June 4th SPEAK OUT!

June 2, 2010 1 comment

Friday, June 4, 2010
12:00pm – 2:00pm
UCSD/Library Walk

March FOURTH is NOT over!!!!
On JUNE 4th Students, Workers, Professors, Lecturers, and Allies Stand United!






We stand united with the students of Puerto Rico. Together we must stop the privatization of our public education, we must fight for accessible higher education, we must boycott a system that prioritizes military and correctional spending over education, we must not accept the excuses of the regents who pretend their hands are tied.

We want to hear the voices of the students. We would like for you to share your stories and your thoughts on June 4th. Please follow the post to the google sign-up sheet below if you’re interested in addressing your peers, allies, and community. You are ALL leaders. Your stories and voices are important! We must speak out for all the students who do and will find higher education impossible to attain.


In Solidarity,
UCSD’s Coalition For Educational Justice

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Book Release: Another University Is Possible (by UCSD’s Another University Is Possible Editorial Collective)

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Click HERE to order directly from University Readers.

Between February 15 and March 4, 2010, students, staff, and faculty at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) mobilized against a well publicized sequence of racist acts on campus and the on-going privatization of higher education. Building occupations and mass rallies, media campaigns and strategic debates were all part of the ebb and flow of a movement that faced three opponents: an inept administration; a student body riddled with ignorance and racism; and decades of active hostility directed by California voters against communities of color and the idea of equality in the Golden State.

As a snapshot of a movement and a moment, this collection deliberately avoids the presentation of a straightforward, linear narrative. Instead, the speeches, poems, statements, blog commentary and photographs within are meant to capture the contours and dynamism of this struggle during these few short weeks.

Another University is Possible was compiled with the hopes that it plays a small part in much broader efforts to:

  • Document the growing movement for racial and social justice at UCSD.
  • Compliment, help sustain, and regenerate the racial justice movement at UCSD.
  • Serve as a research, teaching, and organizing resource for use by students, staff, and faculty at UCSD and beyond engaged in the study of race, the university, and collaborative social change.

The editors of this book see recent events at UCSD as an opportune moment to begin thinking about how newly articulated racisms in a time of declared “colorblindness” combine exclusion, insult, and violence against communities of color, at the same time giving rise to new forms of alliance, solidarity, and transformative movements. It is in this spirit of continued struggle that this book is offered as a piece of the on-going racial justice movement, a conversation starter for future movements, and one reminder that UCSD can be a more equitable and racially just place of higher learning.

Paperback, 194 pages
ISBN: 978-1609279-47-9; ©2010
Price: $17.95

Click HERE to order directly from University Readers.

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NASA Statement Regarding Native American Cultural Appropriation at Sungod

May 17, 2010 5 comments

To whom it may concern:

On Friday May 14th, 2010 at UCSD’s annual Sungod Festival, UCSD students dressed in mock Native American attire, including, but not limited to, painted faces, feathers, and headdresses. This act is disrespectful and degrading to the traditions and culture of Natives as the attire is sacred to many Native American tribes. Acts like this perpetuate negative stereotypes of Native American culture, breeding the insensitivity and misunderstanding that is already plaguing our university. Actions should be taken to properly educate the UCSD community (students, faculty, staff, and Alumni) on Native American culture and issues. As students at UCSD we should not have to see our cultures mocked and ridiculed during a student sponsored event taking place at our university.

Native American students were forced to witness these acts of disrespect and see their peers mocking and degrading what is considered to be sacred attire in many of the Native American cultures. Though the university was awakened to issues of diversity and campus climate at UCSD in the past few months, based on these numerous incidents of disrespect it is apparent that the university needs to take more action to promote diversity and cultural awareness among the UCSD community (particularly with regard to the Native American community with whom the university has had a long history of discontent).

The denigrating acts are a product of the ever-diminishing Native American presence on UCSD: UCSD’s Native American undergraduate population is less that 1%, there are few (if any) Native American Faculty, there are very few classes taught on Native American issues and there is still no Native American Studies Minor. These are just a few factors that allow acts of ignorance such as those carried out during Sungod to take place.

While the Native presence at UCSD is small, there is no excuse for the lack of knowledge and representation that the students and local Native American community feel from the university. The university needs to increase their efforts to outreach to the local Native American community. Members of the Native American Student Alliance have worked to bring the American Indian Recruitment (AIR) Program to UCSD. While we would like to see this program flourish at UCSD, it is difficult to do so without the university showing that they would like to see a strong Native presence at UCSD. With the repatriation of local Kumeyaay remains, more classes centered around Native American Studies, increased Native staff and faculty and the institutionalization of the AIR Program at UCSD, the overall tolerance and knowledge of Native American issues will improve along with the current campus climate issue.

