Was Racist Incident at UCSD For Real? Or Was It Staged by Black Rapper?

by on February 20, 2010 · 42 comments

in Civil Rights, Education, Popular, San Diego

UCSD racism

UCSD students attend a campus forum on February 19, 2010 to discuss recent racially offensive incidents at the school. Minority student leaders blame UCSD administrators for not doing enough to value black students. Photo by Ana Tintocalis

As an alumnus of UCSD and veteran of the 1969 student strike over the University’s policies toward minority students, I found this week’s report of a UCSD fraternity off-campus party called the “Compton Cook-out” particularly disturbing.  The party was a mock-down of ghetto culture – in the middle of Black History Month.

And then the report of the student group Koala’s campus video program promoting that event, with the use of derogatory racist language, plus a hand-written sign that was discovered with the words “Compton Lynching,” were equally disturbing.

A lot of other people found these incidents disturbing as well. There was a campus march led by Black students – who only make up 1% of the student body – and an emotional show-down with the chancellor.  The NAACP has condemned the incidents as have Sacramento legislators.

There have calls for a crack-down on the fraternity – which claims that the party event was not a sanctioned event – and a disbanding of the Koala group, and more controls on the student video system.

In the midst of all this, a Black rapper who goes by the handle, Jiggaboo Jones, has made a YouTube vid claiming he was responsible for the “Compton Cook-out” and it was not a racist event at all.

Jones claims the party was his CD-release party.  Just having fun, he said.

Whatever Jones’ motivation, racism is still alive at UCSD and elsewhere in San Diego despite the disclaimers.  Check out the public comments to the SignOnSanDiego article about the incident today.  The Koala group’s response was real. The sign was real.

There will be a teach-in up at UCSD next Wednesday, February 24.  Until then, there’s a whole lot of soul-searching going on.

In a national environment where Americans just elected the first Black President but where there is an openly racist movement nation-wide for the first time in decades in response to that election, jokes about ghetto culture, just having fun, this is just what college students do, so get over it – and other disarming attitudes floating about, we cannot allow something like this to be brushed under the rug.

When one of our bloggers  who is African-American can recall fifty years ago not being served at an Arizona restaurant because he is Black, we have to sit up and take notice when there are acts and incidents with strong overtones of racism right under our noses and in our neighborhood.  We will keep track of any new developments.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

lane tobias February 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

thanks for making note of this – I dont believe however, that this was made up. Even if it was the ramifications are serious and the issue needed to be addressed anyway. How can a California state school exist with such a low minority enrollment percentage?


Larry OB February 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

The state only pays 12% of the UCSD budget, so that requires out of state and international students in order to stay in business. Plus the competition is fierce:

“UC San Diego received more than 47,000 freshman applications for fall 2009 admission (the third highest application rate in the UC system). The admitted freshmen’s average high school GPA was 4.08. “


lane tobias February 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm

so you’re saying that there arent black high school students from the USA with 4.08 GPA? The issue is that the school doesnt embrace diversity enough, not how competitive admissions are.


Lop February 20, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Well, I was told that even when accepted, many Black students decide not to attend UCSD and that there is a problem with retention. I do wonder if the racial climate has something to do with it. This incident surely won’t help.


JEC February 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

Is diversity the issue? There is plainly a distance between the “facts” and our impressions. Frank acknowledges and dismisses as irrelevant the information that a rapper put the affair on to sell CD’s. Why? Racism still alive? Sounds a bit pedantic. Is that what we see because we expect to see it? How clear is our thinking? Black and all racial categories used by the UC system are self defined. In 1985 the UC system collected data on 7 racial categories; in 2005 the list had grown to 28. The ‘minority’ population at UCSD has been questioned for 30 years that I know of. Academic researchers have studied the question and offered conclusions – some of which are offered in comments; one is expense, San Diego is expensive. Another is out of state and out of nation which at last count (by me) made up about 35% of the total population. And that is about the money. But the fact is ‘black’ enrollment through out the UC system is static, little changed for years. Latino is up, Asian way up, white is down (39% at last count, below their portion of the population) and women rule (only 43% are males in undergraduate, less in post-graduate). Racial and gender information on enrollment by campus is available online.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 11:18 am
Nate Hipple February 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

This story intrigues me for a number of reasons. As a blogger who was born in the 80’s, I recall listening to “gansta rap” on the radio, and watching movies like “Boys in the Hood” which made “ghetto culture” seem very exciting! (Maybe folks who grew up a few generations ago thought of biker gangs in a similarly rebellious/lawless/American way) Hasn’t ‘ghetto culture’ become hybridized to a degree where race doesn’t matter. Think of white rapper, Eminem, or even myself, when I first got my drivers license, driving my dad’s pickup truck along Texas freeways listening to Tupac.

