#racism
Stuff That Happened In August

Some Columbia related news passed in the month of August.  We rounded it up for you:

Aditya Mukerjee, CC ’12 and the former publisher of Spec, was detained at the airport after setting off an alarm because he had bedbug spray residue on his hands. “You’ve got to understand, when someone of your background, traveling alone, comes in and sets off our alarms, people get nervous,” an FBI agent told him, after denying him food and water for hours. Eventually, he was cleared to fly by the NYPD, TSA, FBI, and Homeland Security, but JetBlue refused to let him on the flight. (People on Twitter were not amused.) When he finally returned to his apartment, he discovered it had been raided by the authorities. (Aditya’s blog/Gawker)

Huffington Post blogger and college president DSpar just wrote an article in Glamour about “Why the Woman Who ‘Has It All’ Doesn’t Really Exist.” You should check it out if you’re a fan of her Newsweek articles “Why Women Should Stop Trying To Be Perfect” and “Why Women Should Stop Trying To Do It All.”

“I have yet to enter a building in which there is not a cafe, in addition to the numerous coffee shops surrounding the campus. I wonder what students would do if Colombia ran out of coffee, and I’m not referring to the school.” (The New York Times)

Columbia researchers found that elementary students who were praised for their innate intelligence were much less willing to challenge themselves. Given how many College students are taking Astronomy to fulfill the science requirement, the same seems to be true of Columbia students. (New York Mag)

The late Edward Said‘s daughter, Najla Said, just published a memoir. And it turns out Professor Said is a lot like our dad, in that he thought his daughter was “wasting her college education” when she decided to take a class on postmodernism. (Salon)

Chad Washington, the football player who was charged with committing a hate crime last semester, may soon have those charges dismissed. (Roar Lions 2013)

Speaking of football, Athletics released a video showcasing its new football uniforms, complete with gratuitous crotch shots.

Finally, here’s a teaser trailer for Harry Potter and 1940s Columbia, the movie that was shot on campus last semester.

Administration Releases Statements On Hate Crime And Athlete Twitters

Update: Athletic Director M. Dianne Murphy and Coach Pete Mangurian have released their own statement; their letter is after the jump.

Update #2: Aaaand another one, from OMA. Also after the jump.

Deans Valentini, Goldfarb, Awn, and Director of Athletics M. Dianne Murphy have just released a statement to the Columbia community on the recent hate crime. In the letter, the administration condemns “harassment, mistreatment and hateful language based on race, gender, sexual orientation, affiliation or other identities,” and states that students involved will be both investigated by the NYPD and subject to an in-school judicial process. The deans also very vaguely address the “social media messages reportedly posted by some students” (a reference to the generally offensive Twitter accounts of some students that we posted about yesterday) and insist that they “are addressing this matter aggressively with the individuals involved.” Read the full letter below.

Dear students,

As educators and leaders of a diverse learning community, we are deeply concerned when racism, sexism, homophobia and incivility—whether in words, actions or posts of any kind—target individuals or groups. Such behavior violates our Community Principles: http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/comdev/principles.

For all members of Columbia University, harassment, mistreatment and hateful language based on race, gender, sexual orientation, affiliation or other identities are unacceptable and hurt every one of us. We all are committed to a campus environment which values and supports each individual in an atmosphere that is caring and respectful.

When a bias incident is reported, we move quickly to investigate the matter and ensure that all involved students are treated fairly and are supported throughout the process. This has been the main focus immediately following Sunday’s report, and we must honor and protect the wishes of victims. After an investigation by the New York Police Department, and in addition to any pending outside legal process, CC/SEAS students involved are also subject to a judicial process through the Dean’s Discipline process. For a fuller understanding of our Bias Response, please read the brochure: http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/sites/dsa/files/handbooks/BiasProtocolBrochure.pdf.

We ask that you respect the privacy of all individuals involved and allow us to investigate thoroughly and act according to our protocols and procedures. Speculation based on limited or inaccurate information reported in the press, or anonymous rumor, serves no one well and is detrimental to the wellbeing of those involved as well as to our community as a whole. Senior administrators from Student Affairs and from the Athletics Program, with complete support of university leadership, are working together and treating this matter with the seriousness it deserves.

