A Noose Is No Joke
A Noose found in UC San Diego Library
Racial “attacks” continue at UC San Diego causing uproars and an investigation
By Brian W. Carter
Sentinel Staff Writer
The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) has been a hotbed for racism the past couple of weeks. First, it was the “Compton Cookout;” then a campus editor threw a derogatory term in an interview, which caused a huge uproar; and now, a noose was found in the school library that has only added ‘gasoline to the racial fire.’ Whatever “racist virus” is circulating at UC San Diego, it’s continuing to circulate and infecting the campus.
The firestorm of protest was started by the “Compton Cookout,” which quickly garnered the attention of African-American legislators and Compton officials as they addressed the racist acts. Assemblyman Isadore Hall (A-52), condemned the acts along with former Speaker Karen Bass (A-47), Speaker John Perez (A-46), Compton City Attorney Craig Cornwell and a host of legislators representing the Black, Latino, Asian-Pacific Islanders and Women’s caucuses.
The party highlighted negative images of the African-American community allegedly thrown by members of the UCSD fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. Students protested in response to the party thrown off campus and called for action against those responsible.
The flames of anger were fanned even further when the editor of Koala, a campus television program, responded to African-American protesters in an interview calling them “ungrateful niggers.” When looking for evidence of the taped show, a cardboard cut out with the words “compton lynching” was found. Taped footage of the show has yet to be found.
Now a new controversy has caused a raging inferno. A noose was found in Geisel Library on the UCSD campus, prompting even more outrage. Recently, an anonymous student wrote to the Guardian, the school newspaper, apologizing for accidentally leaving the noose.
The student said that they found the rope and a friend made a noose out of it. The student also said they hung it over their desk and forgot about it. In the newspaper, they addressed the act as “a mindless act and stupid mistake” that “unintentionally added” to an already volatile situation.
UCSD official Judy Piercey identified the student as a female, minority but not African-American. She has been suspended and is under further investigation, including being possibly charged with a hate crime.
This recent incident has led students to protest at the office of the UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. She discussed the recent issues with the Black Student Union and promised to address the recent racial “attacks.” The students addressed the fact that African Americans represent only 2% of undergraduate students. Plans have been announced to bring in Black faculty members which will represent the broader interests when it comes to the student body. Fox has publicly denounced all the racially intolerant acts.
Assemblyman Hall said that a select committee will be formed, comprised of members of the assembly to address the situation.
“We will be holding a hearing in San Diego on [March] 20 where administrators, chancellors and others will be requested to testify in front of the select committee, along with other stakeholders in the community and students,” said Hall. He stated that this hearing will serve as a “fact finding” meeting.
Christine Holloway, a senior at the University of San Diego who’s active in the Black student union, talked about the atmosphere on her campus. “Right now, I know a lot of people at my university are very upset,” said Holloway. “It’s been a major topic in my ethnic studies and sociology classes.” Holloway says that the campus has been active in addressing the issues at UCSD and writing to public newspapers.
She also stated that the Black Student Union held an event on her campus called a Black Out. The discussion addressed the subject of where Black students stand on the campus in response to what is going on at UCSD.
With the help of officials and the movement for social and political awareness, UCSD can begin to move in the right direction. Unfortunately another incident has since occurred; it involved a pillow case fashioned into a Ku Klux Klan hood and placed outside the same library where the noose was found. Maybe, the fight may have just begun.