Racism in the UC: Compton Cookout Controversy


The following are reposts of statements made in lieu of the Compton Cookout, hosted by UCSD greeks.

[PLEASE keep in mind that today, UCSD has about 200 Black students out of about 20,000 undergrads. Closer to 1% than 2%]
Original description of event:
February marks a very important month in American society. No, i’m not referring to Valentines day or Presidents day. I’m talking about Black History month. As a time to celebrate and in hopes of showing respect, the Regents community cordially invites you to its very first Compton Cookout.

For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.

For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes – they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red.
They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face. Ghetto chicks have a very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words, such as “constipulated”, or simply cursing persistently, or using other types of vulgarities, and making noises, such as “hmmg!”, or smacking their lips, and making other angry noises,grunts, and faces.
The objective is for all you lovely ladies to look, act, and essentially take on these “respectable” qualities throughout the day.

Several of the regents condos will be teaming up to house this monstrosity, so travel house to house and experience the various elements of life in the ghetto.

We will be serving 40’s, Kegs of Natty, dat Purple Drank- which consists of sugar, water, and the color purple , chicken, coolade, and of course Watermelon. So come one and come all, make ya self before we break ya self, keep strapped, get yo shine on, and join us for a day party to be remembered- or not.

In response UCSD’s Black Student Union issued demands:

• We demand a Permanent Task Force to fund more outreach efforts and create more opportunities for hiring African-American Faculty.

• We demand the University fully fund the traditional and non-traditional events of the Black Student Union in our efforts to create a better climate for ourselves.

• Match Funds with Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service (SPACES) budget including the Student Initiated Access Program and Services (SIAPS) and Academic Success Program (ASP) budgets.

• We demand that every time the freshmen class enrollment is cut the University matches the student fees that they would have been paying to SPACES permanently to SPACES.

• We demand that Chancellor Fox uses more energy and resources to providing research based scholarships for African-American students as apart of a retention component from the Chancellor’s Diversity Office.

• Demand the University to increase the African-American populations in all areas of the campus including, Students (undergraduates and graduates), PhD Candidates, Faculty, Staff and Administration.

• We demand the University directly fully fund Faculty-Student Mentor Programs.

• We demand the University staff the vacant Program Coordinator position of the African-American Studies Minor

• We demand the Chancellor’s office make the African-American Studies Minor and the Chicano Latina/o Arts and Humanities Minor a priority for the University.

• We demand the University to charge a Task Force to create the plan for an African-American Resource Center on Campus in two years to provide a safe space for the African-American community.

• We demand that Chancellor Fox create an Office for Diversity Affairs from her administration instead of a part-time position with a title.

• We demand the Chancellor fully funds the Chief Diversity Office.

• We demand a change of Admissions Policy from a Comprehensive to a Holistic Review beginning for the Fall 2011 applicant pool.

• We demand campus climate becomes the Chancellor’s number one priority, especially in this time of crisis.
• We demand Chancellor Fox and the University have mutual respect of the “Principles of Community” and create a precedent of prioritizing students of color and leading by example. When demand that there be repercussions when the “Principles of Community” are blatantly being violated.

• We demand the Chancellor’s Officecharges the Campus Climate Commission that will work primarily on improving the campus climate and providing a safer and more welcoming space and experience for the students of underrepresented communities and the entire student body.

• We demand a permanent quarterly and annual campus climate report from this Campus Climate Commission. This Campus Climate Commission must report directly to SAAC.

• We demand the University create a space in the central part of campus safe for African-American students on campus.

• We demand the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Chief Diversity Office meet with the chair and vice chair of the Black Student Union at least once every academic quarter.

• We demand the University provide financial education and counseling, teaching students from low-income, underprivileged communities how to manage their money being independent college students.

• We demand that the University sends out a campus-wide email presenting the Black Student Union’s Do UC us? Campaign Report on Yield of African-American students immediately.

• We demand the University live up to it’s “Principles of Community” and show leadership and integrity by giving up the remains of the Kumeeay tribe and respect the native land on which we are housed.

• We demand three permanent designated spaces for African-American inspired art to reflect the struggle and progress for students of color on this campus.

