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Video Shines Light On The 'Disturbing Emotional Toll' Of Being Black At UCLA Law School

Posted: 02/14/2014 12:20 pm EST Updated: 02/14/2014 9:59 pm EST
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In an emotional video released earlier this week, students at the UCLA School of Law gathered to share their stories of being among the few black students on campus as part of an awareness campaign simply titled "33."

According to the video, out of roughly 1,100 students, 33 of them are black, that's three percent of the school's student population. Official statistics reveal there are a total of 994 students enrolled getting their Juris Doctor, however, an official from the school says the video's 1,100 figure likely includes students receiving their LL.M. (Master of Laws).

“I am so tired of being on this campus everyday and having to plead my humanity, essentially, to other students. I feel like an outsider constantly. I don’t feel like at my own school I can solely focus on being a student," one woman explained.

 

"It feels isolating. It feels horrible. It feels like there is a lot of pressure, a lot of weight. It feels like I don't belong. It feels unwelcoming and hostile,” another woman shared.

 

The students expanded upon their feelings of isolation, and feeling like they have to represent their entire community.

 

“It’s a constant burden of pressure. I’m constantly policing myself, just being aware of what I say and how it can be interpreted because I essentially am the representation of the black community.”

 

One woman felt she had been automatically characterized as an "angry black woman" after she disagreed with the views of a particular professor and openly vocalized her thoughts.

 

"The fact that I was a black woman played a lot into why people stopped listening to me. I felt like if there were maybe more black women in the class, maybe just five of us, people could have seen more of a variation in our responses to what was going on in class and what I felt like was sexism in the classroom."

 

Lately, students of color have been using the internet to raise awareness about diversity issues on their campuses. Just a few months ago, undergraduate students at UCLA released a video pointing out the fact that UCLA has more NCAA championships than black male freshmen. While students at the University of Michigan ignited a viral conversation on Twitter titled #BBUM (being black at the University of Michigan.)

 

UPDATE: 9 p.m. -- UCLA School of Law's Dean Rachel F. Moran provided the following response to HuffPost: "UCLA Law students eloquently have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the low number of African-American students at the law school. As a public law school that has always been committed to access and opportunity, we share their frustrations and we remain determined to do everything possible to increase the diversity of each incoming class. UCLA School of Law is committed to a culture of collegiality and collaboration. We are dedicated to fostering an atmosphere that is welcoming to all students and an environment that values and supports every member of our community.

I have been working with my administration to provide opportunities that facilitate constructive conversations for all of our students, and we are and will continue to be reaching out to provide additional support, hear their concerns and continue this important dialogue."

 

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Originally Posted by EarthAndSky:

It's simple: We need our own schools. We need to fully support and encourage our children to attend HBCUs.

 

Black women can't stand up for anything, even ourselves, for risk of being characterized as An Angry Black Woman or an Argumentative Black Woman.

 

 

Exactly!  

 

The western propaganda character assassination machine [that spreads these misconceptions] no longer needs White racist rhetoric to do the job because it now uses Black people themselves as tools to operate the machine and keep it well greased.  

 

But, I must say that this article did not give any specifics.  It only gave this woman's perception, so I would like to know specifically what has occurred or what has been said to the Black students on campus that would warrant her "Disturbing Emotional Toll".  

 

Nearly all of my school and working life, I have been one of the minorities in class, or on campus or at work, and in my work life, by Friday, I have often felt like, "damn, I need to be around some Black people", but, it wasn't because anything was being done to me or said to me by the White majority I was often surrounded by.  It was just me, my feelings.  By the inference in the article, you would think that if one of the Black students sat down, all the white students would get up and move or something, but there's nothing in the article that indicates such an atmosphere.  So, I'm kinda confused as to what exactly her complaints are really about.  

 

She doesn't even mention the fact that UCLA deciding to no longer honor Affirmative Action being the primary factor in their not being any more minorities or Blacks in that law school.  

Last edited by sunnubian

When do people consider that schools are obsolete.

 

Why haven't we had a Black National Recommended Reading List.

 

100,000 books would fit on one of these:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7ZCu10ibrk

 

Our traditional educational system should be afraid of what could be done with this technology so of course they are going to try to control what is done with it.  So of course we will imitate whatever the White folks do.  Black women are very traditional.

