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hWe mentioned the walkout going down tomorrow on Low Steps at noon. The BSO, MSA, and USCC have issued a statement, reprinted after the jump, blaming PrezBo for “creating a problematic atmosphere” on campus within which the SIPA graffiti incident took place. The Dems’ statement on the event, not reprinted after the jump because we are tired of statements, omitted that part.

But if you’ve got a couple hours to spare, the motherprotest starting at noon at Washington Square Park is the place to be anyway, especially if you’ve got any love for Immortal Technique. Justice and solidarity, yeah, but mostly a damn good concert.

Finally, if you’re feeling a bit more international and/or have a lot of red in your closet, head down to the Burmese Mission at noon to hear about Burma. It’s a revolution over there!

Statement Regarding Racist Graffiti Found at School of International and Public Affairs

The events that took place in Jena came out of a larger climate of racism and intolerance, a climate that exists at this University as well.   We saw this on Wednesday night at the School of International and Public Affairs, with the discovery of graffiti at the School of International and Public Affairs that threatened to “nuke” the “savages” in the Middle East and Africa and claimed “America is for White Europeans.”

We do not stand for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nor do we stand behind President Bollinger’s introduction on Monday, which only demonstrated his own willingness to be a part of the same problematic binary. What is more, President Bollinger’s speech also created a problematic atmosphere at Columbia and it was within this atmosphere that the hate crime in SIPA took place. Bollinger’s claim to stand for the “modern civilized world” against the “fanatical”, “petty”, “cruel”, “illiterate”, “ignorant”, and “astoundingly uneducated” “mind of evil” makes use of the same framework as the graffiti’s attack on “savages”.

That this graffiti is not an isolated incident is indicated by the extensive history of similar events at Columbia, met with utterly inadequate initiative on the part of the University and little willingness to make lasting systemic change. It brings to mind a litany of troubling issues at Columbia ranging from the lack of diversity in the Core Curriculum and the lack of resources for Ethnic Studies to Columbia’s displacement of people of color from West Harlem and its investments in military contractors.

As a community, it is our responsibility to work to ensure that the conditions that led to the unjust treatment of the Jena 6 are challenged and fought. 

  1. All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;
  2. The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;
  3. Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell ‘s juvenile court hearings or other proceedings;
  4. The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for unethical and possibly illegal conduct;
  5. The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical conduct; and
  6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office.

Additionally, we must, and will, make similar demands of our own institutions of power here at Columbia!

Whether it is nooses on a tree in Jena or graffiti on a bathroom stall at Columbia, the pillars of systemic oppression – Bigotry, Exploitation, and Complacency, -are not acceptable. 



  1. wow

    this statement really has it all.
    they hit bollinger, the jena 6, racist scribblings in sipa, the clash of cultures, columbia expansion and the core.

    but lumping bollinger in the same boat as the sipa graffiti? come on. there you lose any credibility you might have had.

  2. hmm  

    i only saw an earlier draft of this, but isn't there an opening paragraph about Jena that's missing here?

  3. confused  

    i dont see the problem with the "america is for white europeans" bit
    i mean, it didn't say only for white europeans or white europeans and not anyone else so its sort of a statement of fact. it is for white europeans. they probably didnt have time to list all the other ethnicities/colors/races/etc of people for whom america is also. its for a lot of people, including white europeans.

    • uhh

      "america is for white europeans" implies that it is exclusively for white europeans.

      depending on the context, it might have even meant, america is for white europeans in that corporate america, society, etc is overwhelmingly white dominated.

      but.. not having time to write what other groups america is for... that's silly.

  4. why  

    should all charges against the jena 6 be dropped? i mean, reduced, yes, but they weren't in the right either.

  5. Anonymous  

    Can a progressive oppose the establishment of an Ethnic Studies department? What if we support the reform of scholarship *internal* to existing departments? What if we fear that the creation of an ES department will allow for the migration, alienation, and isolation of progressive scholars?

    Is there a recognition that Columbia has had and continues to have some of the most progressive scholars in the country? Is there any mention of scholars like Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Nicholas Dirks, Richard Bulliet, Rashid Khalidi, just to name a few?