• We demand that Chancellor Fox fully funds this Art space. We demand that the moral “Chicano Legacy” become a permanent art piece on this campus. We demand that Native American, Latino and Asian-Pacific Islander cultural art is reflected publicly on this campus.

• We demand Chancellor Fox and the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, and the Academic Senate mandate a diversity sensitivity requirement for every undergraduate student to take an African-American studies, Ethnic Studies, and Gender Studies before they graduate from UC San Diego.

• We demand the programs and departments such as OASIS, Campus Community Centers, Ethnic Studies, Critical Gender Studies, CLAH, and African American Studies Minor amongst others continue to have solid funding for the work they do in retaining African American students and educating the campus as a whole.

• We demand the University implements, maintains and fully funds BSU’s Student Initiated Yield Programs.

• Stipend for Student Volunteers- students deserves compensation for the hard work they do that the University should be doing.

• We demand that the Chancellor’s Office offers more campus-wide support for the African-American students on this campus, as well as the other historically underrepresented and under-served communities on this campus.

• We demand the University provide the African-American community with a temporary location for a safe space on campus while the African-American Resource Center is being planned and constructed.

• We demand the University provide free tutors for the African-American students who seek academic support. This can be structured similar to that of the Athletic Department’s services to Athletes.

• We demand a response!

Statement from Chairpersons’ of UCSD BSU:

The Issue
As you may or may not be aware of the recent events that occurred involving some UC San Diego undergraduate students in an attempt to make a mockery of Black History month and host a themed party entitled “The Compton Cookout”. This is completely unacceptable. The University has made two meager attempts to alleviate the tension between the UCSD community and spread awareness to the population but that those attempts have been to no avail. Our question and major concern is how does a student/ group of students feel that it is acceptable to target a group of color. This issue is a direct reflection of the insensitivity on this campus and has acted as a catalyst in this already existing hostile environment.

This address is to not focus on the event specifically but to 1) use this situation as a learning experience for everyone who may or may not have been affected 2) hold the Chancellor and the University accountable to making campus climate a priority and addressing the needs of the African-American community and historically underrepresented ethnic communities on this campus. The administration’s failure to prioritize creating a healthier campus climate earlier has caused this tragic event to reach the masses. It needs to be addressed immediately and all members involved in the organizing of the racist event should face dire consequences. The University needs to make an example out of these students.

Earlier this year the Black Student Union, with the help of a larger statewide coalition, organized and coordinated the Do UC us? Campaign in an effort to increase the numbers of African-American students on the UC San Diego campus. The campaign also clearly addressed the issues of campus climate at this University compiled with Admissions Statistics and criteria, Diversity and Yield Reports from the University as well as student testimonies, demands and student initiated programs to increase the yield of African American students. The UCSD Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Penny Rue, has committed to fully funding the yield programs and through this public address along with support we will surely hold her accountable to that. Consequently, with the media involved, this issue has reached national attention and has sadly marked UCSD to be a “racist campus”.

This is completely problematic because this incident is pushing us back in our efforts of access, yield and retention. Students have been working countless hours developing yield programs for the black students that will succeed but now more ever we are conflicted. We want to increase the numbers of African-American students on this campus but we do not want them to experience the hostile environment that we have to deal with

What we have done
What type of campus climate do we have at this University that would allow this type of behavior/ activity to be acceptable?

This incident has given us a moral edge.
The Black Student Union will continuously represent the voice of the African-American student population and raise issues regarding campus climate because we are confident that an inclusive campus climate fosters higher retention rates, student development, and academic empowerment. BSU requests that you all review the needs and that we schedule a quarterly meeting to update, assess, and evaluate.
The Black Student Union has been in existence on this campus since 1968. We are apart of the history of UCSD!

African-American students have made instrumental steps for pushing for social justice and equality for all students on campus for decades. The University is planning its 50 Year Celebration and in that half century our population of African American students has never exceeded 3%. The campus having never seen a black population of over 3 percent speaks to the lack of initiative and prioritization of yield and diversity outreach. Students on this campus that make continual efforts to undermine the history of oppression of African-Americans in this country and the racism and bigotry we have surmounted.

