At San Jose State, Students Grapple with Hate Crime Allegations

Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times, November 30, 2013

Aaron Miller was surprised and saddened by reports that a black freshman had faced weeks of racial harassment by some of his white roommates in a San Jose State University dorm.

The alleged abuse was poles apart from Miller’s own experience as a black student on the diverse campus.

“It was awful to believe that something like that could happen on a campus where I had felt so welcome, loved and supported,” said Miller, 20, a junior majoring in political science.

But with three white students charged with hate crimes and a fourth suspended from school, the San Jose State campus has been forced to confront the possibility that racial and ethnic relations may not be as smooth as once thought.

Some black students wonder whether it’s safe to stay in dorms.

They and others in the campus community are dumbfounded that the situation apparently went unchecked for weeks. The alleged abuse included blockading the unnamed then-17-year-old in his room, forcing a U-shaped bike lock around his neck, nicknaming him “three-fifths,” a reference to a slavery-era constitutional provision that counted blacks as three-fifths of a person, and parading a Confederate flag.

{snip}

All of this has occurred on a campus that venerates the 1960s civil rights struggles with an imposing statue of black sprinters and alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos, depicted at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics with their black-gloved fists raised in protest during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The hate crime case joins a list of controversies plaguing the campus recently, including protests over last-minute program cuts (subsequently canceled), plans to reduce the size of the African American studies department, problems with a highly touted online experiment and a call by the campus Academic Senate for an outside review of campus leadership.

{snip}

The students charged with misdemeanor hate crimes and battery are Logan Beaschler, 18, of Bakersfield, Joseph Bomgardner, 19, of Clovis, and Colin Warren, 18, of Woodacre. All have been suspended. An unidentified minor was also suspended. The three older students surrendered and were released on $15,000 bail. An arraignment was scheduled for Jan. 6, when they are scheduled to enter pleas.

The students, who also placed Nazi symbols and pictures of Adolf Hitler in the apartment, told campus police that the incidents were pranks and practical jokes. Attorneys for the students did not return calls seeking comment.

The president of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, the Rev. Jethroe Moore II, called their actions “racially based terrorism” and urged that felony charges be filed.

Prosecutors said that the charges reflect the level of conduct and that, after a meeting explaining the decision, the victim’s family is satisfied.

“We believe if we over-charge this case, we may not be able to get justice for the victim, ” Deputy Dist. Atty. Erin West said. “We charged the most we thought we could prove. The investigation is ongoing, and should we be presented with additional evidence the charges could change.”

{snip}

A coalition of students has proposed remedies that include setting up voluntary floors for black students in dorms.

An African American Student Success Task Force of faculty and staff established by the provost over the summer to address retention and graduation is also likely to look at factors surrounding the incident.

Many students and faculty said that they had not experienced a culture or climate of racial intolerance on the 30,000-student campus but that isolated incidents of racial stereotyping of all ethnic groups had occurred for years. In the fall of 2012, African Americans made up 3% of the student population, Latinos 21%, whites 26% and Asians 33%.

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  • dd121

    The left, who promulgated these laws, enforce them only against whites. It’s not all bad, if whites get pushed hard enough they might start to push back.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      They are going to start pushing back, and pushing back very ruthlessly. It’s not long in coming before whites awaken with a roar.

  • I’m not grappling. I already know what it was:

    A college prank.

    More accurately, the kind of goofy immature humor that young white men like, the type that’s somewhere in between the TV shows Jackass and Punk’d.

    What’s really going on here in the black reaction is that blacks are upset that they’ve been far far far supplanted as the favored large minority at this school by Hispanics.

    BTW, $15k bond for a misdemeanor?

    • D.B. Cooper

      White boys at San Jose State? These can only be young punk democrats. YOU know who they are. Those two white boys are the type who will get red in the face calling YOU a racist bigot for reading AMREN.
      Well, a couple of liberal, Obama supporting white boys with a hate crime on their record, might get super angry at realizing that they have ruined their lives because of a lie called diversity.