  6. god this is retarded

    all right just to begin, you assert one of your problems is the binary created by bollinger/etc in terms of those who are 'civilized' etc vs those who i guess hold a more relativist and 'nuanced' world view

    However, with this statement and your demands, your first dividing the world strictly into pure good people and evil racists

    second you're pigeonholing bollinger into a colonialist-ish western civilization kook vs you who are purportedly enlightened because he chose to speak critically of ahmadinejad in the introduction--thus branding him as a colonialist jerk due to the fact he didn't adhere to your relativist standards of what free speech is

    On a wider scale, you advocate the opposite of redemption for people by creating the dichotomy where some people form the 'pillars of systematic oppression' (i'm guessing this'll fall under shocc-esque terms of oppression) who in some form use bigotry/exploitation/complacency vs the good victims

    on top of that, some of your jena 6 demands are absurd, refer to the post before that showed the episode was more nuanced than you're trying to claim--which means your guilty of being on the wrong side of the first dichotomy you set up

    Also, you completely (and dishonestly) decontextualized those bollinger adjectives which specifically referred to specific actions or policies carried out by a government which is repressive in human rights terms--if you're making a blanket statement claiming that his statements don't fall under those ideas you should be arguing rawls/dworking/shue/rorty/etc and not bollinger

    The SIPA scribblings are despicable--they're equivalent to the anti semitic junk found on walls not too long ago---however the victim claims and the 'brave' fight against oppression which is convoluted by random tangential attacks on the core/expansion/etc become harder and harder to stomach as they're juxtaposed by real examples in places like Burma

    It completely diminishes the effectiveness of speaking out against the racist/ethnocentric stuff in SIPA when you lump in a number of other issues which are much more arguable and try to create some type of overly simplistic narrative which alienates the same people who you're trying to reach out to

  7. dearest friends  

    Let us not become too angry over this. As #1 said, "they hit bollinger, the jena 6, racist scribblings in sipa, the clash of cultures, columbia expansion and the core." This is actually just funny.

    Might I suggest a few other things for BSO to bitch about?

    1-Excessive white-people music in 212, which symbolizes the omnipresent voice of the White Man
    2-Rack and Soul never gets to sell food in Carleton. Clearly the White man and the Asia man are working together to put blacks out of business

  8. Inner Thoughts  

    Someone enlighten me, just what exactly does the BSO do besides protest shit? Does their organization have a real purpose? I would think if you want to integrate the campus community and achieve further diversity, separating yourselves into groups based on race would kinda be a step in the opposite direction.



  10. disgusting  

    wow. ignorance. just pure ignorance. i bet ya'll are white folks who would never, never understand your privilege. i've never been this embarrassed / ashamed as a columbia student.

    • you're right  

      we are all whites privileged to be at an Ivy League school while there are no bla--

      oh, wait.

    • here's the problem

      you're purportedly one of the enlightened ones. you claim we can't ever understand white privilege (lets forget the fact that a good chunk of columbia isn't only white or black) and then basically give up on us, or in your attempt to 'reach out' insult us, demonize us and try to get us to believe simplistic narratives which paint 'us' as the oppressors. How do you expect to convey your message and convince people your right?

      and by the way. in your short statement you stereotyped all the posters so far, claimed we were idiots without actually substantively addressing any points, claimed your perspective somehow gave you authority over a matter which we would never understand [some sort of elitist intellectual privilege] and then claimed that you were embarrassed/ashamed of how pathetic your peers were

      perhaps the reason you're so ashamed of being a student here is that you didn't understand ideas and rigorously challenged here---even the ones that people hold the most dear to them---you came here to be intellectually challenged, don't chump out


    all yall ignorant mofos prolly dont even know who he is.

  12. Anonymous  

    I'm also embarrassed. I'm embarrassed about the fact that people hide behind anonymousness and just like the mother%%#er who did the SIPA graffiti, exert their white privilege.
    Why not just say it to people? Why hide behind an online post? It probably sounds hypocritical but I just hate how people use forum like this to truly say what they think or to "be funny" about stuff that actually affected people personally.
    These people, are at least saying what they think without hiding their identity.
    We will never understand our "white" privilege unless we acknowledge the oppression that probably unintentionally exert over other people as a result of our privilege.

    I'm embarrassed to even think that people with whom I go to school with still think they are superior to others.

