Despite California witnessing the second largest state increase in white supremacist “activity” on college campuses, UCLA has been an aberration — it’s seen no uptick in such.
According to a January 29 report by the Anti-Defamation League, there was an almost three-fold increase in white supremacist happenings in 2017 compared to the year before. Only Texas surpassed the Golden State in such activity, with groups such as Identity Evropa and Patriot Front the most visible.
According to The Daily Bruin, the ADL’s Ariella Schusterman said these groups “frequently employ flyers and posters on college campuses to recruit members,” making use of “white supremacist imagery to try to attract students.”
Though UCLA has been an exception to these statistics, some faculty and student leaders couldn’t resist invoking the racist — and conservative — boogeyman:
“Some politicians have the ability to communicate a racist message, without being explicit about it,” political science professor Barry O’Neill said, adding that, despite the First Amendment, racist talk is hurtful, and racist attitudes can spread.”
Chris Tausanovitch, a political science assistant professor, said he thinks Trump’s casual denigration of racial and religious minorities makes it appear more acceptable for individuals to commit hateful acts.
Ron Rogowski, a political science professor, said he thinks the increase in white supremacy incidents on college campuses is concerning because the Nazi Party first came to power by winning a majority in the national federation of German university students.
“If assumedly intelligent students can be converted so easily into unashamed and violent racists, just because racist speech becomes first officially tolerated and then officially promoted, it can probably occur anywhere, certainly including here,” he said.
Godwin’s Law notwithstanding, Afrikan Student Union Vice-Chair Kosi Ogbuli tossed (Jewish) conservative pundit Ben Shapiro into the mix:
[Ogbuli] thinks the university has a poor track record of dealing with hateful incidents because of how they reacted to Ben Shapiro’s campus visit last year. Hundreds of students protested when Shapiro […] gave a speech on campus.
“UCLA handles things in a very reactive way – when Ben Shapiro came to campus, the university reacted to the protests and the unrest, rather than addressing what caused them,” he said.
Naturally, Ogbuli claims white supremacy “is still institutionalized in society as a whole.”
“It’s not as blatant as it was in the ‘60s, but you can see white supremacy,” he said. “[…] through stagnancy, in contentment with things as they are and with the tendency to be regressive rather than progressive.”
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