“Ghetto-culture” has been infused into the mainstream vocabulary just like rock-n-roll, surf culture or reality TV. Anybody can quote it. Anybody can emulate it.


Lisa Fisher March 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

“Ghetto-culture” has been infused into the mainstream vocabulary just like rock-n-roll, surf culture or reality TV

True, but the question becomes when people hear the word ghetto, who do people associate the word too and what do they associate the word with. Movies like Boys in the Hood, didn’t glorify the conditions that much of black youth live in today, but instead showed the pain and the struggle that young African American teenagers faced on an everyday basis during the 80’s. Unlike this Comptom Cookout which completely degraded black men and women stating that black girls from Compton have nappy hair, start a lot of drama, and have gold teeth in their mouths, when last time I checked Nia Long (Cubas gf) did not have nappy hair, start any drama, or have gold teeth but in the end it was shown that she was very educated getting into Spellman. In addition, the reason why race matters so much in this issue is because it was included in the info/flyer advertising the event. It was said to be in light of Black History Month, as if the hip hop culture is all that Blacks have contributed to American History; Instead of emulating culture it showed the true ignorance of vast majority of American youth (this includes all ethnicity’s) who are not educated in the history of achievements of minorities that have helped shape and make this country what it is today.


Nate Hipple March 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

You rock for bringing up some wonderful points and problems. (For the record, I don’t condone the Compton Cookout party, which sounded pretty lame, honestly. I mean, it sounded like the kind of party you might show up to for 5 minutes, say hi to a couple people, but really you’re just there for free beer and looking for an exit… I digress. On the other hand, the party did raise some serious questions about pop-culture, race, and what Americans are supposed to do with all the hip-hop we’ve been listening to.)

You’re exactly right when you said Boys in the Hood didn’t glorify the conditions that much of black youth live in today, but instead showed the pain and the struggle, which is why it still highly-regarded as a classic film, after 20 years…….. versus a movie like Soul Plane, which is just painful to watch. How long until Boys in the Hood will be aired on the Turner Classic Movie channel?

In February of 1997, I attended a lecture by Rosa Parks, which was pretty awesome because she was a funny lady and also played a key role in Black History. One kid raised his hand and asked: Why didn’t you move (to the back of the bus) did your feet hurt or something? And she replied: Honey, the civil rights movement wasn’t started over bunions.

That still cracks me up today.

Now, remember when she tried to file a lawsuit against Outkast for their song entitled “Rosa Parks”? Was it because Miss Parks was offended by the music or possibly a symptom of old age? I don’t know. I will admit that I’m an Outkast fan and believe their talents range extend from music to film and pretty much everything they touch is gold. Now, who decides who gets to enter the canon of Black History? Musicians or political activists? Isn’t there room for both?

I understand that Black History has undergone controversy throughout the years. Many of the Harlem Renaissance Elders, like W. E. B. Du Bois, were not pleased to see new generation of black writers and poets break from tradition. At one point Harlem was in vogue, and popular among whites, which pissed off a few people. Is this a similar situation we’re dealing with today?

You also talk about the achievements of minorities that have helped shape and make this country what it is today- and you’re right. Virtually every human endeavor in our nation owes a big thanks to the hard work of minorities. Can I say that I think it’s awesome to see a black president in my lifetime? I mean, politics aside, that’s just awesome.

The future of Black History is interesting. Why do we still segregate history into black history and plain-old regular history. At some point, shouldn’t Black History be absorbed by the other history as future generations develop a more multi-cultural worldview? And why only one month? The accomplishments of minorities ought to be appreciated year-round. And finally, there’s not enough room here to compare the merits of Andre 3000 to Hank Williams to MJ. Isn’t it fair to say that hip-hop culture does play a significant role (for better or worse) in American History?


