I am proud of students who took action today at UC San Diego. I know the school had very good intentions, but a “teach-in” on racial tolerance was likely seen as a politically correct band-aid. Talk is not what these students want. They want action. They want to feel that they are in an environment where racists are taken to task when they do bold things, like throwing a neo-blackface party. A long seminar on racial tolerance is like workplace sexual harassment classes. Everyone in the room nods and says they understand. What would you expect them to do, defend their right to grab their secretary’s butt or tell a couple penis jokes? Keep fighting kids. Even if you don’t see the results you want, you will not leave that University with regrets.
LA Times: Nine days after an off-campus student party mocked Black History Month, UC San Diego went through a day of protests, tumult and self-examination Wednesday, especially concerning the small number of African American students enrolled at the beachside campus.
University administrators sponsored a teach-in on racial tolerance that attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,200 students, faculty and staff to an auditorium in the student center. But halfway through what was to be a two-hour session in response to the offensive racial stereotypes at the Feb. 15 “Compton Cookout” party, most students walked out in protest.
They then held their own noisy but peaceful rally outside the building. Administrators may have thought the teach-in “would make us quiet,” said Fnann Keflezighi, vice chairman of the Black Student Union. But she said minority students don’t believe that UC San Diego will take significant steps to make them feel more comfortable on campus and increase their numbers.
The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited new activism about long-simmering issues at the university. Many wore special black and white T-shirts that proclaimed: “Real Pain, Real Action, 1.3%” — a reference to the percentage of African Americans among the campus’ undergraduates, thought to be the lowest in the UC system.