I am proud of students who took action today at UC San Diego. I know the school had very good intentions, but a “teach-in” on racial tolerance was likely seen as a politically correct band-aid. Talk is not what these students want. They want action. They want to feel that they are in an environment where racists are taken to task when they do bold things, like throwing a neo-blackface party. A long seminar on racial tolerance is like workplace sexual harassment classes. Everyone in the room nods and says they understand. What would you expect them to do, defend their right to grab their secretary’s butt or tell a couple penis jokes? Keep fighting kids. Even if you don’t see the results you want, you will not leave that University with regrets.
LA Times: Nine days after an off-campus student party mocked Black History Month, UC San Diego went through a day of protests, tumult and self-examination Wednesday, especially concerning the small number of African American students enrolled at the beachside campus.
University administrators sponsored a teach-in on racial tolerance that attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 1,200 students, faculty and staff to an auditorium in the student center. But halfway through what was to be a two-hour session in response to the offensive racial stereotypes at the Feb. 15 “Compton Cookout” party, most students walked out in protest.
They then held their own noisy but peaceful rally outside the building. Administrators may have thought the teach-in “would make us quiet,” said Fnann Keflezighi, vice chairman of the Black Student Union. But she said minority students don’t believe that UC San Diego will take significant steps to make them feel more comfortable on campus and increase their numbers.
The controversial party, she and others contended, was just the spark that ignited new activism about long-simmering issues at the university. Many wore special black and white T-shirts that proclaimed: “Real Pain, Real Action, 1.3%” — a reference to the percentage of African Americans among the campus’ undergraduates, thought to be the lowest in the UC system.
Black History Month is coming to an end. Only 5 more shopping days to express your excessive negro pride.
In honor of our Mulatto president, who is SO not tragic, I think you should go on over to the Hello Negro Shop…Today…and purchase one of our “I’m not a Tragic Mullato” shirts for your favorite mixed race friend or loved one. I created this shirt for my niece who is 1/2 black, 1/4 white, & 1/4 hispanic. Just in case you don’t know what “The Tragic Mullato” here’s some background information.
You can also pick up a great Hello Negro tee as well. We’ll be posting some new designs really soon. Got any ideas?
The LA Times is reporting that UC San Diego administration and local civil rights activists have condemned a student party themed “Compton Cookout” in honor of Black History Month.
Campus administrators said Wednesday that they were investigating whether the off-campus party, held Monday, and its Facebook invitation violated the university’s code of conduct and whether its sponsors should be disciplined. Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity were identified as among the organizers, but the fraternity president has criticized the event and said his club did not sponsor it.
Promising a taste of “life in the ghetto,” the Facebook invitation contained many racist stereotypes. For example, it urged women to dress as “ghetto chicks” who “usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes.” It said the menu would include chicken and watermelon.
History professor Danny Widener, who directs the university’s African American studies program, said he was outraged but not surprised by the party. He said African American students comprise less than 2% of undergraduates at UC San Diego, which he described as inhospitable to them. “The campus climate is one in which you are constantly regarded as a statistical anomaly at best,” he said. [Source: LA Times | Full Article]
My Opinion: If we in the Black Community continue to allow so-called “ghetto fabulous” culture to be the predominant export from our urban sector, we will continue to see incidents like this. When one travels around the globe, you see people of all races and creeds mimicking urban culture, especially hip hop culture. If we don’t want to see young, white college students mocking this same culture, we have to be aware and accountable. If we don’t want to see black culture boiled down to clothing, bling and speech patterns, we have to stop promoting images, music, etc. that are not affirming. If “ghetto” is not balanced by a more complete pictures of African-Americans, what do we really expect to happen. There is work to do, and with a void of leadership and strong national movements, each individual has to do their part. Consider whether the movies, television show, and music you consume contribute to a positive world view of the Black community.
I’m so, so, so tired of hearing the same ole Black History facts regurgitated over and over again. Martin fought and marched, George Washington Carver invented 400 products with either sweet potatoes or peanuts as the main ingredient. Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask and the traffic signal. Marion Anderson sang, Jesse Owens shamed the Nazis, and Frederick Douglas fought for FREEDOM.
That’s great, I love it. However, I don’t want to be told a whole lot of facts that I already know over and over again. I learned about these black heroes and black achievements in grade school. We colored pictures of MLK and Frederick Douglas. I want to know some different Black History facts. Here are some facts.
- The banjo originated in Africa, and until the 1800s was considered an instrument only played by Blacks.
- Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, patented a wrench in 1922.
- Buffalo Soldiers is the name given to all Black regiments of the U.S. army starting in 1866. The last Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews age 111, died in 2005.
- “Strange Fruit” the song about lynching made famous by Billie Holiday was originally a poem by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.
- The Rolling Stones took their name from the song “Rollin’ Stone” by McKinley Morganfield aka. Muddy Waters.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed by an mentally deranged African American Woman in 1958 in Harlem at a book signing in Blumestein’s department store.
- Philadelphia was known as “the Black Capital of Anti-Slavery” because of the strong abolitionist presence.
- Wally “Famous Amos” Amos was a talent agent at the William Morris Agency where he worked with the Supremes and Simon & Garfunkle. He founded his cookie company in 1975 with a recipe from his aunt.
These are just a few facts that aren’t commonly discussed during Black History Month. I’m sure you can think of a few more.