Perspectives from 1968

In our fight for Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, we of course have to be aware of the origins of this particular fight, and other struggles on this campus in the past.

Below, a few newspaper clippings from 1968-69 reveal a few of the responses to the Black Liberation Movement’s proposal to make the seventh college at UCSC a black college, Malcolm X College.

(note: if the images are too small, click to zoom in. Transcripts are available, click here.)

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Image: a newspaper clipping from 1968, with the title "Black College Proponents Ask Public Learn About Malcolm X"

After Bill Moore’s proposal, a politician campaigning for Senate, Max Rafferty, claimed “Only a racist would support such a thing.”

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Image: a newspaper clipping with title "Rafferty Opposes Black College At UCSC"

The San Francisco chronicle followed up on the situation with a clear attempt to portray Moore as irrational, or as an “angry black man.” (Note: these two images are the same article, read down the left column then up to the top portion)

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Image: a newspaper clipping from 1968 titled "Black College Backer Answers Critics"

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Image: a newspaper clipping continuing article "Black College Backer Answers Critics"

In the last article, the San Francisco Chronicle reports on various weak efforts by the UCSC administration to respond to the proposal, revealing in the process that “there is now only one course in the four existing colleges “which could be said to be clearly “Afro – American Studies.”” 

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Image: a newspaper clipping from 1969 titled "Minority Studies At Santa Cruz"

“In addition,” the Senate warned,  “we feel it is imperative that we avoid the panic with which some institutions have reacted to (such) requests or demands…”

That “panic” was happening simultaneously at UC Berkeley as the Third World Liberation Front entered into its eighth day on strike for an autonomous Third World College!

Thanks to M for allowing us to use these clippings that he took the time to research at the Santa Cruz Public Library, where these records are available to the public.


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Mujer Con Poder

Please step out of your body and try to understand mine

Because when I walk at night I feel so alone and blind.

I look to my left and I look to my right, and I see men like you staring at me with your beady little eyes looking down my spine.

And I walk in fear and live in fear not just for myself but for my daughter, my sister, my mother, and my grandmother.

Because as womyn we have two heads to hold and two things to carry: our body and dignity.

And even though I’m covered from head to toe, because it is cold, you still know I’m a womin.

Is it because I have two things popping out of me? Or is it the innocence in my eyes and the hesitance I have when a male walks by?

So listen up little fucker.

You only think with your two inch thing


You may try to succeed and steal that one thing that keeps me- me.

My virginity, my pride, my womanhood but you will never forget this voice, because as long as I got my soul, I will continue to shout, write, and shame you to hell. Because my body, and her body, and their body is one thing you shall never take.

Of course, you can take my body literally and take it physically.

But you cannot take something that I control and respect so dearly.

My body, my temple, my home, my space.

Un lugar de cambio, un lugar de dolar, y un lugar de felicidad.

So step back you piece of shit, because when you invade my space, you are colonizing my freedom.

My freedom to exist as a mujer con poder.

This is not an attempt to fetishize womyn and their virginity. This is not a poem to put down womyn who are sexually active nor to demean ones who are virgins. Often, as mujeres we are stuck in a dichotomy. We are taught different things by different people. If you’re Latina and grew up in a Catholic family like me, you might’ve been taught by your church and relatives to stay a virgin until the day you wed. Or you might’ve been taught through social mediums like television that staying a virgin is prudish and uptight. I’m not trying to argue for one or the other, but rather I’m trying to demonstrate how frustrating it can be to be a womyn walking alone on the streets. I’m not talking about the hood right now. Just being a plain ole simple person- una mujer- who rarely wears make up or clothing that is revealing. The first portion of this poem was written a while back and from the tone I can tell that it must’ve been right as I got home after walking alone one evening in the simple average de-average streets of a good ole’ suburban town [Santa Cruz]. The place is not the issue, because this is something that occurs everywhere.

This fear- this fear of being raped and molested has been instilled in me since I was a young little girl. I remember my mother being so strict and never letting me sleepover at my friends’ houses. I was young and didn’t understand. I just wanted to have fun and do silly little activities at peoples’ houses. I felt my mother was being unjust, but she was only trying to protect me. My two older sisters were molested at a really young age, and my mother wanted to protect me from the pain and trauma they will forever carry. And this worry, this fear, this pain continues. I see it in my mother’s face that she feels partially responsible, but who could ever predict that this would happen to their child? You want to believe in people and trust them…But you can’t even trust your family. I know it’s disheartening, right? Fathers’ touching their own daughters…Uncles getting too close to their nieces… I know this isn’t only a female issue, but all I can speak on is from what I’ve experienced as a womyn, a person who once was a little girl.

