Our union stands in solidarity with the UCI Black Student Union in their response to anti-Black racism on campus.
If you have not individually responded to the call, there is still time to do so (scroll down to the bottom)!
To: Chancellor Michael Drake, Office of the Chancellor
CC: Vice Chancellor Parham, Office of Student Affairs
From: Irvine UAW Local 2865
May 2, 2003
We are writing to support the call for action presented by the UCI Black Student Union in response to the anti-Black racist actions that recently occurred within the context of the UC Irvine campus. The use of blackface by members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity needs to be understood within the long history of anti-Black racism and violence both on our campus and within our larger society. We have seen a long history of anti-Black racist actions, ranging from racist fraternity events, to everyday acts of anti-Black violence and aggression on and surrounding the UC Irvine campus. These actions must be understood within the structures of exclusion and privilege that pervade not only the University of California school system, but the country at large. This includes UC Irvine’s systematic defunding of academic programs devoted to the critical study of issues surrounding race, class, and gender. To be clear, these blackface performances should NOT be understood as exceptional or abnormal but simply as an example of what Black students, and Black people, navigate on a daily basis.
Within that context, we stand in solidarity with the BSU in demanding that the University of California-Irvine administration take a number of specific actions in order to begin the process of changing the environment on our campus.
1. We demand to see an official punitive policy in place for future transgressions against the Black community.
2. We demand to see the UCI African American Studies program fortified into a department.
3. We demand that UCI follow its established principles and truly enforce its zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and violence.
4. We demand that UCI take accountability for the mistreatment and neglect of its Black students.
Irvine UAW 2865
THE OFFICIAL UCI BLACK STUDENT UNION STATEMENT – PLEASE CIRCULATE!
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 freshman 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” 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 multiple promotion 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 world-wide issue. AntiBlackness and racism is reproduced within each UC campus, whether in the form of nooses at UC San Diego or Ku Klux Klan hoods in 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 Official BSU Statement is here: http://thespeakingspook.tumblr.com/post/48941617005
and the call was made here: http://thespeakingspook.tumblr.com/post/49292209101