AirTalk for March 3, 2010

Race relations at the University of California

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David McNew/Getty Images

Zeena Sabri (L) and Rima Karuf join members of the Society of Arab Students at the University of California Irvine to protest the destruction of a cardboard wall that was supposed to portray the security wall built to keep Palestinian suicide bombers out of Israel on May 27, 2004 in Irvine, California. The students believe the burning of the wall in the campus free speech area was a hate crime.

Last week someone left a noose in the UC San Diego library. It was just the latest racially charged incident at the campus…in January there was a fraternity party called the “Compton Cookout” that invited students to show up dressed as their favorite ghetto stereotypes. And then the editor of the Koala, UC San Diego’s humor publication, made a racial slur on student television. All of this has prompted student sit-ins and protests at UC San Diego and other campuses, including UCLA and Berkeley. What is going on here? Is this the result of, or despite, 1996’s Prop. 209, which barred public universities from considering race in admissions? And what must be done to create better understanding and harmony at the UC campuses?

Guests:

Simone Wilson, Editor-in-chief of the UC Guardian, UC San Diego's student paper

Joe Hicks, social critic and vice-president of Community Advocates, Inc.

Alex Madueña, News Editor of The Highlander, the student newspaper of UC Riverside

Cinthia Flores, president of the UCLA student body


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