My mother used to explain to me as little kid to never let anyone touch me inappropriately. She told me if anyone ever started touching me to run away and yell. I can vividly remember her reiterating and reiterating that no one should ever touch me in the no-no areas. When we had guests sleep over at the house, she would force me to sleep in her room by her side, in fear of the worse. She would rather have me in her room, than unprotected in the company of others.  No matter who the guests were, she felt you could never be too cautious. This fear, this worry, that pain…It still lives. I’ve babysat my nephew in my spare time for the past six years and I do not trust him with others. I have internalized this fear of him being molested. I do not trust him with other people but especially men. People say I baby my nephew- & perhaps I do. But part of spoiling him and babying him is really my fear and my way of not having him alone with other people. I’d rather have him by side where I know he will be protected.

…A poem about walking alone at night…has suddenly turned into a little article about a piece of my life. I know this may sound ridiculous, but it’s just when I’m alone at night and I see a man walk by, I don’t notice his race or even his face. I just notice his gender, and my body and mind automatically make conclusions. I honestly begin to fear the worse, I watch my back, quicken my pace, and keep my phone by my side.

Four years ago: I was once crossing the bridge on Soquel after watching Architecture in Helsinki play at the Rio. I was with my friend, and we were both first years. She was on the phone with her boyfriend, and she was immersed in the conversation. Yards ahead I noticed this older looking male walking our way. I automatically got into my cautious zone, and kept my eyes on him. There is a cement divider on the bridge on Soquel, so I crossed over the divider. As my friend happened to hang up the phone, the man was approaching her while mumbling and sticking his hand down his pants. She froze, and I was able to lift her over the cement divider and we ran all the way to the metro station without looking back. Although, we were fortunate enough to escape the situation, there are many people who are victims to unwanted sexual attention. From physical touching to unwanted cat calls, it is so frustrating and annoying being a mujer sometimes, it doesn’t matter the neighborhood you are in. You are still at risk in my opinion. Call me paranoid, call me what you want, I can’t help how I feel. I don’t understand how people can commit sexual abuse. It pains me to hear stories of womyn being hurt. Rape is horrible, but it is a tool that has been used in war. It is something that people use to delegitimize a womyn. Hopefully, someday we will live in a society, when a mujer does not have to constantly worry about being raped. Hopefully, someday in the future I can have children and not worry about them being molested. Where is my perfect utopian society where everyone is equal? Relationships are respected and isms do not exist. People are happy and murder does not exist. Unfortunately, we are human and we make mistakes, I’ll probably have to wait for death [and hopefully a heaven exists] to live that fantasy life, but until then I’ll keep striving and fighting for social justice.

“Fighting Unconditionally Beyond All Repair/Recognition”

Follow up: Discussing sexual abuse can be so taboo and uncomforable for people to talk about. There is so much trauma that stays with the victim. Then there’s the offender- which poses difficult unanswered questions such as: why do they commit the action? Were they sexually abused as a child or did they suffer from some sort of traumatic or neglected childhood? Or do they suffer from a mental illness? Therefore, are sexual abusers socially created by their environment or is it something that some people are genetically created to do? These questions are difficult, because no one is really sure why people rape or molest, and the uncertainty in life causes us to become anxious and afraid. Just take a look around our society; that is why we lock people away. Obviously, imprisonment and isolation does not properly rehabilitae people who’ve broken laws, but we continue to incarcerate people anyway. Is it because it is much easier to dispose of these people by putting them away, so we don’t have to actually face them?

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i’ve been meaning to get this published for sometime now. it is a great read and hope you get something from it. the essay below was written by a number of students from different majors and was presented in a sociology class at ucsc.

“Que(R)ying of literature/fiction/history/geography is telling our histories. Allowing our histories to speak to one another to tell a different kind of truth. To establish that these different radical discursive spaces that are continually changing as our identities morph into different beings. As we move away from heteronormative structures to a different kind of accepting of queer. So that queer can then be centralized as Qwo-li Driskill says, it diminishes this heteropatriarchial structure because it challenges it.

Students at University of California Santa Cruz are working with Critical Race and Ethnic Studies as a political and decolonizing project that challenges structures of power and domination. Through our research we found the institution perpetuates Colonialism/Genocide, Capitalism/Slavery, and War/Orientalism which Andrea Smith calls the “Heteropatriarchy and the three pillars of White Supremacy.”

The project of our ‘Zine leads us to examine queer studies and queer intersectionalities with a critical and analytical lens. While taking a more Radical Pedagogy approach to education by looking at literature, fiction, history, and geography and images that make sense to our lives gaining a general understanding of the power behind queer. This is including parts of our hearts and souls and placing them in history mapping the queer subject into our text. By showing different movements of queer history to be unearthed, we find that many books and scholars remain in the heteronormaitve binary of Western thought. We have learned there are multiple ways to queer a subject that is located in literature, fiction, history, and geography through the process of queering.

This process of queering subjects is not limited to spaces that the queer inhabit, but the movement into different space allows for this queering process to happen. One can only see the presence of queerness, when there is friction prevalent within this hierarchal patriarchal structure. We argue, this is decolonizing the university in itself, giving presence to those who have been silenced by the very Power structures we described.

