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 So the FUBU and NWA references in this party are wayyyy outdated.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.