1. Breaking News: Ku Klux Klan-like hood found on the statue of Theodore Geisel at the UCSD Library
The head librarian at UCSD has just confirmed rumors that yet another racially-tinged incident has occurred at the Geisel Library. Last night, at about 11:15pm students reported to Libraries staff that someone had put a Ku Klux Klan-like hood on the statue of Dr. Seuss [Theodore Geisel] on the forum level of the Geisel Library. Campus police–who were called and are investigating the incident—promptly removed the hood.
We don’t have pictures of this incident yet but we’ll post them as soon as we get them. -J.F.
[Note: due to the absurdity of the image of Dr. Seuss (Thedore Geisel) wearing a KKK hood, some people are wondering whether this is some sort of risqué artist’s statement, given Dr. Seuss’ history of drawing racist propaganda in his early years. For more on that, click HERE. Also, today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which makes it more likely that it’s intended to make a point about the man and what he symbolizes for UCSD. However, as one Professor just noted to me, “it seems anyone in tune enough to know the history of Theodore Geisel or of San Diego as “Klan Diego” would know enough to leave a sign, or something to more clearly articulate the politics behind the act”].
Update 8:30PM from the San Diego Union-Tribune: “KKK-style pillowcase found at UCSD; noose sent to city attorney”
2. For Your Teaching Toolkits:
- A 2007 article published in Colorlines titled “The Rise of the Ghetto-Fabulous Party.” Important historical and political context for the “Compton Cookout” to share with friends, colleagues, students.
3. Other Statements and Articles from around the internet
- LA Times editorial, “Beyond the Compton Cookout”
- The UC Center for New Racial Studies, Statement on Racism in the UC System
- “Stuff White People Do: Promote Hollow Forms of Diversity Instead of Fighting Racism (e.g. UCSD)”, Guest post by UCSD Literature PhD student Scott Boehm
- CNN video: “Is UCSD a Racist Campus?” featuring the chair of BSU and Prof. Sara Clarke Kaplan of the Dept. of Ethnic Studies, UCSD
- The Christian Science Monitor, “Racist Acts at UC San Diego Underscore Deeper Tensions on Campus”
- San Francisco Chronicle editorial, “Racist ‘cookout’ pollutes UC San Diego”
- “A noose is never just a noose. And it’s not just your fault alone that you didn’t know that. The university where you go to school bears some responsibility for not funding ethnic studies, for obscuring the history of people of color in this country, for cutting funding for recruitment and retention programs that would make UCSD a vibrant, racially diverse campus. The state must be held accountable for making public education inaccessible to Blacks, Latinos, Native American, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander students.” – excerpt from “How Exactly Does a Lasso Turn into a Noose? And Other Thoughts on UC Campus Racism“, Colorlines blog