Danny Morales February 20, 2010 at 3:54 pm

“Scum-(excuse me) teabaggers downtown, the anti youth movement in OB and now this! Will somebody please explain to me what’s going on?” – Neil Comento


Sarah February 20, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Perhaps it’s labor pain.


Danny Morales February 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Sara-“Whatever do you mean?”-‘Doc’ Hoiliday in the movie Tombstone w/ Kurt Russell.


Jine February 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Email the boys
the media has reported to be responsible
From the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha
Official Statement claims
“Pi Kappa Alpha Not Involved With Controversial UCSD Party” http://www.pikeucsd.com/index.html
They Pi Kappa Alpha’s say the frat
integrity and honesty
they have done everything
to conceal the actions
that led to the sullying the reputation of UCSD.
No one has come forward ,that I know of,
to publicly claim responsibility for
writing the invitation
organizing the party .

Pi Kappa Alpha Executive Council:
President: Garron Engstrom garron.engstrom@gmail.com
VP-Internal: Virat Singh vssingh@ucsd.edu
VP-External: Oliver Fries omfries@gmail.com
Treasurer: Deven Carroll deven.carroll@gmail.com
Rec. Secretary: Joel Rumsey jrumsey@ucsd.edu
Corr. Secretary: Nick Groke goodtimes357@gmail.com
Pledge Educator: John Ehrhart jehrhart@ucsd.edu
Risk Management: Andrew Clement awclemen@ucsd.edu
Sergeant-at-Arms: Oytun Yagci oyagci@ucsd.edu
Membership Educator: Devin Mirchi dhmirchi@gmail.com
Recruitment Chair: Eric Denker ericdenker@gmail.com


mr fresh February 21, 2010 at 7:23 am

has it occurred to anybody at ucsd that maybe, just maybe, you’ve been punk’d?
the party was a horrible idea. and there certainly have been despicable actions similar to this by young conservative groups around the country. and ucsd’s track record on minority admissions is shameful.
but here we have a story that some shock jock may have been behind the whole thing as a pr stunt, and the only way you can react is by posting the email addresses of a bunch of frat boyz who deny involvement.
further investigation is warranted before calling out the pitchforks and torches.


Lop February 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I’m not sure the involvement of “Jiggaboo Jones” changes much. These are adults, they know it’s racially offensive to paint yourself Black, wear shirts with racial slurs on them and take pictures of themselves with buckets of chicken, watermelon and koolaide. Dedicating this party to Black History Month dehumanizes Black people. Permission to do so from one Black person doesn’t make everything better, simply because he doesn’t speak for all Black people and decide what is and isn’t offensive to Black people. These students chose to attend the party, they weren’t forced to attend by Jiggaboo Jones.

My question if Jiggaboo Jones is the organizer, why did the students need to use a website to get the language for the invitation, why did they pick the venue, make the FB pages,, but the food and booze…. I mean, why did they have to do all the work if this event was suppossed to be organized by Jiggaboo Jones? Just strange. I was told the organizer was a frat member who has since taken down his FB page, but some have said it’s still in google cache.


Frank Gormlie February 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Lop, excellent points. Plus, we read the invites, and there was no mention of Jiggaboo Jones or his CD-release.


Danny Morales February 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Nate et. al-Looked a little further by going onto the YouTube links. Jones is a black shock jock on KYHY 92.5 Burbank. HIS promo puts him right up there w/Larry King(when did daKing eva stoop to debasing self or others?), Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. He’s attempting a publicity stunt in the style of Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” [?]. Pathetic little bastards who sow division to advance themselves…well, you know. Note: The culture I’m familiar w/calls a 60 day lockup just that. Jones calls it time in the “pen”-I’d like to see what the brotherhood at the penetentiary would do to his sell-out, jerrycurl drippin’ gangsta’ wannabe ass when he got there.-d.


Nate Hipple February 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

California…knows how to party
California…knows how to party
In the citaaay of L.A.
In the citaaay of good ol’ Watts
In the citaaay, the city of Compton
We keep it rockin! We keep it rockin!
-2Pac ‘California Love’

“California Love” was Shakur’s only entry on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, ranked #346 and #51 on VH1’s countdown of the 100 Greatest songs of the 90s.