    • here's the problem

      besides the elitist, holier than thou, 'enlightened' reverence which you give yourself (an example of trying to create some type of pseudo intellectually/morally superior construct) you yet again didn't address a single substantive point so far mentioned. you can't just put out false tautologies where one can't 'understand their privilege until they embrace the fact they are privileged'

      yes, there's been stupid stuff written--but there's also been some legitimate points made. neither of the posters who are so angry at these comments have addressed them--instead they've relied on ad hom admonishments of those who are 'privileged' (lets forget the fact that some who have substantive disagreements aren't even white)

      this school and university in general are not places where you are going to be able to say this is wrong, find a bunch of people/clubs who agree with you and then expect to be universally accepted--you have to prove your points and actually engage in a conversational that substantively provides examples of merit for your way of thinking.

      you haven't done that and have instead resorted to namecalling and self pity and disgust at how inferior your peers are. not only is that offensive (i understand why some of these comments are offensive--but certainly not all of them are as some make good points--yet you choose to admonish all) but it is intellectually bankrupt

      • ummm  

        anyone who thinks that the BSO statement is about "dividing the world strictly into pure good people and evil racists" doesn't deserve anything but namecalling, cause they apparently spent so much time writing their absurdly lengthy bwog comment they didn't bother to read the statement.

        defensive, much? what are you feeling guilty about?

        • please read

          creating dichotomies between those who try to divide some between 'civilized' and 'savages' as well as making statements like the following:

          Whether it is nooses on a tree in Jena or graffiti on a bathroom stall at Columbia, the pillars of systemic oppression — Bigotry, Exploitation, and Complacency, -are not acceptable.

          certainly suggests that this group divides up people into the morally reprehensible and the good uscc reps

          by the way. good job just confirming the previous comments--you just cast aside any concerns by again simply ridiculing and not addressing a substantive point and then complained about post length. what a joke, i'm sorry you had to read

          and that last statement is already a parody of itself--the statements her so far have only asked about the far reach of the shocc statement--and yet you claim that people are becoming defensive and deserving of guilt

          is that always your strategy when somebody asks you to explain something you hold to be a truth

        • hello fool  

          "1. All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped;"

          That line alone is enough to make the BSO look like the Bullshit Organization.

          Which is exactly what they are.

    • Anonymous

      haha you're anonymous too!

  13. also  

    the statement doesn't mention anything except 1) the Jena 6, in solidarity with a national walkout and 2) stuff at Columbia.

    the mockery about peltier etc - besides what seems to be some kind of attempt at racial parody with language like 'mofos' - suggests the same kind of knee-jerk hostile reaction to protest of any kind. again, why are so many white people at columbia so touchy? no one's accusing you of being evil oppressors, guys. the only one making the identification between the stuff shocc or the bso is calling out and yourselves is you.

    • again

      why don't you address substantive claims?

      there is an incredibly obvious connection between this and shocc esque terms. besides having an overlap in terms of groups who supported shocc how do you not see the following:

      just TWO paragraphs after this statements laid a litany of complaints including the core, expansion etc, they referenced that 'systematic oppression' must stop and that bigotry, exploitation etc are still things which pervasively occur at Columbia and across the country (the point is that Jena is every town).

      Not only does this draw connections where there likely aren't any, but it insidiously indicts all columbia studnets who don't buy into this as part of that machinery of oppression--i think its reasonable to feel touchy over that

      • what  

        substantive claims? your substantive claims that weren't addressed to some other poster who isn't me - check the tracking - were premised on the idea that jena 6 organizers / shocc (yes, duh they're similar) think that all white people are oppressors.

        look - it just obviously doesn't follow from "problem X is systematic" that "everyone who doesn't agree with me is an oppressor". no one is making the latter claim. are you a bigot? are you an exploiter? are you complacent about bigotry and exploitation? lets give you the benefit of the doubt, and say you're not. then... you don't fall into either "the morally reprehensible" nor "the good uscc reps", and your allgetion of a binary is bullshit.

  14. asdf  

    my theory: columbia sucks, in a general kind of way, and this takes a psychological toll on the people who go here. so they feel the need to act out in different ways to deal with their psychological needs. some people become annoying hipsters, some people get drunk. these kids, it seems, just protest stuff.

    or to look at it another way - obviously, the current protests are ridiculous, but the fact that some groups spend so much time speaking out about how unsafe and uncomfortable they feel at columbia must mean they really feel unsafe and uncomfortable at columbia. this is a real problem. but doesn't everyone feel this way to some extent? i know i do, and i'm just your average private-school-educated white kid. i don't in the least doubt that being a minority makes it extra hard to be here. i just think the people who protest feel like most of us do: alienated and out of place.

    ok, i have to go. dr. phil is on, and he's in the middle of explaining my whole life to me.

  15. the Core  

    the function of the study of literature is not to learn about culture or about how people differ

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