History
Support
To our fellow students, lets take care of each other. We have to continue to push through the hardship that this situation has caused us and use it as a blessing in disguise. We WILL stay united and our community will hold the University accountable to prioritizing a healthier campus climate for underrepresented groups on this campus.

To our extremely supportive faculty and staff, thank you and please continue to push, encourage and guide us as student leaders and activist.

To Chancellor Fox, Vice Chancellor Rue and the rest of University Administration, we demand you commit to the UCSD “Principles of Community”.

Steps for the Future
Upcoming Meetings
Monday Feb 22nd 6:30- BSU general body meeting in Cross Cultural Center in the Comunidad Room

Tuesday Feb 23rd 5-7pm- “Honest and Open Dialogue on Campus Climate”- Muir Quad, Facilitated by Fnann Keflezighi

Wednesday Feb 24th 12-2pm Teach-ins and 2-4pm Open Dialogue-facilitated by Briana Boyd-Price Center Ballroom East

Thursday Feb 25th 4:30-6:30pm-Campus Black Forum (CBF) – Cross Cultural Center library (please note that CBF is a space created for the African American community and you may or may not be welcomed into this space especially in this time of pain)

The University Administration should feel embarrassed for allowing such negligence to occur. We warned the University about the hostile environment for Black students within this horrible campus climate. Other students of underrepresented groups share the same dismay.

It is imperative that our African- American community reaches a critical mass on this campus.

We are committed to fulfilling our vision of a healthier campus climate in order to continue our work in the struggle to recruit, yield, retain and most importantly represent the African American students here at UC San Diego.

David Ritcherson
Fnann Keflezighi
Chairpersons of the Black Student Union

Black Student Union Statement February 2010
UCSD Black Student Union Address! State of Emergency!

It is with crucial concern and urgency that I write this letter to bring to your attention the state of the campus climate for African-American students at UC San Diego. The University is allowing the African-American students to be racially demoralized by a group of students on this campus. The most recent incident was February 18, 2010 between 11:00pm and midnight a group of students on the UC San Diego Student Run Television Program (SR-TV) making statements in support of the racial “Compton cookout” party That took place this past Monday February 15, 2010. These students insulted the African-American community by stating “you ungrateful niggers…”. It is a toxic environment for African-American students on this campus. The SR-TV is funded by the University so in fact, it is using taxpayers dollars to degrade and demoralize the African-American students and other underrepresented backgrounds as well. Again, this is a STATE OF EMERGENCY! The University is in direct violation of its “Principles of Community”. Students do not feel safe on this campus and it is affecting their everyday lives. We need direct action from the University immediately.

Those students involved in the shameful racist acts should be suspended from the University for spreading such hateful messages about the African-American community to the University campus-wide and with the University‘s funding and approval. These types of acts will not be tolerated. The Black Student Union calls you to support us in this struggle to heal the underrepresented student community and to create a healthier campus climate at the UniversityUC San Diego. Students are exhausted and tired of bailing this institution out by developing our own student initiated outreach, retention, and yield efforts and maintaining and sustaining them with our own student fees. When will the University do its part? Time for change is long overdue it’s the University‘a turn to create that change.

Please understand that this tragedy has marked UC San Diego as a racist University and consequently damaged our student initiated yield efforts we worked on this entire academic year. We demand as a result of this dilemma the University take full responsibility for these actions occurring and take direct action to heal a community that has been scarred. Several students and their families are considering transferring out of UC San Diego because of this injustice. We can no longer stand this HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. Please Come Support our Protest and march to the Chancellors office today February 19th at 9am on Library Walk at UCSD.

Counter protest:

Compton Cookout Part Deux: Equal Rights

I advise you to listen to Uprising by Muse while reading the following (or knights of cydonia ur call wutev):

Recently, the UC Council of Provosts, several students, legislators, and the media, have all publicly condemned the recent PIKE-sponsored “Compton Cookout”.

The FACEBOOK EVENT page for the party is what started this horrendously misguided call to arms, and has people ignorantly shouting racism, intolerance, hate, and that this party invitation was “a mockery of black history month”.

