Revolution #194, March 7, 2010

Turmoil and Protest on University of California Campuses

UC San Diego: Taking on the Noose

From a reader

Students at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have repeatedly staged defiant protests against escalating white supremacist and male supremacist incidents on campus for the past 3 weeks. The University administration and other authorities' attempt to chill out the boiling anger has met with more outrage and refusal to be silenced.

Chanting "real pain, real change," some in tears, more than 300 students of different nationalities occupied the office of Marye Anne Fox, UCSD Chancellor, on Friday, February 25. Hundreds more rallied outside, chanting "we've got your back" and other expressions of firmly standing with the Black students. And in solidarity, over 100 students marched and conducted a sit-in at the Chancellor's office at UCLA.

These protests were provoked by the latest outrage—the discovery of a noose hanging inside the UCSD library late Thursday night (February 25), admittedly hung by three UCSD students.

A student from Afghanistan told the crowd at the Friday UCSD rally that he had gotten used to a lot of racism growing up in Southern California but was shocked by the noose and took it "as an attack on all of us."

Two days earlier, some Black women students led a walk-out during a campus wide teach-in organized by UCSD administrators to promote "mutual respect." Saying that it takes more than a short 2 hour teach-in to resolve the racism on campus, the bulk of the 1200 students, staff and faculty joined in the walk out and protested outside the auditorium instead of listening to calls for calm inside.

The noose was the third in a series of vicious incidents at UCSD in two weeks. On Presidents Day (February 15) a number of UCSD frat rats issued an invitation for their so-called "Compton Cookout" theme party to mock Black History Month.  These junior tea baggers' portrayal of Black men was deeply racist with their call for "for guys" to show up "stuntin' up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko...Chains, Jorts, stunner hats...Tats, etc."

The frat rats' hatred of Black women was vitriolic. "For girls" they called for "ghetto chicks...[who] usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, wear cheap clothes...have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weaves, usually in bad colors...speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face...have very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words...or simply cursing consistently, or using other types of vulgarities...."

A few days after this racist and sexist frat party was exposed and opposed, frat rats arrogantly went on Koala, the UCSD campus TV station, and called the protesters "ungrateful n***s." A placard with the words "Compton lynching" was also found on the floor of the TV station.

The Black Student Union issued a state of emergency and a list of 32 demands, including more Black student enrollment at UCSD. There are currently less than 600 Black students out of the 30,000 total student enrollment. Many Black students expressed feeling fear for their safety while on campus.

While some concessions to the BSU demands are being made, Chancellor Fox made clear that the university "cannot prevent the kind of deplorable events that have happened—and may happen again...."

To paraphrase the much larger question being posed to the students and others that Bob Avakian repeatedly asks in his film-talk "Revolution": just what kind of fucking society do you have then? What kind of fucking system is this where Black and women students beat the odds to get into college—and then have to be humiliated, degraded, demoralized and fear for their lives while trying to study and pass their exams and get their degrees? And then what awaits outside the ivory tower? Yes, more of the same—instead of NO MORE!

If this kind of fascistic attack on Black people is taking place on such a pristine and prestigious college campus, in the face of, and maybe in response to, the first Black president in U.S. history, what does it say about the root cause of the problem in American society? I would urge readers to check out two works by Bob Avakian, "The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era" and "Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution."

A couple of Revolution newspaper distributors got out hundreds of the palm cards announcing Avakian's film-talk "Revolution" to UCSD student protesters. They also distributed copies of Revolution newspaper issue #144 on "The Oppression of Black People, the Crimes of This System, and the Revolution We Need." They hope to return to the campus and build for the International Women's Day events in Los Angeles on March 6-7.

One San Diego Union-Tribune reporter observed that these "incidents have stirred a level of emotion evocative of the war-and-free-speech-related protests that rocked the campus in the late 1960s and early 1970s." This captures the potential significance of the new breeze of student protests blowing through UCSD and other campuses. All who hope for a better world should work to push these embryos of change towards a movement for revolution on the college campuses that can uproot the white supremacist and male supremacist cornerstones of U.S. society, as well as all the other sick and brutal outrages of this capitalist-imperialist system.

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