 

Xum

Last edited by Xumbrarchist

I attended graduate school at a predominantly white conservative private university in the State of Washington.  I can recall when a white professor from New York used the N word there were only two African Americans in that class, a sister from Nigeria and myself.  At the time the Chair of the Social Sciences Department was a black scholar of sociology.  I was advised to say nothing to the Chair and keep my mouth shut if I wanted to get the required B to pass the class, - and so, I ate the insult and got my B passing the class. 

 

It is unfortunate that the few of us who are blessed with the opportunity at higher education do so at the risk of insult and alienation from our white student counterparts.  Moreover, the higher academically the black student rises the greater the propensity for insult.  All one need do is pay attention to the experience of the first African American President.  A graduate of Constitutional Law at Harvard’s School of Law, whose credentials have nonetheless been questioned by a horde of ignorant white people.  White people who incidentally will never enter the halls of the President’s Ivey League Alma Mata not even to clean Harvard’s toilets!!!!!

 

Law students at UCLA here are recommendations: You must read, comprehend and contemplate the social science and history of minorities particularly as it is relative to law.  Because many of your white counterparts have dismissed the relevancy of anything black in academia as useful, it is here that black students of law kicks the butts of their white counterparts.  What I’m saying applies in particular to those white students who hold deep-seated beliefs that their white skin deems them more intelligent than you.  Many of them believe that America’s laws of segregation and discrimination were just laws and therefore discussion about them in law class should be limited or is of little value.  As a graduate student I read the required text and all additional text that was pertinent to my graduate studies.  And on a personal note, I enjoyed kicking the hell of my white counterparts because I knew they had not read the likes of Dubois, Douglas or Franz Fanon.  Therefore, when the aforementioned African American intellectuals and scholars were introduced into the discussion they had to shut up!!!! Follow the footsteps of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

No surprise here. I’m sure this feeling or isolation and not belonging is based on the performance and the minuscule presence of black students at prestigious institutions. Sadly, these students are looked upon as liberal affirmative action projects and lacking the standard intellect to be there on their own merit. I was listening to something a week ago and the commentary was referring to Michigan’s Law School and the result of a recent Supreme Court ruling on their admissions of black students. What was extremely disturbing was the comment that without affirmative action, there would be a virtual absence of black students and a continued domination by Asian and white students at the University of Michigan’s law school. Bottom line is simply this, blacks as a group must somehow elevate their academic competitiveness and ability to meet the standards of these schools.

 

No one questions the presence of Asian and Indian students in these high powered institutions. For example, in California, the UC systems are extremely prestigious and there is very stiff competition to get in these schools. I was on the campus of UCSD a few years ago and I thought I was in Singapore or Hong Kong! It is a sprawling area of different campuses and biotech companies. As I recall -I saw one black student! When I was at the campus area of UC Davis and UC Berkley –it was the same thing! Nothing but a startling presence of Asian students and very, very limited presence of blacks. Just check the average SAT scores for admission to the UC schools and compare them to HBCU’s. It’s totally depressing!!!

 

A physical science major at UCLA said the acronym UCLA meant the University of Caucasians Lost Among Asians! Another stated, “If you walk into a class of Asians, you know you’re in trouble…” Why is like that? Simple -the Asian (and Indian) student are racking up the scores and dominating in math and sciences. Sadly, black students (as a group) have failed to garner such a reputation. Not saying that I agree with it, but because of a lackluster and poor academic performance and the inability (as a group) to compete with such intense academic pressure, they have earned this tragic reputation. If blacks were performing academically as well as Indian and Asian students –why would they be seen as unworthy or unqualified? It would make no sense. And for the record, I’m not suggesting the black students in this video deserve the disrespect and racist slights they have experienced. They don’t. I’m simply stating that until blacks compete as a group and match the level of academic prowess as white, Indian and Asian students, this type of negative type casting is going to continue……

Last edited by Xeon

One more thing. I was talking to a friend of mine who is a nurse in Ohio yesterday. She told me there were a few black doctors at the hospital where she worked who came from HBCU medical schools. She said the white doctors (med school grads from Columbia, John Hopkins, Ohio State, etc) snicker and laugh at them. She told me they had no respect for them and believe their training is inferior and on par with Third World witch doctors. Go figure…..

XEON

Your testimonial is sadly and regrettably true.  It hurts me to have to hear it!  But it is a fact that what you said is indeed the experience of African American students pursuing higher education.  But more importantly as you also stated, is what happens to African American graduates after they receive their degrees.

