University of California, San Diego and the “Compton Cookout”

-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:

IBertrand Sources


Tactical ART, is perhaps the name I will give to the movement that wise people could give to the powerless. If we as artists we could force, by peaceful ways, changes in favor of people, then nobody would be able to stop us. Performance artists have always been the pioneers to awaken the blind. And yes, the Tactical Art will have a very weak network in order for it to survive.

If we care; just if we care, we will be able to move everything, but just if we care.

ETOY has powerful artists leaders that are not afraid to fight, even with toys, a war when is unjust. I wonder if general audience underestimate the power of artists. Check that power.


Internet for everyone, the power of mandate

Back in mid 20th century, the US in fierce competition against the USRR for gaining the race for conquering the space launched its first set of packed networks, which allowed them to connect several computers to this network. This was the initiation of the Internet, as we know it today, interestingly enough, this technology remained several years in possession of the militaries and the enforcement agencies. It was only until the 80’s when with the advancement of the publicly available technology and need for advancement of the different higher education institutions, the government had to relinquish its exclusive rights to the “new” internet technology and gave up to the pressure of the community allowing the masses to get access to the internet.

In our society, the laws of efficiency and offer demand are way more powerful than the restrictions than any government may impose, as the voice of the people is the voice of the power, and there is nothing more compelling than the force of the mandate. Thanks to those who made the difference back then, we can enjoy being in the forefront of technology and development, as our society has become and eager specimen of technology and knowledge, and we enjoy today the freedom to look at the world through the very eyes of our computers.


The tools are out there for us to use. Contrary to Cuba, North Korea and some other countries, here in United States and many other western countries, people have the opportunity, or perhaps I should say, the privilege to use computers and Internet. We can never be entirely sure of the exact amount of freedom that we can apply to our behaviour through the Internet; however, as a free country we are allowed to use these amazing tools.

Consumer protection is one of those benefits of the Internet if we really are engaged to protect our money. What I suggest is that a capitalist economy, with a free market, have freedom to choose from. As consumers, we suppose to be the ones to dictate what products, what prices and what quality we want. However, seems that it works the other way around; although, sometimes we are not happy with the service or the good that we are buying, there is a tendency of feeling ashamed if we demand our right of a good service or good quality. The result, those who provide the goods or the service feel entitled to reject a single complaint.

The whole point remains in the fact that if we as consumers have the voice and the tools to demand what we deserve for what we pay for then we should ask for it. Have you ever complained or asked for a different table when the hostess assigns you a table very close to the bathroom?
What about when they bring your coffee not in the cup but mainly in the dish. Would you ask the waitress to replace it? At least, would you bother not to leave a tip as a protest for bad service? If not, how are they going to know that they are not doing it right?
Further, what about poor quality goods that we buy and the realization that is not worth what we pay for them, and we never take the time to return or complain about it.

Evidently better than ever before we can feel the power of a massive community against poor goods or bad service; we can create a valid Electronic Disturbance to any company that mistreats its costumers. In fact, there is out there already some websites that somehow represent the voice of the consumers.

If we as consumer have the voice, we should use the Internet as a tool to grade products.

What has brought me to this point is to understand how a poor community far from the advantages of technology were able to create such an exponential wave of people willing to join their cause by Internet in times when the Internet was not for massive consumption. The poor neglected indigenous of Chiapas in Mexico have not even human rights, but they are a community who uses Electronic Disturbance to communicate with the entire world.


From "The Weather Underground:"

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible only make violent revolution inevitable”
Martin Luther King

“....If we do not do anything about violence that is violence”
Naomi Jaffe

“I definitely think that people never stop struggling, and never stop waiting for the moment when they can change the things that make their lives unlivable”
Laura Whitehorn