With respect to social media messages reportedly posted by some students, we share fully in the belief that offensive messages in any form are unacceptable and fall far beneath the standards of civility and mutual respect we expect of all our students, including student athletes who represent Columbia. We are addressing this matter aggressively with the individuals involved. We also believe that broad generalizations about any group are unfair and hurtful, and we unfortunately have seen that social media has too often become a forum for such offensive comments. Every one of us is responsible to this community, and we ask that you affirm the values that call for us to treat each other with respect and dignity. Let us commit to using our freedom of expression to promote civil dialogue and to appreciate our greatest strength—our diversity. We understand the deep hurt, disappointment, and anger and are committed to supporting and collaborating with all of our students in addressing these things in our community and how we will move forward together. Now is the time for all of us to reach out to one another with compassion and understanding.

James J. Valentini,
Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education

Donald Goldfarb,
Interim Dean, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Peter J. Awn,
Dean, School of General Studies

M. Dianne Murphy,
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education

Athletics’ and OMA’s emails after the jump

Some Football Players’ Bigoted Tweets
WKCRSports logo

WKCR Sports

In light of yesterday’s news that sophomore Chad Washington was charged with a hate crime and the allegations that more people were involved in the incident, many were intrigued by the CU Football team’s impressively unprotected Twitter accounts. An hour ago, WKCR Sports tweeted a link to an Imgur album with a good number of screencaps.

Taking it a step further than sending links to each other with a “Holy shit people like this exist?,” we’ve compiled a smattering of astoundingly horrible, offensive, and just plain awful things your classmates on the football team (your classmates!) have tweeted. There are racist, sexist, and homophobic tweets—see for yourself.

Here are four ones that are racist against Asians.

  • Sean Brackett, captain (@SBreezy_10): Idk which has more Asians…nail salons or Columbia U??
  • Chad Washington (nine_duce): This asian dude can barely speak though…
  • Thomas Callahan (@thomaspcallahan): Asian is such a fucked up language #BANGBANG
  • Thomas Callahan (@thomaspcallahan): Do Chinese people just call Chinese food “food”? Is there a Chinese word for food, or is it just a bunch of weird noises like other words?” [Callahan has since deleted his Twitter, but you can read his whole stream here]

Also noteworthy: as WKCR Sports mentioned, the Athletics Department knew about these accounts—several have been mentioned by the official football Twitter account and many are followed by coach Pete Mangurian.

On another note: the Office of Multicultural Affairs has met with the Asian American Alliance.  Student leaders David Fine, Wilfred Chan, Tim Qin, and Abdul Hanif have also met with the Dean of OMA, with the conclusion that: “We urged strong condemnation of alleged acts without drawing judgment on the person who allegedly committed the hate crime.”  They also mentioned an emphasis on protecting the victim and his identity.  There should be a longer statement coming along soon.

Logo with WKCRSports’s Twitter

Overheard: New Forms of Discrimination
This is a man who doesn't care about social stigma.

This is a man who doesn’t care about social stigma.

It seems that nowadays, nobody is safe from persecution. Gender, race, weight, and economic groups of all kinds are judged and grouped together as inferior. Now, Bwog has overheard that another group is also being oppressed:

“All men in headphones look the same? Did you just say that? That’s like…racist.”

Men in headphones have to unite against the abuse from clear-eared individuals! They have the same rights! They are equal, and are all unique! Headphone-wearers of the world, unite!

A proud independent headphone user who don’t need no earbuds via Shutterstock

Stop and Frisk Goes Too Far!
Gets stopped and frisked. Doesn't even report the guy.

Gets stopped and frisked. Doesn’t even report the guy.

Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker claims that he was accused of shoplifting at Milano’s Deli and then stopped and frisked by an employee! Whitaker was initially shocked, but he consented to the search. The actor did not report the incident to any authority figure at the request of the worker who was afraid that he would lose his job. A rep for Whitaker and eye witnesses back up the story. One eyewitness says that this isn’t the first racist action/conversation she’s overheard at the Deli and she plans to stop shopping there immediately.

One: Since when does Forest Whitaker come to Milano’s?

Two: RACIST.

Three: It’s all HamDel from here, folks!

 

 

A great actor/great man via Shutterstock

Graffiti of a Questionable Nature at BC

First came the lice. They invaded the heads (and sheets, and clothes, and pillows) of the girls of the Barnard Quad back in October. Next up on the nuisance continuum: “racist” graffiti. 

It’s barely eight hours into the first day of the semester, and controversy has already erupted in the form of graffiti scribbled on dry-erase boards in Hewitt. The nature of the graffiti is first described as “racist”, but later as “targeting feminism.” Perhaps the correct term might have been “sexist”? In any event, the entire Barnard community received an email alerting them to the events and subsequent series of meetings to discuss the code of conduct. 

Frankly, we’re a bit nostalgic for the lice. Full email after the jump.

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Art Run Amok!

Rare is the day when Bwog kicks things off by satisfying your doubtless insatiable appetite for Columbia-related experimental art news, but here goes:

The recent spate of bias incidents have led John DeSerio, GS, to undertake a marathon social and artistic experiment: for the next week, his “word wall” will be on display on Low Plaza from 12-6PM, and ready for you to write anything on it. And DeSerio means anything: For him, the solo project is about “taking ownership over our words,” and generating the kind of dialogue and discussion that he thinks will help us get over recent events.

Precedent leaves Bwog a little worried, but we’re hoping for the best.

Meanwhile, the folks over at ABC No Rio (?) have offered this subtle riposte to last week’s investigation. For those of you whose high school years didn’t involve listening to Biograph on repeat for weeks months years at a time, the rest of this line (from Dylan B-side “Up to Me”) goes as follows: “In fourteen months I only smiled once and I didn’t do it consciously/Somebody’s got to be on your trail, I guess it must be up to m
e.”

Better believe were on your trail, mysterious guerrilla artist with a seemingly endless supply of easy-to-break dental molds. Or as Bobby would say,


“I see through your eyes

And I see through your brain…”

-ARR

Friday Goings-On: Money, Anger, Racism, Prizes, etc.

In case you were curious about what other things came up in the last 24 hours or so:

  •   Robert Kraft, alumnus and New England Patriots owner extraordinaire, just donated a crapload of money to Columbia Athletics ($5 million, to be exact). Consequentially, Lawrence A. Wein Stadium has become the Stadium Formerly Known as Wein, AKA, Robert K. Kraft Field.
  • Apparently another noose was found on a lamppost outside a ground zero post office yesterday afternoon. Indeed, no words can probably describe our reaction to this better than “WTF?”
  • In case you were wondering on how much Professor Hamid Dabashi had to say on the Ahmadinejad/Bollinger face-off, he’s got a recent lengthy response to the incident in a Cairo publication. To cut it short: he’s not happy, and he mentions Rudyard Kipling.
  • Former J-School visiting professor/VP Al Gore has been announced as co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (alongside the IPCC) for his fight with global warming. It’s kind of surreal, actually.

On a sidenote, the weather is suddenly much cooler, and there are many more people walking around campus with scarves than usual.

Is there something in the water?

UPDATE: Letter from VP Dirks, Dean Quigley and Navratil included after jump.


Bwog just got a copy of this blast email that went out to GS students.

From: Mary McGee

Date: Oct 11, 2007 4:29 PM

Subject: **Vandalism in Lewisohn Hall

To all GS students:

 It is very distressing to report that anti-semitic graffiti was found

in a bathroom stall in Lewisohn Hall.   These kinds of hateful crimes

directed against the Jewish community or any other individuals or groups will not be tolerated.  I have been a member of the Columbia faculty for thirty years and know that we as a community stand for values that are completely antithetical to such vile and hate-filled images.  Let us seize this occasion to renew our commitment to the values of inclusiveness, respect, and toleration that we all cherish. And let us make clear to one another that we will not allow such cowardly hate-mongering to divide our community.  I can assure you that the Office of Public Safety and the New York Police Department are conducting a full investigation of this incident .

Peter J. Awn

Dean”

And, after the jump, PrezBo’s cumulative response to what we shall heretofore dub (the Great) Racism Rash. (more…)

Speak and Rally

Organizers have wasted no time organizing a response to yesterday’s noose. Last night’s protest was followed by an early afternoon rally today, on the steps of Teacher’s College. 

With a variety of signs and speakers, it seemed the event’s main purpose was to demonstrate a swift and strong response. By the time the event kicked off at 2 pm, a good-sized crowd had gathered, stretching as far into the street as the police barrier would allow. Others watched from campus across the street, and a tour bus even rolled by for the photo op.