Originally Posted by Xeon:

One more thing. I was talking to a friend of mine who is a nurse in Ohio yesterday. She told me there were a few black doctors at the hospital where she worked who came from HBCU medical schools. She said the white doctors (med school grads from Columbia, John Hopkins, Ohio State, etc) snicker and laugh at them. She told me they had no respect for them and believe their training is inferior and on par with Third World witch doctors. Go figure…..

One other thing, Xeon, I was talking with a friend about your left-handed compliment posts. She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....

One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.

“She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....”

 

Oh really? The only response I have to that is simply this –Is the truth synonymous with insult? If so, that’s unfortunate because you must live a very difficult life if you are insulted every time someone presents the truth. Everything I have ever said in this forum is true. If not, please reference a post where I told lies or twisted facts. I’ll wait…..

 

“One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.”

 

Ok…ok..This is funny…..but I won’t punctuate it with a laugh. I’m not sure how my stating the facts is adding to the emotional toll or hurting these students on a personal level. If you can detail and explain how and why, I’m more than willing to listen to your reasoning. I never insulted these students because I know they are very intelligent young people. Being able to gain admission to UCLA’s law school is no cake walk. Trust me!

 

My commentary was about the abysmal academic performance of black students (as a group) at these prestigious academic institutions. That’s not my “opinion” nor is it rumor, conjecture, innuendo or speculation. It is well known “fact” (black students are not academically on par with white, Asian and Indian students) that documents itself everyday whether I mention it or not. Why does it bother you that I told the truth? If you prefer silence and censorship to telling the truth….well…I suggest you say so or state that you have a personal aversion to facts and harsh reality. But again, if that is the case, I have no idea how you make it through the day by avoiding and denying the truth……

Last edited by Xeon

Brotha DK wrote:  One other thing, Xeon, I was talking with a friend about your left-handed compliment posts. She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....

 

One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.

 

  Get 'em my brotha!  Cuz he ONLY comes in here to spew his negativity about black folks like he's going to the bathroom.  This forum is NOT his social TOILET as he think it is.  He does NOTHING but bring total bullshyte negativity and NEVER ever post an ounce of positive enlightenment or AWARENESS about black culture.  And that is NOT what we NEED up in here.  I guess he does it HERE cuz he is unable to do it in real life.  Pitiful. I call kneegrows like him....COWARDS [and between you and me?  I don't think he's even BLACK...he's just pretending so he can say the most awful and unproductive things about our culture...he's more than a jerk...he's a white man passing for black].  But! 

Last edited by Kocolicious
Originally Posted by Xeon:

“She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....”

 

Oh really? The only response I have to that is simply this –Is the truth synonymous with insult? If so, that’s unfortunate because you must live a very difficult life if you are insulted every time someone presents the truth. Everything I have ever said in this forum is true. If not, please reference a post where I told lies or twisted facts. I’ll wait…..

 

“One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.”

 

Ok…ok..This is funny…..but I won’t punctuate it with a laugh. I’m not sure how my stating the facts is adding to the emotional toll or hurting these students on a personal level. If you can detail and explain how and why, I’m more than willing to listen to your reasoning. I never insulted these students because I know they are very intelligent young people. Being able to gain admission to UCLA’s law school is no cake walk. Trust me!

 

My commentary was about the abysmal academic performance of black students (as a group) at these prestigious academic institutions. That’s not my “opinion” nor is it rumor, conjecture, innuendo or speculation. It is well known “fact” (black students are not academically on par with white, Asian and Indian students) that documents itself everyday whether I mention it or not. Why does it bother you that I told the truth? If you prefer silence and censorship to telling the truth….well…I suggest you say so or state that you have a personal aversion to facts and harsh reality. But again, if that is the case, I have no idea how you make it through the day by avoiding and denying the truth……

Like I said. Xeon...about that  angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. Can't you do better than that? And claiming that you have "truth"? Sorry, you've got poop.  Now stop whining and man up!

Originally Posted by Jalil:
Originally Posted by Xeon:

“She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....”

 

Oh really? The only response I have to that is simply this –Is the truth synonymous with insult? If so, that’s unfortunate because you must live a very difficult life if you are insulted every time someone presents the truth. Everything I have ever said in this forum is true. If not, please reference a post where I told lies or twisted facts. I’ll wait…..

 

“One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.”

