Monday, February 22, 2010

Post-racial in San Diego? No.

UPDATE: "Students walkout of UC San Diego teach-in on 'Compton Cookout,'" LA Times

"Blanco: In Solidarity with 1.3% of UCSD," FOBBDeep
TV Show Incenses Black Students at UCSD
UCSD race tensions rise after ‘Compton Cookout,’ use of n-word So this is the Obama generation? The demonstrated victory of a "post-racial" America? We "made it" right? Wrong!

In this genocidal and colonial nation, "winning" social equality--materially or symbolically--is not an easy task. DJ Kuttin Kandi, who works at The Women's Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) notified me of some tragic and infuriating events related to the campus last week. Kandi, like many of the staff, faculty, and students at UCSD, are put in a challenging predicament as they try to make sense, respond to, and create a long-term plan after a fraternity threw a "Compton Cookout"-themed party last weekend in order to mock Black History Month. Women attendees were told to speak loudly, wear gold teeth, have an attitude, wear their hair short and nappy. Fried chicken, watermelon, and purple drink were on the menu.

First of all, shit is fucked up and distasteful from the get go. There is no interpreting this as subversive or "boys just having fun." Secondly, the watered-down response by the university's chancellor ("this party is not in line with campus values") is sad. If black students are betrayed by the administration--when their less than 2% of the population--then why even attend a campus community that devalues their presence, dehumanizes their existence? Existence is at stake here...the value of black students' minds and presence. This is not only about the pitiful ignorance of frat boys, this also encompasses the bigger issue of the failures of campus climate.

A second "Compton Cookout" is said to be scheduled for March in defiance of the protests against the first--this after a number of protests and calls to action, and a campus TV show supporting the party and uttering that "niggers" are ungrateful and using the words "Compton Lynching."

Also, what is this, 1990? "Compton Cookout" really? Listen, I have fam that taught K-12 in Compton, and it's changed considerably and has a large, noticeable Latino presence. So the FUBU and NWA references in this party are wayyyy outdated. How white is this party??

Love and justice goes out to Kandi, Prof. Wayne Yang, Prof. Jody Blanco, all the student leaders, and everyone trying to create real meaningful changes as a result of these occurrences. Similar parties happened at my campus a few years ago, so I'm not surprised that racial caricature parties occur among fraternities. It's the actions that come after that need to be strategic and meaningful.

Where is this "post-racial" America? It's at the bbq, mocking you, grinning at you with gold teeth.

If you're Filipino, please read the letter posted on FOBBDeep's site. Jody Blanco shows that this is not just a black issue and the reciprocated relationships between blacks and Filipinos throughout history (including the Buffalo Soldiers resistance in the Philippines). This is a moment to demonstrate our solidarity. This is a social justice issue, but it's also a reflection of our times.



Montana said...

You real can't take these uneducated UCSD white trailer trash anywhere. This is what happens when more than one of these guys puts their minds together.

Carri said...

It’s a plot by the fundamentalist rightwing party of tyranny called Republicans. They foment hate, they sneer, they make excuses for their behavior and blame everyone else. They advocate the supremacy of their America – a lily-white America. They are scared and frightened becuase (gasp) a black man has been elected to the White House. They are losing conrol and like cornered animals, they are lashing out. This is the national leadership from whom these studants take their cues.

Benito Juarez said...

I will tell you what I have seen these last few days, I saw people from different backgrounds, my children, my brothers and sisters come together in solidarity, and got the message heard.

This reminds me of a parable from the good book where a Levite and Priest come upon a man who fell among thieves and they both individually passed by and didn't stop to help him. Finally a man of another race came by, he got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy and got down with the injured man, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

You see, the Levite and the Priest were afraid, they asked themselves, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?"

But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

That's the question before us. The question is not, "If I stop to help my brother in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help my brother, what will happen to him or her?" That's the question.

God bless all my brothers and sister that stood side by side with our brothers and sisters in need, when you saw a wrong you tried to correct it, you may argue the methods but not the reasons. I know God will not discriminate by country of origin, our sex, our orientation, color of our skin, or our religion as men do.

MV said...

thanks for the comments yall. please keep up-to-date on the occurrences at UCSD. lot more to come, it aint ova...