An Open Letter From The Black Student Union
University of California and its affiliates,
We, the Black Student Union, will no longer stand for the continuous disrespect of our community.
How many of our freshmen will have to move out of their dorms due to racial harassment?
How many times will we be disrespected and demonized for asking questions in class?
How many times will we be spat at and have trash thrown at us while walking to the ARC?
How many times will we be called “nigger” outside of Albertsons?
How many times will we be publicly embarrassed and harassed at campus bus stops?
In 2011, our campus allowed Pippin Commons to host a chicken and waffles dinner “in honor of” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2012, Pi Beta Phi felt it appropriate to give a “Once you go Black, you never go back” award.
This year, Alpha Phi and Phi Psi felt it appropriate to decorate a fraternity paddle with the words “slave driver” and “little slave” on it.
This week, Lambda Theta Delta felt it appropriate to use Blackface in a promotion video. This is not the first time such an act has been seen in one of their videos.
Although it is easy to cite Greek organizations as perpetrators of racism, this is not a Greek issue. This is more than that. It is also more than an individual issue. This is a UC system-wide issue, and ultimately, a worldwide issue. Anti-Blackness and racism is reproduced within each UC campus, whether in the form of nooses at UC San Diego or Ku Klux Klan hoods at UC Davis.
What all of these actions have in common is a lack of respect, a lack of accountability and a disregard of particular students’ well being on campus.
Because these actions — not to mention the more mundane and less publicized forms of violence — continue to occur despite repeated outcry for justice, apologies are no longer enough. It has never been enough, and it will never be.
We, the Black Student Union, will no longer stand for this.
We demand that WHEN (not if) another incident of organized racism occurs on this campus, official punitive policies will be utilized and in place to address the perpetrators.
We will repeat: the Black Student Union will no longer stand for this.
While there is racism, we will not rest.
The UCI Black Student Union Co-Chairs can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.