Editor’s Note: Below is a follow up letter regarding the organizing led by Conciencia Feminil, a Chican@ student organization at Cal State University, Long Beach and the gender violence on campus that they are resisting.
Herman@s in the struggle,
Thank you for your expression of support and solidarity.
The anti-GLBT and misogynous hate violence continues at CSU Long Beach, targeting Chicanas, Chican@ Feminists, Indigenous folks, Queer Chican@s and a white trans student who was attacked and left with a carving of the word “IT” on his chest. The most recent hate violence appeared 2 days ago as a comment on the school newspaper inciting the beheading of gays, lesbians, including named artist Alma Lopez. Some of the prior hate violence has threatened indigenous communities with violence and referenced an appropriated representation of Aztec Law calling for the murder of gays and lesbians with explicit and detailed instructions as to how to carry out killings. With significant pressure, the campus newspaper instituted a new policy to moderate comments and remove hate speech but their response has wavered and sometimes comments take days to be removed. We would like to ask for the newspaper to screen all comments for threatening language before they are posted to prevent even one member of our community having to experience the trauma of hate violence. We are weathered but enduring and we call for your support for us to continue this vital struggle to intervene in and end the violence against us at CSU Long Beach.
The Campus Administration has moved slowly to respond to the near 6 weeks of ongoing hate violence and although President King Alexander recently addressed what he and the university publicly referred to as the “isolated” hate crime against a trans student, he has not responded to communication nor addressed the campus community about the ongoing hate violence and the interrelatedness of 19 multiple incidents of hate violence and the institutional context and climate that supports them.
The inspiring and courageous leadership of Chican@ students from Conciencia Femenil has drafted a response and set of demands that if implemented might prevent future violence. They request your support by signing and circulating their petition at:
The CSULB GLBT Task Force, a campus group that has asked for and been denied University support and recognition in the past, has published a statement requesting specific action to help mitigate the violence and to create a more hospitable campus for GLBT folks.
Conciencia Femenil took leadership in organizing the much needed Chicana Feminisms Conference that addressed the early roots of misogynous violence against Chicana Feminist organizing at CSULB. A reunion of the historic Hijas de Cuauhtemoc shed light on some of the egregious tactics deployed against Chicana leadership by MEChA in the early 1970’s. Regrettably, the legacy of heteropatriarchal violence endures with the most obvious, recent, and ongoing example as the current violent backlash against a new wave of Chicana Feminist organizing at CSULB.
We ask for your support in holding the University and Chicano/Latino Studies Department accountable for their lack of action in intervening in the violence and creating more hospitable environments for GLBT folks and Queer and Feminist Chican@s.
You may express your concerns to:
King Alexander, President CSULB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hostetler, Associate Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Students: email@example.com 562/985-8670
Toni Beron, Associate Vice President of University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org 562/985-8201
Luis Arroyo, Chair Chicano/Latino Studies, email@example.com, (562) 985-4640
We also welcome creative forms of protest and action in solidarity. The escalation of heteropatriarchal and racist hate violence, including recent attacks at CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Chico, and Claremont Colleges (in addition to UC San Diego, UC Riverside and UC Davis) shows a need for creative community reflection, strategizing and action to inspire mechanisms of accountability and a transformation to end the violence our communities are experiencing on university campuses throughout California.
In solidarity and struggle,