As I have facilitated and attended hundreds of parties associated with UCSD students, I have never been to a party that was not a mockery of something. Additionally, parties are an innocent outlet for any kind of stress, and an arbitrary theme, satirizing some aspect of our cultures, is extremely commonplace for college parties. On Cinco de Mayo, we have parties making fun of Mexicans; on Veterens day, we make fun of veterans (yes, the same veterans who uphold our rights to free speech); on St. Patrick’s Day we make fun of the Irish. Everyone gets made fun of out of jest now, not hate.

This is not an issue of black or white. As a UCSD student, and even though I was not at this party, it is obvious to me that NO ONE INVOLVED IN THAT PARTY WAS PREACHING HATE, and when we observe the public reaction, it feels as if we are watching a bunch of children hurling canned PC responses at Stephen Colbert for being offensively conservative. DUH!

This is barely even an issue of free speech, because, like I said, no ideals were being preached, just passively and innocently mocked for the sake of having an excuse to eat delicious fried chicken and watermelon and drink malt liquor, which are all awesome things.

The inane email sent out to all UCSD students about this mentions that “thinking members of our community” should feel insulted, and despite the fact that said email was sent purely to save face and to appease the social requirement for a puritan display of delusionally misplaced compassion, as thinking members of the community, we should all be insulted at this overt assault on the civil rights of these students to free speech. If you truly care about civil rights, and you don’t just want to preach intolerance to cultural satire, then come to this party in honor of your favorite cultural stereotype to satirize and show these IDIOTS that intolerance is so 20th century, but coming together peaceably for the purpose of fun and unity is still very much in style.

So come get crunk with yo Peoplez, roll through with the Vatos, Crackers bring your favorite sister, get sandy with the Arabs, get Chinky with some saki bombs, throw up your fauxhawk with the Douchebags, get piss drunk with the Irish, come soaked in cologne with the Ginnys, bring some cheap wine with your Jew homies, get stupid like the Polish, pound vodka with your Russian friends, love humanity and embrace cultural differences through satire.

Don’t let ignorance and stupidity get in the way of our good time and let us set a precedent before this gets out of hand. We all must stand behind our fellow students. It would be nothing short of a tragedy for any students to suffer any punishment for what they wrote on a facebook page. We cannot allow this. The time for quelling this is now before it happens to you. We support Pi Kappa Alpha’s attempt to harmlessly make fun of those who would sincerely harbor disdain and resentment for another culture. We must always stand up for our rights and the rights of others, lest they be stripped from us.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ucsd18-2010feb18,0,5698009.story

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/feb/17/outrage-expressed-over-party/

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-compton-cookout,0,2673438.story?track=rss

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=57437

They will not control us.

UCSD Black Student Protest: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quality-Control-Team/305731029642#!/video/video.php?v=842662959544

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6 responses to “Racism in the UC: Compton Cookout Controversy

  1. We should all refute and condemn the UCSD facebook page, no one should agree with them. With that said we should all refute and condemn the website kkk.comm correct? You may have quickly said “duh”. Also, you may have quickly pointed out UCSD is in no way comparable to the KKK, which is in fact very true. OR some, similar to UCSD’s own Sociology professor Ivan Evans think, “it had all the elements of ku klux klan like intentions”~News 5 San Diego, video report. Frat boys getting drunk and acting in a racist manner does not ensure racial hatred. Naivety is the word, just drunk stupid frat boys who do deserve some form of appropriate punishment for stereotyping. UCSD is not a racist school, in fact it’s mostly Asian students. Admission is not principled by affirmative action and is based mostly off GPA and test scores, hence all the studious hard working Asians (what they are). Now I get to graduate as a labeled racist white male from a fraternity where I am the minority. In my own house off campus near UCSD I am the minority, the majority of the time. Now the people who were defending themselves for being stereotyped have created a stereotype for other’s at UCSD. So can we call it square now and leave it alone? Deal with the litigation aspects of what was done, but stop creating such a media hoopla so some of us can live our lives as students.

