“Stop the Invasion, Kill a Mexican!” Fear & Loathing at Cowell College

PLEASE MEET OUTSIDE OF KERR HALL 12NOON FOR A LATIN@ STATE OF EMERGENCY MEETING 5/6/11

The words “STOP THE INVASION, KILL A MEXICAN” were found today in a men’s restroom at Cowell. This is absolutely OUT-FUCKING-RAGEOUS. Despite this being a complete shock it is also not a surprise… This is only one instance of the milieu of racist/heterosexist/white supremacist graffiti throughout UCSC (click here to see more images). Such graffiti gets ignored and painted over yet when a violent threat at social sciences becomes an issue worth the administrations time they send an email and essentially shut down that portion of the campus. Where is the response for this type of graffiti? These expressions are a reflection of the campus climate here at UCSC yet there seems to be no response from the administration because it is not within the priorities of the university to address these issues. The university has been charged with anti-antisemitism and is under investigation yet seems to ignore the overabundance of violent graffiti directed at students/people of color. That is why WE MUST MAKE IT A PRIORITY FOR THEM BY SHOWING THEM WE WILL NOT TAKE THIS LYING DOWN.

This most recent expression of nativist graffiti is not only an attack on Mexicans but in fact an attack on immigrant peoples from the Americas. It is an expression of US American fears and violent hostilities that resemble that of the Tea Party or Minutemen. It is an expression that is all too common throughout the campus and throughout the nation.

I would like us to consider the particular location we are at Locally/Globally. Currently we have over 1000 indigenous/latina women raped, murdered, disappeared throughout the Americas, the US is currently involved in +3 Military engagements (Wars), the shooting of Oscar Grant, corporate welfare/bailouts, the BP oil spill, & the decline of the quality of our education, etc. When we consider these things I would like to ask:

  • What is the responsibility of the student in the global 2000s?
  • Where does our power lie and what can we demand from the university?
  • What relationship does the university assume with students of color?
  • What resources are here, where, why, how, and when will we see these resources expanded?
  • When will we see the development of a Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Department/ Third World College?

Lastly I would like us to consider that these expressions as a violence upon us and our people. What does this graffiti mean to the brown people that clean the bathrooms? What implications does this have for the safety of the student/worker? What can we begin to do?

I would imagine that we mobilize and begin thinking about what sort of demands we will make of the university/administration. I by no means wish to impose my ideas or demands but I would like to highlight some of the demands that have been made historically:

  • 1. An establishment of an Intergenerational Immigrant Resource Center, with its own physical space, as a response to the needs of undocumented students (AB540) and students from immigrant backgrounds. Funding of AB540/undocumented education through institutional aid & intervention.
  • 2. The realization of a Third World College/An Ethnic Studies Department with permanent faculty lines, a major and a minor, and a field studies component.
  • 3. The expansion of the Ethnic Resources Centers (ERC) beyond their current location, which is currently half a floor to house 4 ERC’s an example of marginalization.
  • 4. The expansion of Ethnic Resources beyond the “four food groups” (Chican@/Latin@, African American, American Indian, Asian American Pacific Islander) to represent other people of color.
  • 5. Sustained, fully-funded recruitment and retention of students from underrepresented and underserved communities. In particular, full-time recruiter in Student Admissions who will outreach to underserved communities in San Jose and East Palo Alto. Make Student Retention Services a responsibility of the University not the students.

I am confident that we can expand and realize these demands through consistent pressure from our movement! Now is the time to begin activating and demanding institutional responses to the cultural incompetency, racist/hostile climate, & unsafe locations at the UC Santa Cruz. Let seize the moment and be prepared to show the admin that we will not be silent!

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About UCSC Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES)

This blog is maintained by students throughout UCSC. We recognize that students have been working around Ethnic Studies for multiple decades and at many levels of the university. We claim no ownership over any movement or material that is produced. We ask that any materiel used from the blog is cited and used for only educational purposes. Most importantly that it is done with honor and respect for the many people who worked in the struggle for Ethnic Studies. We would also like to point out that the name Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) was created to acknowledge the intellectual development of Ethnic Studies since the beginning of this struggle. The name came from countless meetings and hours with many different undergrads, graduate students, and faculty.
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4 Responses to “Stop the Invasion, Kill a Mexican!” Fear & Loathing at Cowell College

  1. Concerned says:

    Hatred against a group of people with the threat of violence is inexcusable and should not have to be tolerated by anyone. While I’m sure we can all agree our government is failing (both at the state and federal levels), we have to look into what is causing a lot of these problems: big government and unnecessary jobs / government spending.

    Creating an organization to encourage more students to pursue higher education is a great idea, but putting that in the hands of either the university or government will only lead to further corruption and wasting money.

    If this is something the author is truly passionate about, he or she should pursue creating a grass-roots (or really any non-government) organization to encourage students of any background to consider higher education.

    For every problem we put into the hands of the government to solve, its reach dives further into our freedoms, livelihood, and pockets.

    -Concerned

  2. Armando says:

    what? all those requests because some idiot wrote that?! how would an ethnic studies major and minor reduce the ignorance of people doing this? Seriously, I am Mexican, grew up in MX, have the most noticeable mexican accent, and I have always been treated with all respect possible at ucsc. Not me or my friends have ever been discriminated against, been harassed, made fun of, or anything that made me uncomfortable. i have been here for three years, and if anything my professors put extra attention and interest in me. Instead of adding all of this extra stuff to the campus, latino students should be encouraged to pursue careers that will actually help our communities. What we really need is hispanic doctors, professors, lawyers, and legislators and not just a bunch of ethnic studies and lals majors. Most latino students dont challenge themselves enough, and all those injustices and inequalities will never disappear if we don’t move forward and become smarter about our career choices.

  3. f says:

    Please tell me more about how easy it was for you to pull yourself up by your boostraps armando.

  4. Educated Me[X]icana says:

    It’s incredibly saddening to read this article and feel empowered and grateful that people are willing and feel ambitious to expand the resources and opportunities of people of color on the UCSC campus only to find Armando’s comment at the very end. These requests shouldn’t even have to be asked for; they should already be put in place by the universities in order to see underrepresented communities thrive at the university level. These requests are being made so that people feel safe and welcome on the campus especially in light of attacks against communities such as this. These requests are being made because the university is structured to weed out those seen as less superior. These requests are made in order to keep seeing people who look like us at the university level.

    Armando, perhaps you have had an all around great experience at UCSC but that is not the case for everyone. You cannot speak for the whole Chicana/o Latina/o community and definitely not for the many other underrepresented communities that are on campus. You should see yourself lucky that you have not been discriminated, harassed, etc. against and instead see this as a privilege.

    As for your comment stating that, “latino students should be encouraged to pursue careers that will actually help our communities,” you should take a step back and ask yourself what career you think will actually help our communities. Society has constructed us to think that certain careers will get you farther or that you are smarter for majoring in the science and mathematical fields but this is not true. Regardless of what career, a person of color is pursuing, it should be enough that they are even at an institution of higher education. The fact that people of color are at the various UC’s, CSU’s, CC’s, and JC’s is a step towards helping out our communities. Through education, people within our community have the means to achieve a sense of empowerment and liberation and in going through all of this, we are able to take that education back and educate others.

    From one educated person of color to another, sit down and actually educate yourself on how these requests will aid all students. Decolonize your mind, Armando. Open your eyes to realize the realities that are happening all around you. Not everything is rainbows and butterflies and this attack reinforces that notion. There are people who are being attacked based on the identities that they hold. Our communities cannot progress when we don’t realize what is affecting our communities and how we can help ourselves out.

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