Compton is a great place to live, work, and raise a family. It is home to almost 100,000 citizens. Known as the “Hub City” because of its unique position in almost the exact geographical center of Los Angeles County, Compton is strategically located along the Alameda Corridor, a passageway of 25 percent of all U.S. waterborne international trade. Compton is rapidly emerging as a large industrial center in Los Angeles County for transit and distribution, business services, high technology, home and lifestyle products, metals, financial services, and textile manufacturing… By encouraging shoppers to patronize local businesses, Compton is able to keep more sales tax dollars at home for the benefit of the community.

I agree that the “Compton Cookout” wasn’t a well planned theme party (hoax or real).
In the future, I believe that Compton-themed parties should actually be hosted IN the city of Compton, thereby pumping welcomed money into the local economy and allowing hip-hop aficionados a chance pay homage to a city that’s musically-referenced in countless songs (many of which are perennial dancefloor favorites!) AND providing a platform for UCSD’s potential ‘urban ambassadors’ to experience first-hand the “Hub City” in 2010.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Nate, sending a bunch of frat boys and sorority girls to Compton could be dangerous! Yeah, well holding onto overly-sensitive notions of race or examining an issue solely within the bubble of a student-government can be equally dangerous. Let’s turn this awkward situation into a celebration! Should Elvis fans be ashamed to visit Memphis because they’re curious about Graceland?

Plus, Compton already has the facilities to throw a bitchin’ ass Compton party: http://www.thecrystalcasino.com for starters.

Yes, I am an idealist (naive as hell, too!). And I believe in the power of the following equation, made famous by a recent Nobel Peace Prize winning American President:
Sensitive Issue+Beer=Beer Summit!!!

Driving directions to Compton, CA from UCSD
102 mi – about 1 hour 44 mins
-Google Maps


Danny Morales February 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Nate-You’re sticking the tounge back in my cheek+bringing a smile to my mouth:>)


Billy John February 22, 2010 at 8:48 am

I read the story and first Jiggaboo Jones is not a rapper get your facts straight.He said it wasn’t a racist event so leave it the hell alone!!!!!!


Abby February 22, 2010 at 8:45 am

I think Mr. Jiggaboo Jones is really enjoying all the free publicity this is generating.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

Who cares. This wasnt sponsored by the university of any student org. so why must the government (once again) get involved?


Frank Gormlie February 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

Who cares? We care. The alumni, the students, the faculty, the community. It’s the people who are getting involved, pressuring the UCSD administration. The community is not going to stand by and watch decades of racial progress erased by a bunch of frat boys and a shock jock. So, why don’t you join the frat group’s off-campus adult sponsors and next time you can help sponsor a neck-tie party, or a Klan party.


Abby February 22, 2010 at 10:12 am

Last I checked it was perfectly legal to have poor taste, be offensive and to be just plain dumb.


Molly February 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

It’s true, people have a right to poor taste and be offensive – until that poor taste and offensiveness bubbles over and threatens the rights of others. Just like it’s legal for the KKK to stage a rally – poor taste and offensive – absolutely. And it’s the right of others if they are offended to yell, protest, and bring every kind of pressure that is available down – yes, even disruption – on those creating the offensive nature of the event.

When government and community’s resources are used to promote this offensive event – like a taxpayer-funded student video/ media center – then the community has a right to come down on that usage.

If a person says they have the right to threaten someone due to their skin color, then I have the right to get in their face and ensure they don’t do it.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

So it was all frat boys and a shock jock? The frat said it had nothing to do with this. No public money was used to sponsor this event. Why does UCSD have to do anything except state that they are against it. I havent seen/heard of a video showing this threat of violence.


Molly February 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

Okay, how’s this:
Hey JPinSD – you’re an asshole! You’re not worthy of the ground you walk upon. So get the hell out of San Diego!!!
Gee, I didn’t intend to insult you, I was just having fun.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

That’s the beauty of living in this “free” society.


Frank Gormlie February 22, 2010 at 11:17 am

Don’t know about Molly, but that’s not really cool. What if the frats (BTW, the frats have not denied organizing it, just that it was not an “official” frat event) said all Polish Americans – for example – are sub-human and not worthy of our respect, and even used the local publicly-funded college radio station to promote this view, calling Poles derogatory names, and calling for their removal from society – what then JPinSD?


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

1. There were some individauls from a fraternity that helped to organize a party, I don’t see how that qualifies a sanctioned fraternity event/party. My understanding is that the individuals involved have already been reprimanded by the fraternity.