    • UCStuDent, please familiarize yourself with the concepts of racism, racial stereotyping, and Affirmative Action before writing off the event are pure naivete.

      Naivete was not the driving force behind the event, it was racism fueled by racial stereotypes which the participants have reinforced, thus creating a racially hostile environment within your university. The event explicitly mocks Black History Month and targets the black community (see description), party planners were obviously ignorant, but to defend their actions as mere naivete is to fail to address a deeper problem and allow it to continue. The fact is, party planners consciously chose to create an event that would degrade the black population by parading as “ghetto” kids. This illustrates the history of racism within our country; to enjoy privilege at the deep expense of others. They could have thrown a party with any other theme, why one that specifically denigrates a particular community during the one month in the year created in an attempt to recognize their identity allow them a ember of pride?

      That being said, “Frat boys getting drunk and acting in a racist manner” IS racial hatred being demonstrated through the failure to recognize the history of African Americans and playing off their pain.

      Further, “UCSD is not a racist school, in fact it’s mostly Asian students.” The fact that it is mostly Asians is evidence that the university IS racist in privileging one race over another. Do a little research, admissions were in fact NOT purely based on test scores.

      “Now the people who were defending themselves for being stereotyped have created a stereotype for other’s at UCSD. So can we call it square now and leave it alone?” While two negative stereotypes are in fact being reinforced, this only illustrates the consequence of the party, and why such events are so harmful. And the people defending themselves did not create the negative stereotype of “racist white males” that was created by the people who demonstrated being so. And to equate the pain of being an oppressor with the pain felt by the oppressed is to again ignore their history. So no, we cannot call it “square and leave it alone.” 1. it’s not even, it’s an extremely lopsided square if anything. 2. this is an issue that must continually be dealt with until we can ensure that NO ONE will ever be a victim of racism. That being said, we have a long fight ahead of us.

      If you wish to cast off your ascribed label as a racist white male, I suggest you take this event and this month as an opportunity to learn and become an ally in the fight against racism, rather than to merely write it off as a “naive.” You can start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3Xe1kX7Wsc

  2. Afraid to Be Called a Racist (by saying anything moderate) (ABCAR)

    There’s nothing black-and-white about this issue. Politicians and other so-called leaders on both sides are responding only to the “easy” side of this issue. It is really a hard issue that requires deeper knowledge and understanding. On the surface, there is knee-jerk reaction, but there is underlying truth, not necessarily good v. evil. Let’s not demonize each other. Suspicion, stereotypes and labels are obstructing a view of common ground. Every ONE of us is racist if our ideology concerns race. If the thing that makes out motor run is race, than we are racist. Every ONE us who pits our race against another race is a racist. Everyone who tries to gain something from this issue is a racist. Tell it like it is.

  3. 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.

    Oh, where exactly was a speech going on? Thats right, no where, but keep plucking that chicken.

  4. Who do you think created AND perpetuated all of these stereotypes? You can ask any black teenager who their idol is and I’m willing to bet that 9 times out of 10, they will say Lil’ Wayne or some other rapper who only talks about “ghetto” things.

    Stop crying racism when all they are doing is bringing light to the fact that YOU the black people are the only ones who are responsible for ANY of this. Blame your parents….blame the ones who subscribe and purchase CD’s, go to their concerts, and PAY these rappers to promote this way of thinking. Look to yourselves for the cause before pointing the finger at other people.

    Why is it that black people are free to say and do anything they want which would be classified as “racist” and no repercussions are met. When ANY other race does the SAME thing, they are penalized for exercising one of their basic FREEDOMS in the U.S.?

    Any responses to this should be logical and not emotionally charged.

  5. Did anyone read Michael Stetz’s column today? The one about his interview over a beer with Kris (“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke!”) Gregorian? Stetz actually had a huge opportunity to say something insightful, something powerful. Something. I’m glad he told us a little bit about Gregorian who is clearly just another shock jock in the vein of Howard Stern. I knew a guy like that in college. Twisted. But then Stetz’s final sentence sums it up: “No comment.” Our Attorney General (Eric Holder Jr.) was right, “We are a nation of cowards” (when it comes to the issue of race).

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