A hate crime happen on the campus of highly regarded USC in Los Angeles, CA. The incident involves a White fraternity member cursed out the USC Student President with a racial slur and threw a drink at her. Rini Sampath decided to speak out about her experience that happen last weekend. Her hopes is to get the University and Community talking about racism on campus that exists. This is one of many incidents that happen all the time at USC. USC is a top University with many rich White students that attend. The funny thing is that USC is in between Downtown Los Angeles and South Central Los Angeles. However, it’s very secured and protected within its own mini community.
Students Lola Fajinmi and Precious Nwaoha were both A students in high school. But once they got to USC, the African-American women were repeatedly asked if they were athletes and told they probably got in because of affirmative action.“It’s something that happens so often you kind of just tune it out,” Fajinmi said of racial bias, as she paused between classes on campus Wednesday. “I think it’s a huge deal and would like the administration to do something about it. This is a hard topic, but we need to start talking about it.” “This story is really not about me,” Sampath, a 21-year-old senior of Indian descent, said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s about what the greater community goes through on a daily basis. I hope this creates a national conversation about race relations on campus, because these kinds of things don’t just happen at USC.”
It’s sad that it took this incident to address the racial issues on USC campus. I hope that the administration takes this incident serious and also address the other incidents that have been reported over the years. USC diversity numbers are pretty decent with 33% White, 12% Latino, 18% Asian, 5% Black, and 23% International, 9% Other. You would think with these numbers that USC would not experience many hate crimes but obviously this isn’t true. Maybe the University along with other Universities need to make a required diversity course for all students during their first or second year. We all need to understand diversity and always be sensitive to all races, cultures, and sexual orientation especially on University campuses where students are already stressed out everyday and trying to figure out their life!
Rini Sampath said the weekend incident brought back “a flood of memories” of racism in her life. The daughter of immigrants who was raised in India, Singapore, Arizona and the Bay Area before moving to Irvine, Sampath said white girls would tell her she could not play with them because of her skin color. When she ran for USC student body president this year, she said, racist messages were posted on social media: “A vote for Rini is a vote for Al-Qaeda.” She said she hoped the incident would embolden students to speak out against racism and galvanize action from administrators to improve the campus climate. Some ideas, she said, include a staff member dedicated to diversity issues, more funding for ethnic student organizations and diversity training. She and other campus leaders plan to hold a forum on cultural diversity next week to give students a chance to share their ideas and experiences. “My intention of making this public plea is so we can move forward, come up with solutions and come together as a community,” she said.
This is unacceptable in 2015! The University and students must take a stand against this behavior. Students are supposed to learn to work with each other and grow together. We will never be able to move forward in this country if we keep allowing discrimination to happen. I hope that Rini Sampath partners with all the victims of discrimination on campus and hold townhall meetings within the University to discuss discrimination and to educate everyone on diversity. Diversity is a good thing but we must learn to appreciate it in this country. Everyone wants the so-called “American Dream” and there is no one race or culture that is better!