March 1: A drawing of a noose was found in one of the UC Santa Cruz bathrooms on the door, with the words "San Diego" and "lynch" on either side of the door (full article available HERE)
Monday March 1: A pillowcase fashioned like a KKK hood was found on a statue on top of the school library (full article available HERE)
The campus situation is very tense. In conversations I've had with other students, I hear people express that they are afraid; and with lynch symbols, KKK symbols, and in some cases death threats posted on doors of individual students--they are absolutely justified in feeling this fear.
If we do not rebuke the racist acts, racists feel more empowered, more emboldened to commit more racist acts; this is something that we've already seen occur, as a "ghetto" party, already racist in nature, has somehow escalated to a KKK hat and outright death threats. It is our duty to use our freedom of speech to contradict the racism, to not allow it to stand unopposed in the public sphere.
Enacting policies to counter these acts is absolutely necessary--but so is the public denouncement of these acts as racist so as to dissuade others from pursuing the same racist forms of action.
This Thursday March 4 is the UC-wide day of action to protest the fee hikes--you can bet we'll be protesting the recent hateful actions as well.
photo credit: * Michael * at flickr.com