Three White students at San Jose State University in California were charged with hate crime violations for actions that they allegedly directed at their Black roommate. The students lived in a pod-like arrangement where they had their own room and a common living area. The White students are accused of barricading the Black student in his room, displaying a Confederate flag, writing the word “nigger” on a white board in a common area, and attaching a metal bicycle lock around his neck.
The Black student claims that his roommates called him “Three-fifths,” referring to the terminology in the original U.S. Constitution that designated slaves as three-fifths of a person in the count to apportion congressional seats. When the Black student objected to this name calling, he alleges that his roommates then called him “Fraction.”