San Jose State University Expels Three Students Who Were Charged With Hate Crimes

sjsuLast November, 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. Those students have now been expelled from the university. The students are banned for life from any campus of the California State University system. A fourth student was suspended until July 31. He must attend a minimum of five counseling sessions and if he wants to return to campus in the fall, he will be placed on permanent probation.

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.”

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  1. I’m glad to hear the university took action. I’m sorry it took so long. I hope that the school’s stance will have an impact on that community, which has an overall issue. I visited the area three years ago. I was pushed by a white man while boarding the plane. He continued to harass me after the plane took off. The flight attendants – a white woman and Hispanic male — were annoyed with me when I reported the harassment to them and expected them to do something. They finally reported it to the captain who made a call and had security and the San Jose Police waiting when the plane landed. The police were very nonchalant about the encounter and only took a report when the woman from airline security said she believed me and stepped in front of me to block me from the view of the man who pushed me from continuing his taunting. The police finally escorted me to the rental car area and I was on my way. I continued to have discriminatory experiences while in San Jose from both white, Hispanics and Asians. I can tell the police condones and supports this behavior because they would not release the police report to me of the incident that occurred on the plane. People need to be vigilant. We are back in the most aggressive and hostile of the cycle of violence that attends the psychology of oppression.

    • Everyone in San Jose, CA is united in their disdainful contempt for all Blacks, whether they arrived three years or thirty years ago. The San Jose Chapter of the NAACP is overrun with complaints from professionals and students alike with incidents both major and minor. I’ve experienced similar racial confrontations, documented them and sent letters to local city and council administrators with copies forwarded to the NAACP. Once the city and county leaders know civil rights organizations are involved with civil complaints they will take the matter seriously. The most important step is to follow through and remain vigilant.

  2. Unfortunately in America the discrimination or hatred of African-Americans runs deep. African-Americans students experience discriminatory behavior by non-African- Americans even at HBCU’s; by faculty members who foreign-even Africans. To read of overt racism at San Jose State or any other majority institution is not at all surprising. Many non African-American students bring those isms they are taught from their homes, communities and extended family members. The condition is not changing any time soon. I think African-Americans especially those who think they have “made it” under estimate the depths of racism in American society. The reality cannot and should not be sugar coated with the disease of denial. As a very close friend states in his speeches throughout America, “One must learn to navigate through racism and establish an antenna to detect racism at its earliest stages, to be successful”.

  3. As an African American San Jose State Graduate this is not the only racism that is exhibited at San Jose State. Though no statement assigning blame to all white students and faculty would be true, there are many instances of racism that could have been cataloged at the university.
    There is also an institutional level of neglect of the needs of minority students. The university historically has failed to realize the importance of Ethnic Studies to it’s minority students. The university has traditionally undervalued Ethnic Studies Disciplines, African American/African Studies, Hispanic Studies, Indigenous American Studies as an important disciplines for academic research and worthy of Major Status.

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