      • Maybe so.

        But we have to condition ourselves out of the mentality of cheering it on or condoning it because the white lib deserved it.

        First off, they’re ideological cultists, they hardly ever learn, no matter how many times reality mugs them.

        Second, no white person deserves it.

        BTW, why do we automatically assume that all college students that are white men are “young punk Democrats?”

  • GB101

    a reference to a slavery-era constitutional provision that counted blacks as three-fifths of a person

    The person who wrote this has no understanding whatsoever of the three fifths clause. This is not what the three fifths clause did.

    • MBlanc46

      You almost never seen anyone who refers to the three-fifths rule that knows what it was about.

      • GB101

        Almost never. The first time I saw this idiotic misinterpretation was in a presidential debate or vice presidential debate, a long time ago, when Al Gore did it.

        I emailed the reporter and explained it to her. Let’s see how she reacts. I was very nice about it.

        • MBlanc46

          I work in scholarly publishing. Whenever some English Ph.D. writing her tenure book discusses it, it comes out as “counting blacks as 3/5 of a person”. Never the operative bits about taxation and congressional representation.

          • GB101

            Does anyone correct the mistake?

          • MBlanc46

            No, and it’s not my place to do so, alas.

    • MikeofAges

      Totally. The “three-fifth” clause gave Southern whites, slave owners in particular, representation they did not deserve based on their own numbers, but the “3/5 of a person” idea is a jocularization. The concept never had a legal existence. The slave was a person, but a person with no citizenship and no rights beyond the right to life. Not even the right to have a legally recognized family or the right to religious belief and practice.

      Anything that could be construed as a slave “right” actually was an obligation of or limitation on the master. In the United States, masters were forbidden to kill a slave. And they were obligated to sustain them if and when they became infirm or disabled, apparently. What happened when a slave owner became otherwise unable to meet his obligations to an infirm or disabled slave is a good question. There are many aspect of this history which are lost to us.

  • Spartacus

    “Some black students wonder whether it’s safe to stay in dorms.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

  • The Final Solution

    Three-fifths is being far too generous. One-tenth more like…

  • So CAL Snowman

    “All of this has occurred on a campus that venerates the 1960s civil rights struggles with an imposing statue of black sprinters and alumni Tommie Smith and John Carlos, depicted at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics with their black-gloved fists raised in protest during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

    Sounds like a monument that would be found somewhere in Bolshevik Russia. Clearly San Jose State is not an American university and this is not America.

    • JDInSanD

      Sounds like a statue that needs it’s hands cut off.

  • Paul

    ‘Some black students wonder whether it’s safe to stay in dorms.’ ha ha ha. they should run a laugh track with this stuff

  • Paul

    ‘All of this has occurred on a campus that venerates the 1960s civil rights struggles with an imposing statue of black sprinters ‘ Lol. they thought their BS statues would convert everyone to liberalism

    • JDInSanD

      Sprinter statues? Check. Bogus Civil Rights Leader statues? Check. Now all they need are inventor statues, scientist statues, explorer statues, military leader statues, legitimate political leader statues and mythical hero statues.

  • Sue

    What does Adolf Hitler have to do with blacks? They didn’t have any until the good guys came in and raped the German women.

  • Lord_Steven_Regal

    “Some black students wonder if it’s safe to stay in dorms.”

    Oh, God, I hate the fake race conversation forced on us. On any given year on American college campuses the number of white men attacked by black men and the number of white women raped by blacked men exponentially exceeds the inverse. Yet we’re forced to pretend that blacks are at a great danger because some kid was made fun of. It’s reminiscent of the Trayvon media coverage where suddenly the greatest societal plague was white men hunting down black men rather than the truth — which is the inverse.

    • ms_anthro

      Exact inversion of the truth is a governmedia calling card. When it happens so blatantly, you know exactly who’s writing the script. It’s almost like a ritual to them.

      If you’re a Christian just think of it as satanic, or the deliberate inversion of all that is good and true.