The proceeding moved rather quickly, although at times it suffered from microphone failure, leaving some speakers to be drowned out in the loud crowd. Audible orators included N.Y. State Senator Bill Perkins, Madonna Constantine herself, and (Bwog believes) Reverend Calvin Butts of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church. a loud-spoken individual named Calvin.

Perkins took the event as a sign of racism’s pervasiveness even in today’s society, comparing Columbia University today to Columbia, South Carolina in the 1800s. Although he did not condemn Columbia, he said the threat “sounds like an inside job,” noting Columbia’s “very serious security.” Constantine directly addressed the perpetrators, saying “hanging the noose on my door reeks of cowardice,” praised the security and police forces for their responses, and added that she was proud to be a part of Teacher’s College (but no mention of Columbia). <br>

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QuickSpec- Diversity and its Discontents Edition

Brokers, landlords unite in subtle White-Wing conspiracy to keep New York segregated

What? Discrimination in the sciences? Damn you Larry Summers! Quick, have lots of girls invade Pupin and blow up gummy bears!

Asian-American fest lots of work, draws “everyone”

Capitalism helps us be able to bear winter, be Christ-like, and remember the expulsion of the “unholy and oppressive Seleucid Greeks”

“I am young, healthy, of average height, blonde, blue-eyed, and free of tattoos, and I have great SAT scores. Who wouldn’t want my adorable Ivy League baby?”

QuickDreck- Minuteman Hatemail

Over the past several days, the Bwog has recieved a steady stream of drivel decrying the Minuteman protest. In the interest of depicting what kind of statements are coming out of a particular subset of American society today, we’ve reprinted a few of them. The really long ones have been cut down a bit, but otherwise they’re posted as written.  

Communist? We Prefer Anarcho-Fascist

I am exercising my first amendment right to blast you for your riot against the guest speakers invited to your university. Since the administration at your college is too chicken chit to have a “contact us” tab on the Columbia web site..this blog is all I could find to respond to. 98% of American citizens are against illegal immigration. It is causing a burden on our social programs (of which I am quite sure most of your minority students need) and also causing diseases and urban sprawl. We are NOT for it..and we applaud the Minutemen Project and also The Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. Did your parents raise you with any sort of good values? Obviously not. I realize you are young..and will do idiotic things for awhile…but whoever was involved in the riot should be expelled from the university. I would not donate one thin penny to that college until all the participants of the riot are expelled. Now, if you can’t behave yourselves and get the education that the taxpayers are probably footing the bill for, pell grants etc…then perhaps you should leave college and join the military and do something productive for you country. If this is the sort of citizens Columbia University is turning out..perhaps someone in New York should shut it down. Shame on all of you who participated in the insanity..and shame on those of you who condone such piss poor behavior. Dig? (feel free to print this on your communist blog)

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READ THIS NOW: MINUTEMAN MOBBED

bwog7This evening, after a 45-minute long diatribe by a preachy opening speaker, a large group of students rushed Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, in what descended into a free-for-all on the stage. Scroll below for the blow-by-blow and photos.

3:45 PM: Releases by the University and by the College Republicans appended below.

3:21 AM: Those who occupied the stage have released a statement, which has been added to the bottom of the post.

1:56 AM: Chicano Caucus press release at the bottom of the post.

1:23 AM: YouTube is down at the moment.  Bwog is working to provide an alternative, so stay tuned.

CTV’s video of the protest:

7: 30 PM: In the biggest old-fashioned activist shindig Broadway has seen since Chris Kulawik’s last guest arrived in November 2005, hundreds of students and community members yelled and picketed outside Lerner to protest the arrival of Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen. They had catchy slogans.

minutemen“Workers of the world unite! Same struggle, same fight!”

“Minutemen, Nazis, KKK! Racists, fascists, go away!”

8:10 PM: A little Miles Davis music on overhead in Roone Arledge Auditorium strikes Bwog as ironic. Opening speaker Marvin Stewart steps up to the podium, and begins by thanking Jesus Christ and Chris Kulawik. “ARE YOU READY to surrender your liberties?” he demands of the crowd.