Given the recent humiliating incidences of cultural insensitivity at Sungod, the Native American Student Alliance strongly urges the UCSD administration to hold a meeting in order to address the pressing issues of the UCSD Native American community as mentioned above and discuss more specifically the ways in which these goals can be carried out. On Friday May 21st members of the UCSD Native American community will be meeting with UCSD administration to address the recent developments in the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) with respect to the “culturally unidentifiable” remains. We strongly suggest that our meeting take place in conjunction with, if not immediately after, the meeting discussing the remains.


UCSD Native American Student Alliance

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Protest in Support of Prof. Ricardo Dominguez and the Principle of Academic Freedom

April 6, 2010 4 comments


Ricardo Dominguez (Associate Professor, Visual Arts Department) is currently being investigated by the University of California for the “Virtual Sit-In on University of California Office of the President” project he developed in conjunction with the recent March 4th student protests on campus.

In response to this act of Electronic Civil Disobedience, University officials have initiated the process of revoking Prof. Dominguez’ tenure and bringing criminal charges against him. Indeed, Prof. Dominguez has already been subject to questioning by UCSD detectives.

Furthermore, it is evident that the assault on Prof. Dominguez’ academic freedom is in part being instigated by local political forces who have chosen to take issue with his larger research on the significance of technology with respect to the safety of transborder immigrants.

As concerned faculty and students at UCSD, we contend that these actions not only undercut Prof. Dominguez’ physical safety but also threaten the academic freedom and tenure of all faculty, especially those who have been working to address and improve the toxic climate at UCSD.

Moreover, given the statements made in support of racial justice by President Yudof and the Board of Regents at last week’s meeting, we are deeply troubled by the institutional attack being waged against an internationally known and respected Latino faculty member, while groups like the Koala that deploy ignorant and hateful rhetoric against our communities continue to be tacitly protected by the institution.

We recognize the attack on Prof. Dominguez as an alarming instance not only of the policing of academic thought but also of the disciplining of dissent.

As part of the institutional investigation, Prof. Dominguez will be meeting with University officials on Thursday, April 8th at 10 AM in the Visual Arts Administrative Office.

In order to show our support for Prof. Dominguez and the principles of academic freedom, we call on the UCSD community to participate in a SILENT MARCH and A READING OF LETTERS OF PROTEST outside the office for the duration of the meeting.


9.45 AM: Gather at the Silent Tree on Library Walk

10.00 AM: March to Mandeville Center (Visual Arts Administrative Office, for a map to the Mandeville building, click HERE) – SILENT MARCH and READING OF LETTERS OF SUPPORT PROTEST for the duration of the meeting. (Please note: we ask that participants NOT disrupt the meeting through any form of loud noise or physical acts.) Prof. Dominguez and bang.lab researchers have requested that people once they have gathered in front of the Visual Arts Administrative Office to READ from the Letters of Support they have received. (These letters of support will be handed out at the start of the gathering).


More background information about what this is all about, click HERE.

For today’s Union-Tribune article about the UC’s offensive against Prof. Dominguez, click HERE.

Also, check out the letter that the faculty coalition just sent to Vice Chancellor Drake (see below):

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UC Regents Meet to Discuss Campus Racial Emergencies

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

So you might have heard that the UC Regents are meeting to discuss recent campus racial emergencies and how these relate to the atrocious lack of diversity accross the system. For more on that, click HERE.

UC Regent Live is providing excellent liveblog coverage of these proceedings. For more on that, click HERE and HERE.

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Call for Extending the Asian American and API Coalition to International Students

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I am Yin Wang, a graduate student of Literature. The past few weeks have had transformative impacts on me. Like everyone here, I was saddened at first hearing the racist events broke out in our university. Within only a few days, I found many among my friends and colleagues a deep, intimately shared rage and pain, which erupted not just for the events, but for the inertial bureaucratic machine and a large number of apathetic onlookers. I have never felt more connected with them, and people in the rallies that sharply dissect institutional injustices on race. For this meeting, I wish to make the call that the current coalition we are now making should extend to international students.

First of all, our shared feelings thus far have proved we are all involved in the struggle against white supremacy, which has dominated US history long enough. Experience with racism is known to be unavoidable to people of color and underrepresented minorities. It is as unavoidable as to first-generation immigrants and foreign residents, when they are at vulnerable positions, when they are not sheltered by privileges of class and skin color. This is a struggle against discriminations that non-white peoples in this country have endured for centuries.