As our paper also suggest, War is at a constant presence surrounding the queer subject, which perpetuates the “othering” that is created by the Nation-state. This “othering” is happening in different parts of history, which is being encompassed by the political project of ethnic studies. Critical Race and Ethnic Studies would give justice to those histories not told within history books allowing Non-Western and queer understandings of the world to have a claim in the university. The way that we centralize queer is a radical understanding that challenges the Nation-state and the universities inability to work outside of oppressive power dynamics.

We have argued that Critical Race and Ethnic Studies can work to critique and challenge power structures and allow for a space of libratory education for queer understandings and knowing. As one looks through the zine they will find the designers have looked at literature, fiction, history, geography trying to understand how Queer liberation is a project of importance at the university.  It is our understanding that this project can provide the tools necessary to continue the resistance towards dominant and hegemonic ways of understanding.”

the essay was originally supplied with a pretty radical and expressive zine. i would also like to thank the students for this contribution to the blog.


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Event tonight! “Police State Oppression: From Malcolm X to Oscar Grant and the SHU”

Don’t miss this screening/talk tonight at 6:30!!

Barrios Unidos
1817 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Hajj Malcolm Shabazz will be speaking about the new book, “The Re-Invention of Malcolm X”, by Manning Marable which slanders his grandparents.

JR, the Minister of Information will also be screening his film, “Operation Small Axe.” This film takes a raw and unflinching look at life under police terrorism in Oakland. Through the stories of Oscar Grant ,Lovelle Mixon and Minister of information JR Valrey, the film focuses on the occupation of Oakland’s communities of color by militarized and racist police forces. Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle on January 1st of this year. On March 21st, Lovelle Mixon was killed by Oakland police after having allegedly shot five OPD officers, killing four. directed and produced by Adimu Madyun

Manuel LaFontaine from “All of Us Or None” and other strike supporters will give an update on the SHU prisoner hunger strike happening at Pelican Bay State Prison and Corcoran State Prison since July 1.

Q & A will follow the film and speakers.

The event will be hosted by Block Report Radio, KPFA Morning Mix’s, the Santa Cruz Community Coalition to Overcome Racism, and the Watsonville Brown Berets

(summary by santa cruz indymedia)

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In Need of Witnesses

Reposted from

Last Fall, on November 17th, 2010, the UC Regents voted to increase student fees; students and workers turned out to demonstrate against the Regents’ harmful decisions. On this day several arrests were made of student demonstrators including notably Peter Howell and Eric Wilson. Howell was arrested after one police officer lost control of his baton and drew his pistol on a crowd of protesting students, while Wilson was arrested after an incident in a stairwell. Both Howell and Wilson have been met with serious charges (see below), and have had their lives considerably disturbed by these series of events. They go to court in less than two weeks and they are both in desperate need of witnesses of their respective incidents to testify at the trials. Their legal counsel expect the trial to last approximately a week, and have confirmed that it will take place in San Francisco. Please leave a comment on this blog and leave your contact information if you witnessed these incidents. Your contact information will be forwarded to Howell and Wilson’s legal counsel, and will otherwise remain confidential*. If you know people that attended the November 17th, 2010 Regents’ Meeting protest, please forward them this link and spread the word!

Read more:

Peter Howell is charged with:

1) Penal Code section 148(b): removal of baton from Officer Kemper

2) Penal Code section 243(b): battery on a police officer (Kemper)

3) Penal Code section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) Penal Code section 406: Rout: attempted riot

Eric Wilson is charged with:

1) PC section 243(c)(2): battery with injury on an officer (Officer Bolano)

2) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Bolano and Sgt. Acuna)

3) PC section 148(a)(1): resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer (Officer Suttles)

4) PC section 406: Rout: attempted riot.

*Comments must be approved by a moderator before it appears public. So, the comments will remain unpublished.

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Amor por Palestine

Our comrades have put great effort into putting together this video on the recent hate speech at UCSC against Palestine. Please educate yourself & others!





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ACTION: Call Mayor Coonerty; Plus Video of Classroom Takeover

Mayor Ryan Coonerty of Santa Cruz refused to listen to the community and did not vote for the Trust Act. The Trust Act would have allowed Santa Cruz to Opt-Out of S-COMM. The S-COMM program has come under heavy criticism across the country where the State of Illinois and the State of New York has suspended it.  S-COMM, also know as “secure communities” makes no one safer and targets and threatens innocent  immigrant communities with mass deportation.

Last week 50 activist, including the Brown Berets took over Mayor Coonerty’s classroom where he teaches a class called “Democracy and the Law” at UCSC. The Brown Berets read a statement to Mayor Coonerty and allowed for the Mayor to respond. In his response he blamed President Obama and  Kamala Harris.

Brown Berets statement and classroom take over: Watch here

PH. # (831) 420-5027 City Hall

Activist take over Mayor Ryan Coonerty’s classroom:

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