8:35 PM: Stewart is 30 minutes into a free-associative rant, ranging through scripture and America’s Consitutional Republican form of government (NOT Democratic). People in the increasingly restless crowd shout: “You don’t know shit about god! Black white supremacist!” “Go home! ”

to which Stewart counters: “I am home! God bless America!

to which the crowd replies: “BOOOOOOOOOOO!”

It’s getting more surreal by the minute.

Update 8:41 pm: Someone yells, “In Spanish, please!” The crowd bursts into a thunderous applause, which spirals into a full-out protest, complete with students wearing Mexican wrestling masks. The students are now standing up one by one, with their backs to the man, who has asked, “Are you standing with your backs to me? Why’d you come, no wonder you don’t know anything.” Republicans cheered, others sneered.

Update 8:45 pm: Some white-shirted students were just escorted out of the auditorium by security.


kulawik
Update 8:47 pm: The man at the podium is still ranting, despite the beads of sweat trickling down his forehead and his voice-cracks… “Religion and morality are necessary for government.” Students chanting: “Wrap it up! Wrap it up!” Some guy just came out to try to get him to stop, and he said, “Let me finish…” he’s sweating, and looks angry. “All of you who are doing your chanting in here are the very ones that need this the most. But guess what, I’m not deterred.”

Update 8:51 pm: “I’m going to wrap this up because time is an issue.” With Kulawik looking uncomfortable, Stewart stops talking with a boisterous “God Bless America, and America Bless God!” Taking the podium, Kulawik chastens the crowd. “I was under the false assumption that this was an Ivy League School,” he says.

Finally, the Minuteman himself enters. “Now who’re you calling racist?” he shouts, putting his arm around Stewart, who is black. “I love the First Amendment. As soon as you graduate, you’ll all be investment bankers. I’ve been where you at. I know you hate yourselves.”

bwog5Update 9:00 pm: BWOG IS SHOCKED. STUDENTS WITH A BIG YELLOW SIGN JUST CAME ONTO THE STAGE. The sign says, “There are no illegals.” Students rise en masse from the audience and rush the stage. The Minuteman and the students engaged in a tug of war with the banner. More people rush the stage, prompting a fist-fight. One female student is kicked in the head. A guy in a pony tail (definitely not a student)  rushes the stage and fights with students (several witnesses saw him kick a student) and then banded together with the Minuteman to shout the pledge of allegiance as the rumble spun out of hand, “One nation! Under God! Indivisible!”

There was at least two minutes of chaos between students, other students and the Minutemen. Bwog took cover.

security Update: 9:01 pm: Security comes out, now the curtain is down. Students are still chanting, now everyone’s filing out.

Update: 9:15 pm: Students outside shouting, “They say, ‘get bent,’ we say, ‘let’s fight!’”

Update: 9:22 pm: A Bwog correspondent calls in a tip. A student defending the Minuteman right outside the gates on 115th was encircled by a group of protesters after a heated personal fight with just one of the protesters. The protesters then shouted, “Racist, go home!” Security showed up, and they started breaking up. Student last seen laughing on phone with friends. A mosh pit of triumphal students and community members dance and chant, “Asian, Black, Brown and White, we smashed the Minutemen tonight!”

Everyone and their mother has official responses to the brawl, after the jump…

- Bwogging by Lydia DePillis, Sara Vogel, and Will Snider

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TA Lays the Smack Down

Finals week, angry grad students, and vaguely racist comments do not a pretty picture make.

According to an anonymous tipster, Russell BRickford, a TA for Barnard’s American Civilization Since the Civil War class, objected to a statement written by one student in the course’s final exam yesterday. And so e-mailed the entire class about it. Full e-mail after the jump.

—————————– Original Message —————————
Subject: HIST X1402.001
From: rjr2020@columbia.edu
Date: Wed, May 10, 2006 12:15 pm
To: ——@barnard.edu
——————————————————————————-

Dear beloved,

One of my students wrote the following statement in an essay on her final
exam yesterday: “This austerity is at the root of Protestantism in America, but
is considered quite different from the sensuality and decadence of black
culture.”

Now, some of my best friends are black. Some of them show signs of sensuality. Others, not so much. Some are decadent. Some ain’t. As a matter of fact, I too am black. And I’d like to think that from time to time, I can be pretty darn sensual myself. What’s more, I must confess that, on occasion, and twice in recent memory, I have been as decadent as my graduate student stipend would allow.
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