“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Bigger Picture: Race Issues and Thuggery

The UCD Campus Police have failed to investigate all kinds of race based violence, and have sometimes aided in it. 
We received the following in our inboxes from the Chancellor recently: 
“On Sunday, November 13, during the UC system-wide Student of Color Conference, an unknown individual vandalized one of the Veterans Day yellow ribbons tied around a tree on the quad, writing on it, "USE ME AS A NOOSE." “

At the exact same time the police were pepper-spraying non-black student protesters, just across the quad in the MU concerned members of the black UC Davis community and allies were in a meeting with administrators, staff, and student media about the hostile reporting practices of the California Aggie paper toward the black community at UC Davis. Two specific concerns were:

1)   the “Jungle Fever” column published by an Asian student about her newfound attraction to black men and love of hip hop music 

2)   the Aggies’ failure to report  specific incidents of antiblack hate crimes this year, which include (but are not limited to) the display of a napkin fashioned to replicate a Klu Klux Klan hood in the African American themed floor in Campbell Hall.

Just the night before (Thursday) an even larger group of students, staff, faculty, and administrators met to raise concerns not just about these specific attempts to intimidate black students, but also the fact that the UC Davis police has both failed to investigate antiblack hate crimes committed on campus in the past 7 years and/or actively disappeared whatever police reports had been filed on these incidents.

Additional issues between UCD police and black students:
1)   UCD police summoned by white staff to haul away a black graduate student trying to enter a building during business hours because the staff member did not believe this person was actually a student
2)   Guns drawn by UCD police on a separate black student also trying to enter a building. The UCD student paper was directed by staff to not report this issue. The incident escalated into a lawsuit and an out-of-court settlement
The way incidents of antiblack uncivility are treated at UCD is glaringly unbalanced in comparison to the tokenizing fervor raised over the vandalism of the LGBT Resource Center, swastikas scrawled on the doors of Jewish students, and now this pepper-spray incident of uncivility.

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