 

Ok…ok..This is funny…..but I won’t punctuate it with a laugh. I’m not sure how my stating the facts is adding to the emotional toll or hurting these students on a personal level. If you can detail and explain how and why, I’m more than willing to listen to your reasoning. I never insulted these students because I know they are very intelligent young people. Being able to gain admission to UCLA’s law school is no cake walk. Trust me!

 

My commentary was about the abysmal academic performance of black students (as a group) at these prestigious academic institutions. That’s not my “opinion” nor is it rumor, conjecture, innuendo or speculation. It is well known “fact” (black students are not academically on par with white, Asian and Indian students) that documents itself everyday whether I mention it or not. Why does it bother you that I told the truth? If you prefer silence and censorship to telling the truth….well…I suggest you say so or state that you have a personal aversion to facts and harsh reality. But again, if that is the case, I have no idea how you make it through the day by avoiding and denying the truth……

Like I said. Xeon...about that  angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. Can't you do better than that? And claiming that you have "truth"? Sorry, you've got poop.  Now stop whining and man up!

Well,  actually, it was my brother that said that, but I second it! Smells bad!

Originally Posted by Jalil:
Originally Posted by Jalil:
Originally Posted by Xeon:

“She told me that you like to coyly insult African Americans...for fun! Who trained you to do that? Go figure....”

 

Oh really? The only response I have to that is simply this –Is the truth synonymous with insult? If so, that’s unfortunate because you must live a very difficult life if you are insulted every time someone presents the truth. Everything I have ever said in this forum is true. If not, please reference a post where I told lies or twisted facts. I’ll wait…..

 

“One more thing, Xeon! This post is about the emotional toll of being AA at UCLA. Your posts add to the emotional toll in general. Why you do that is some sort of personal issue for you. It reminds me of an angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. That’s your “Ha Ha Ha” signature.  Listen, cut that shit out! It's creepy.”

 

Ok…ok..This is funny…..but I won’t punctuate it with a laugh. I’m not sure how my stating the facts is adding to the emotional toll or hurting these students on a personal level. If you can detail and explain how and why, I’m more than willing to listen to your reasoning. I never insulted these students because I know they are very intelligent young people. Being able to gain admission to UCLA’s law school is no cake walk. Trust me!

 

My commentary was about the abysmal academic performance of black students (as a group) at these prestigious academic institutions. That’s not my “opinion” nor is it rumor, conjecture, innuendo or speculation. It is well known “fact” (black students are not academically on par with white, Asian and Indian students) that documents itself everyday whether I mention it or not. Why does it bother you that I told the truth? If you prefer silence and censorship to telling the truth….well…I suggest you say so or state that you have a personal aversion to facts and harsh reality. But again, if that is the case, I have no idea how you make it through the day by avoiding and denying the truth……

Like I said. Xeon...about that  angry little dog that takes a shit on the rug when no one's around. Can't you do better than that? And claiming that you have "truth"? Sorry, you've got poop.  Now stop whining and man up!

Well,  actually, it was my brother that said that, but I second it! Smells bad!

Xeon, let me reach out to you because I know you are a person and not solely a “white” person. For ex, how does God see us?  

 

You also represent a kind of archetype, a cliché, a type.  You’re a man who is literate but not intimate with AA culture. You admire a writer like James Baldwin and made him your AA icon. I consider him both a genius and a great spiritual figure. When you post using the great late James Baldwin as your icon, your sentiments and assertions would be anathema to and incongruous with his sense of self. This incongruence is evidenced in your judgments  and opinion, see what I’m saying? 

This relates to the theme of , . . .  what do you think?? You need to do some thinking too, maybe in a different way, alright?! 

 

“Truth” is more than claiming that my or your or some sect’s  interpretations  and opinions correspond with truth. Anyone who says that is no longer learning, no longer receiving, no longer alive, dig?

 

You are obviously repelled and attracted to American-born  men and women of African descent. Some of it turns you on. You love the music and maybe understand a little that the roots of African music  are about celebration, community and sharing rituals with movement and song – in the African way – not computable by the Euro-brain!  Cultured Africans may  see the  advantages of  being both primal (primitive) and secondary (civilized).

 

You are somewhat intelligent and somewhat ignorant. Is it admissible for you to come clean and observe the clear fact that your knowledge is limited? Wisdom begins there.

 

 Arrogance and ignorance are two sides of one coin. Is it admissible to observe for a moment that  you don't have the answers, after all?!! Get with it, man, or stay stuck! Come around or get lost, IMHO.

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