    • Chip Carver

      The tribe has been playing victim forever, and they teach their tools, the non-Whites, to play the same game.

  • A coalition of students has proposed remedies that include setting up voluntary floors for black students in dorms.

    AKA White no go zones with special “tutoring” centers for retards who shouldn’t even be attending Kollege.

  • Luca

    Sounds like a drunk frat party gone wrong, but OMG, let’s roll out the SPLC, ACLU and the ghost of MLK. A national tragedy worse than 9/11 has just occurred. Surely only reparations and a $10 million dollar lawsuit will barely be sufficient to soothe the poor fragile victim.

    Meanwhile, across campus, two white students were victims of a knockout game, whereby six suspects screamed, “We hate all White people, this is for Trayvon you (expletive), redneck, slave-owning, trailer trash, honky, crackas,” while punching and kicking the victims unconscious. Campus Police say six males in their late teens and early twenties were taken into custody. They said the attack appears to have been a random altercation based on a simple misunderstanding and may be related to the hot weather we had back in June. They have no evidence that a hate crime was committed and the suspects have been released on their own recognizance after being given sandwiches and bus fare.

    • Campus police didn’t give them money for 40s?

    • tlk244182

      …six suspects screamed, “We hate all White people,” while punching and kicking the victims unconscious….

      Yeah, but at least they didn’t make them wear bike locks around their necks, or show them pictures of Hitler.

  • MBlanc46

    When you starting putting your hands on someone, you’re entering very risky legal territory. I’d have thought that white guys accepted to a university would have understood that. I find the whole concept of “hate crimes” noxious, but they may be lucky that’s all they’re being charged with.

    • There is no such thing as a “hate crime”.
      There is either a crime or there is not.

      • MBlanc46

        I agree, but, alas, we’re not making the laws.

    • “When you start putting your hands on someone, you’re entering very risky legal territory.”

      Very few grown men understand this, let alone college kids. The last one who grabbed my arm didn’t much like what I did to him in the process of making certain he would never touch me again.

      • MBlanc46

        Perhaps people are even more ignorant than I think they are. And I rarely give the benefit of the doubt.

  • “Information”? These are just allegations, not information. I would like independent witness testimony.

  • Joe Sewell

    Am I the only one who thinks this was a ‘staged event’? Wondering about the ‘White Males’ here….

  • tlk244182

    Of course there’s a way to defend what they did. They were fooling around and it got out of hand, the way stupid crap like that sometimes does when teenagers are involved. They’re stupid, not guilty. It could have been worse? Whose side are you on here?

  • RHG

    The typical overboard reaction to an isolated incident in order to gain from it politically. This is what blacks accel at. I guarantee blacks aren’t afraid to stay in dorms or move about this campus at all. And the fact some goofy black student group created to “address retention and graduation is also likely to look at factors surrounding the incident” has poked its nose in it shows where were going here. I am sure one of “factors” that will brought up is that somehow blacks are being graded more harshly then whites and that needs to change. In other words, blacks should be given even more leeway in order to keep them on campus.

  • [Guest]

    Whatever happened in this case, it’s nothing compared to the institutional racism practiced by places such as San Jose State University. One example (the African American Student Success Task Force) is even mentioned, in a totally positive way, in the article.

    The self-declared anti-racists are the most obscene racists imaginable; it’s just that they’ve declared their anti-white racism to be the good kind. They’re the ultimate self-righteous hypocrites.

  • Chip Carver

    Sometimes you have to laugh. Blacks worried about staying in some dorms? No doubt affirmative action hire Ms. Rivera, the “author” of the article, might have made this up. Or more likely, the White hating folks running the show at the Times helped her come up with this. Then they re-wrote the article to get rid of misspellings, numerous grammatical errors, and any information that might be remotely factual.

    That said, we all know it’s the opposite. Anyone with a modicum of racial reality in their bones knows that everyone else should be worried about Blacks staying in some dorms. Because robbery, rape, and murder are high on the list of their groups’ favorite hobbies.

  • Paleoconn

    I bet this is a hoax.