International students need your support, now and always. In any society, marginalized groups are not only underrepresented at all times, but disrepresented and misrepresented at moments of crises. This has happened several times to African Americans and Chicanos, to Japanese Americans after World War II, and to Muslims after 911. No one can foretell who will be the next target when another crisis comes, but we know the “foreigners” are prone to be singled out in those times. Indeed, I wish to underscore the point that most foreign students live multiple senses of the word “alien.”  They are removed from their immediate family, community, language and culture. Their right to stay is dependent on their commitment to work and study, but they are easily forgotten, oftentimes left out by most resources and organized activism. If the past few weeks have taught us that no one is alone in being turned to “aliens” at certain unexpected points, we also learn no one can afford to be alone in fighting such fights.

Racism today is operated not simply through skin color, but frequently through nationality. Stereotypes of nations are imposed upon people, usually by branding them as culpable individuals and attacking them on personal levels. Foreign students are not alone in being treated as permanent outsiders, and yet, once they are assaulted, it is most likely that such incidents will never become an issue. We should work together now to prevent such things happening, because they are wrong, and because they practically concern everyone who shares the danger of being excluded from the racialized US national body.

The coalition will be much stronger when it is extended to international students. It is the time to recognize the political presence of foreign students, who constitute more than 5% of the undergraduates, and more than 20% of the graduates. Adding them to the coalition will add the weight on pressuring the administration. For one thing, a racist image of UCSD will harm the university’s future recruitment of students and faculty, nationally and internationally. Since now out-of-state students and scholars are seen as a promising source of revenue and labor, we believe the high will truly hear us. For another, racist violence will continue to happen if the university does nothing at present. We have to stand united to tell the university that we do not allow it to happen to anybody, and the united powerful presence of us will effectively push the administration to do its work to save itself from complicated legal and even transnational implications.

This statement was first presented by myself at the Meeting for Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders of UCSD in Support of BSU, March 8, 2010. For thoughts and discussions before penning the earlier version, my heartfelt thanks go to fellow graduate students Chien-ting Lin and Ling Han. For advices and comments graciously given in the process of revision, I am most indebted to Yu-Fang Cho, Shih-szu Hsu, and Su Yun Kim. I am grateful for the inspiration and encouragement from teachers at Department of Literature, UCSD, and warmest support from friends in California and Taiwan. All responsibility for this statement is mine. -Y.W.

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LA Times Op-Ed: Don’t sweat the buffoons

March 16, 2010 2 comments

Buffoons on college campuses are not heavyweight racists. The real villains — far more subtle — are those who believe in their own superiority.

bv: Gregory Rodriguez, 3.8.2010

News flash from UC San Diego: Party-animal frat boys sometimes engage in stupid, offensive and even racist stunts!

For weeks now, outrage over a fraternity party that encouraged guests to mimic and mock ghetto culture has embroiled the campus in La Jolla in old-school political theater. Then, in a separate incident, a noose was left in a university library (a student anonymously took responsibility and apologized). And finally, a pillowcase made to look like a KKK hood appeared atop a statue of Dr. Seuss.

In a diverse society, such incidents — which draw cleavages between groups — should be taken seriously. But such antics really don’t signify our race problem today, and no one should think that indignation, marches, sit-ins and “days of action” against buffoonery constitute an effective struggle against racism. It might be satisfying to draw lines against the clowns, but it diminishes the difficulty of the real challenge before us.

Racism exists; it’s still a significant inhibitor of social and economic progress. And given the country’s majority-minority future,we simply can’t afford not to be preparing more minorities for positions of authority and leadership.

This isn’t the unsubtle, in-your-face racism of your imagination. The real bad guys aren’t the easy to caricature toothless hillbillies of television dramas or some overweight, tobacco-chewing Southern sheriff straight out of a half-century-old Life magazine. They don’t leave nooses as calling cards.

Somewhere along the line, the fight against genuinely entrenched racism — the kind that keeps millions from achieving their dreams — turned into a slapstick struggle against ill-behaved clowns like Michael Richards, John Mayer and foolish frat boys.

A few years ago, while I was in Mississippi, I met a prominent self-described white supremacist who didn’t need a Klan hood to do more than his part to oppress African Americans. During the height of segregation, he didn’t torch crosses in the dark of night; instead, he wore a suit and tie and put the economic squeeze on fellow whites who didn’t toe his racist line. In my presence, he never once cursed blacks or used the “N-word.” You can be a highly effective racist without all the obvious trappings.

Click HERE for the rest of the article.

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