-UCSD's logo for Facebook-
The organizers of “Compton Cookout,” apparently students from the University of California, San Diego, posted an invitation to the event on Facebook in February 15, 2010 to mock Black History Month, “with guests invited to don gold teeth in the style of rappers from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, eat watermelon, and dress in baggy athletic wear,” states The New York Times. The controversy arises when some students criticized the event as racist.
Some are offended of being stereotyped, while others, including some that belong to minority groups, say there was not racist intention in the so-called "Compton Cookout" party, and the event’s organizers denied any racial intention. Indeed the most important fact about the racial incident at UCSD, is that people is reacting, expressing, and taking actions.
Marcuse and Thoreau, were utterly against apathy; although very controversial and highly criticized by the government and extreme right citizens in the 60’s, the essence from Herbert Marcuse at UCSD to his students was to think and to act for what they thought was right. Long before Marcuse, by 1849 was Henry Henry David Thoreau, who invited everybody to act in his book Civil Disobedience; he stated that if the government was unjust, people should refuse to follow the law and distance themselves from the government in general.
The lack of apathy finally has come to students, and also to university’s staff, not only at UCSD, but at other campuses alike, UC Berkley and UC Irvine among some. Their university’s news and TV programs have reported different reactions. If one positive conclusion could be brought to the UCSD racial issue is that people speak out.
It is important however, to evaluate the real intentions that lie beneath some, politics, leaders or media -as an example- that can find this racial issue as an opportunity to redirect the people’s attention. Highlighting stereotypes for instance, can encourage every person to take sides, and therefore they will be more aware to recognize the actual government to support it or to react against it right now or in the near future.
Los Angeles Times on March 01, 2010 states that it is known that the organizers of the "Compton Cookout" at UC San Diego, belonged to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. While a Facebook page titled “Racism: Not in Our Community (UC San Diego),” was launched.
As the controversy continues, after a week of a peculiar silence, Jiggaboo Jones, an African American comedian, proclaims that he was the organizer of the party to release his new DVD, and he assures that the scandal of racism does not have any fundamentals. Mr Jones expresses his sense of humor from the roots, the word Jiggaboo has being used to stereotype a black person.
Take your side of the story, and meanwhile enjoy this fun video by Jiggaboo Jones:
Latest news about California students protest here: