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Students of color and LGBT students at the University of California-Berkeley — also known as one of the few places on earth that could be considered a perfect antonym for “Nazi Germany” — are tired of feeling oppressed. Granted, oppression sort of feels like a synonym for inconvenienced in this instance, but hey, I’m a straight-cis-middle class-serial killer-frat-able-puppy strangler-Christian-white-for teen smoking-male. What do I know? I have it all!
*twirls about with arms open as beautiful fall foliage slowly falls around me, finishes, sighs happily, exits, group of Mexicans walk over, rake up leaves, give me side eye as I skip away*
But maybe few places are more fraught with intolerance than a world class university just outside of San Francisco. After Russia, China, and rural Alabama I’m having trouble thinking of anything else so sure, fuck it, let’s just throw Cal-Berkeley in the mix.
To protest their oppression, the Cal POC and LGBT students decided to block Sather Gate, a popular bridge/walkway on campus, and only let through students of color and, I guess, white students who could somehow prove they were gay?
“This white boy says he’s gay. Should we let him through?”
“Hold up! Pull up a picture of a big hard dick on your phone and see how his pupils dilate when he looks at it.”
“Damn we thought of everything! This protest is FLAWLESS!”
Here’s a video of said protest.
These are my three favorite parts of this video, in no particular order:
1. The girl chastising Cal-Berkeley PD, telling them she doesn’t give a fuck about them, as if she wouldn’t call them in a heartbeat the second she felt threatened on campus, which, I feel like might be often.
2. Another girl complaining on the megaphone about how she can’t afford a long sleeve t-shirt at the Cal bookstore (more on that in a moment). Some people might say that civil rights leaders would be rolling over in their graves at a POC treating the price of a long sleeved t-shirt like it’s a white’s only water fountain, but I have to believe that, in a way, those civil rights leaders are pretty thrilled they did their job so well that these days this is all these kids have to bitch about. After all, aren’t the parents who worked hard to pull themselves up and give their kids a better life still proud of those kids even when they become spoiled morons? I know mine are!
3. All the non-white students who the Cal protesters inadvertently forced to walk through the creek. I have to imagine at least a few gay kids were forced to do that too.
Also, can you imagine how fun it would be to have your pledges try to get through there? As much as I’d like to see them cleverly attempt to finagle their way through the white blockade by, say, wearing hot pants and mesh tops and tricking the protesters into believing they’re gay based on stereotypes (which, ironically, would totally work at least three times), I think a flat out bum rush would be the most entertaining. Chaos >>>>>>.
The protest then moved to the bookstore, whose prices these students apparently really aren’t fans of.
Afterward, the protest moved to the campus bookstore, where activists posted an eviction notice informing the owners that their building was being reclaimed as a safe space for queer and trans students.
“You are hereby notified by the students of the University of California, Berkeley, to vacate the premises immediately,” the eviction notice stated. “University administration wrongly allocated this two-story facility to a third-party corporation, keeping in line with its intensifying legacy of prioritizing financial profit over student needs.”
That’ll teach that fat cat robber baron Cal Berkeleyington V to put his profits over students. I half expect he spit out his scotch and dropped his cigar when he heard the news.
I’m firmly of the belief that everyone should have a space they feel safe in on campus. A private space they can go to. Not a public space they suddenly declared theirs because they want
attention equality. My fraternity house definitely operated as the former. I see no reason to deny anyone else what I had, barring some sort of unreasonable expectation on a group’s part.
But oh wait they already had that. Again, from Reason.com:
They were apparently incensed that one of their official safe spaces had been moved from the fifth floor of a building to the basement.
I don’t know, maybe the basement is a shit hole? Then again my fraternity house looked like a haunted crack mansion, so my sympathy is low here.
But the long and short of this whole thing is that Cal-Berkeley students fought discrimination with… discrimination. Which is literally the equivalent of trying to put out a burning house by using more fire. Great job guys. Praying you get some nicer digs and those reasonable t-shirt prices you were hoping for. This definitely wasn’t counterproductive and hypocritical at all..
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