An Open Letter from the Campus Community Centers Regarding 2/13 Weekend Events
This past weekend, a number of events have occurred that have deeply impacted our community. The inciting incident was the advertising of an off campus party with racist themes. The subsequent events include many responses from numerous quarters of our campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater San Diego community.
Deeply troubling is, while this event clearly targeted historical contributions of African Americans, equally insidious messages were present. The blatant misogyny, glaring class issues, and subtle heterosexism are intertwined throughout the obvious racism. The references to men and women, when juxtaposed, highlight a vast difference in how gender, relationships and class intersect into stereotype, myth and denigration.
This incident underscores the important nature of the work around intersectionality. When one group is targeted, all of our communities are impacted. Incidents such as these, when they happen, can serve to disaffect those from other marginalized communities as well, and pit folks against each other in a hierarchy of oppression.
There were opportunities to stop this event from happening. When individuals expressed concerns about the nature of the party, were they heard? Building community on our campus provides opportunities where these voices can have an impact on decisions that peers make. Critical dialogue can be uncomfortable, but creates a campus climate where all people are valued.
Our communities cannot be bystanders to events such as this. It cannot be “Oh, look what is happening to ‘that’ group…” We are deeply connected as members of the UC San Diego community, and what affects one of us affects all of us. It is how we react from our places of privilege that is the true testament of community building.
What we do now, in support and in community with those who have been the most affected, reflects the mission of the Campus Community Centers, which includes the belief that ending one oppression requires ending all oppression.
We invite you to continue the dialogue with us, and to join the teach in on Wednesday, February 24th from 12-2pm at the Price Center East Ballroom.