Skip to comments.Going Hungry in Berkeley for Ethnic Studies
Posted on 05/04/2011 1:23:32 PM PDT by SmithL
Hungry students and their supporters sit for the seventh day in front of University of California at Berkeleys California Hall, after a futile meeting with University Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. The students asked Birgeneau yesterday to reinstate fired ethnic-studies staff members.
We're still here, we're still fighting and basically, we're not going anywhere," said a weary-looking, third-year Native American studies major, Zoila Lara-Cea.
They are protesting cuts resulting from a comprehensive audit of university operations conducted by the consulting firm Bain and Company. The auditors recommended trimming two-and-a-half staff positions from the Ethnic Studies Department.
Even though cuts are distributed university-wide, people of color are targeted first, asserted third-year ethnic studies student Edward Rivero.
This institution is very white-dominated, added Luzilda Carrillo, a fifth-year student majoring in integrative biology and anthropology.
Over the years, students and faculty in the ethnic studies department have grown accustomed to protesting. Present at the current demonstration were several professors, who had advocated for the departments creation in the late 1960s.
As a UC student, Harvey Dong, now an ethnic studies lecturer, participated in the 1969 Third World Liberation Front, a movement that lead to the creation of the department, which became a model for similar programs nationwide.
At the time, Dong and fellow students sought the creation of an entire Third World College devoted to the study of marginalized groups, but settled for a department.
Professor Emeritus Carlos Muños, also present at the protest, benefited from Dongs actions and became the first chair of Chicano Studies at California State University, Los Angeles.
Spearheading this new field, Muños and Dong recalled their responsibility to respond to a basic gap in college curriculums.
A Mexican American, Muños said he remembers being a graduate student and not being able to find books on ourselves. He added, At that time we were an invisible people in this country.
While ethnic studies have since matured, Muños said students must continue to fight for the survival of the field.
We have to go out of our way to legitimize ourselves, he said. Students have had to struggle on our behalf.
At UC Berkeley, cuts will mean reduced office hours and unanswered phones. The history and psychology departments face similar cuts.
However, Carleen Sanchez, vice president of the National Association for Ethnic Studies, said that the protest represents a broader cause.
Ethnic studies are under assault, she stated in a phone interview.
Administrators do not recognize the importance of ethnic studies, Sanchez continued. Given our origins in civil rights, I think that that type of direct action and individual sacrifice is part of our history. She emphasized, A hunger strike is not silly.
Sanchez cited a law signed last May by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer that bans classes designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, or which advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treatment of pupils as individuals from K-12 classrooms.
At Berkeley, though, protesters may have to remain patient. Claire Buss, two-time hunger striker who hadnt eaten in 176 hours when interviewed for this story said she can wait.
Im feeling great, she said. I could go forever.
The students plan to continue their protest throughout this week.
"Ethnic Studies" programs encourage this kind of paranoid thinking & produce racist little haters by the thousands. Defund em all.
Charles Ponzi would be proud!
Big deal. Jesus went without food for 40 days, so did Moses and there are plenty of Christians who’ve done the same thing.
Now, if they gave up food and sent the money to the hungry, that’d be ok. But, this sounds more like, look at me, I’m a martyr for the poor and hungry.
Wait, what was that?, Is he related to Long-Duck?
So liberal Berkley is being accused of racism?
Here: white people are guilty and brown people are victims.
There - I saved you 4 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If I ever see "Native American Studies Major" on a resume it's going straight into the trash.
Which quote demonstrates the true worth of an UCLA education. "Legitimize" means 'to make legal', which Mexicans are absolutely NOT going out of their way to do.
They may want the racial percentages of the faculty to match that of the undergraduates. With a recently-invented discipline like Ethnic Studies, probably you would just get a lot of professors saying the same thing. The students who want that kind of thing have it already--it doesn't help to have 20 professors ranting about the oppression of Mexicans by Americans instead of just 2.
I'm eating a delicious Subway sandwich in their honor...
Someday, these morons will discover where the funding comes from for their useless "Ethnic Studies" nonsense and the fact that there is no job waiting for them in the real world when they graduate with a useless degree in "Ethnic Studies". But, in the meantime, they are free to be as stupid as they please.
“Ethnic studies” should be talking with Mom and Dad, the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, your neighbors about their lives. I know my family, my roots; I don’t need no smarmy professor to give me his interpretation of why I am what and who I am.
That’s “ethnic studies!”
They won’t be happy until Whitey is gone, but they will still be hungry. Sorry, kids.
For many years I was an avid “searcher” on various genealogy forums and I would frequently check out the American Indian forum. Many of the posters were members of recognized tribes. I would guess that 98% of them really detested being called “Native Americans”, but preferred the term “American Indians”.
The term Native American does not distinguish the Indians from everyone else born on the American Continent, just as a term like “Native African” would mean anyone born on the Continent of Africa.
Octex ...NBC Texan and NBC American; and NBC tops Native when it comes to eligibility to be POTUS! (grin)