2. I could care less on how people speak/demonstrate. I know who I am and what I believe.

3. Please provide a link to this public tv/radio spot promoting this event and the removal of a race/religion etc from our society. I’m sure if there was one, the public outcry would have been too strong for the party to even be held.


BillRayDrums February 22, 2010 at 9:21 am

Another exploitation of race to further one’s musical career. It’s both brilliant and appalling.

And it’s also a poignant lesson that in the music business, talent does not equate to success. Otherwise Superunloader would have had a string of #1 hits. :D


Molly February 22, 2010 at 10:29 am

Your free speech rights end when you threaten my rights.


Nate Hipple February 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

A couple of years ago, I was at this keg party, and it was pretty fun party too, that is until some audacious fellow showed up dressed to the nines like a cowboy (10-gallon hat, ostrich boots, spurs, the whole enchilada). Now, I found this stunt fairly offensive, seeing as how I’m from Texas and all. I said, “Mister, what right you got marching in here to mock me and my entire home state, not to mention (and this was 2007) my president too?” The fellow stared back at me from under the brim of his threadbare hat and said, “Dude, relax it’s just a party!”

I thought for a moment, then realized this man was right. Since that day, I’ve quit hassling dudes dressed like cowboys at parties. I also did some serious soul-searching. I realized that just because I’m from Texas, it doesn’t qualify me as a cowboy either. I cant ride a horse for shit, my wrangling skills are questionable. And do you know what else? I never even voted for Bush! Man, I think the only reason I got mad is cuz I was lookin’ for a conflict.

When I moved to San Diego, I traded my boots for boardshorts and nobody seems to mind! Not once have I been stopped on the street by somebody complaining, “Sir! You cannot wear Billabong, that’s OUR thing.” I guess it’s because of the general good nature of San Diegans.

As for dressing up like a gangsta rapper, I say why not? The ghetto gansta is as much of an American emblem as the cowboy, the hippie, or the wizards in Harry Potter. I’m saying that N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” is as quintessentially American as Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock”

The future of America will blur into an ever-increasing diversity. I, for one, welcome it. Who knows what strange collisions of culture and music we’re in store for. Change can be rocky at times, too. But I don’t want to live in a color-blind society. So, I choose not to point the finger and declare ‘racism’ but instead smile, knowing that we’re gonna see weirder stuff than the Greeks adopting ghetto-culture.

There’s only 8 more months until Halloween. At some point, you need to ask yourself: What kind of gangster are you?



jon February 22, 2010 at 2:36 pm

hahaha…I can’t wait for the N.W.A./Elvis mash-up to hit the streets. I think you’re definitely on to something there nate. Great post!


Lop February 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I’ll go out on a limb and say that cowboys don’t quite have the history of oppression and dehumanization that African Americans do. Throwing a “ghetto-themed party” which includes wearing blackface in “honor” of Black History Month gives a clear view of what you think of Black History Month, Black history in this country and Black people in general by reducing them to offensive caricatures. There is quite a difference between dressing up like a cowboy and donning blackface, with Afro wigs, tshirts with the Nword on them, while taking pictures holding buckets of KFC as a way of showing your respect for a peoples history.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I will be defending my Irish heritage in less than a month. I don’t want anyone sporting green face, dressing up as a leprechaun, eating corn beef and cabbage, throwing potatoes, wearing “fighing irish” apparel, and associating beer with the day (or green for that matter) etc etc….


Lop February 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Actually, Irish American Heritage Month begins in less than a week. Good for you for defending your Irish heritage. If this issue is of little importance to you, how about you just move on, no one is forcing you to discuss the issue.


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I don’t think it has been proclaimed yet. The Irish will probably just have to wait another week. In memory of the Irish victims of Slavery….


JPinSD February 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm

….don’t call me a mick either….


Ernie McCray February 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Here we are in the 21st Century with a long row to hoe still in front of us in the Land of the Free when it comes to appreciating our diversity. It’s particularly sad that our brightest, carefully selected students at UCSD, are among those carrying vestiges of the way our society used to be. Hopefully a significant number of the students will realize that their actions were just not cool at all.


Montana February 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

You real can’t take these uneducated UCSD white trailer trash anywhere. This is what happens when more than one of these guys puts their minds together.


Jessica Williams-Holt March 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm

“Read a book/read a book/read a mutha fuckin book”


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