Students recently booed a young Asian woman in a "safe space" that the students had created at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California (video below).
The unidentified woman was describing the racism that she experienced when she came to the U.S. at age 15 by herself and lived at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, notes Mediaite.com.
The student recalled how she was ridiculed for not speaking English and not speaking English well enough.
She also shared how she was walking down a street with some Asian friends while she was in high school, when an African-American driver yelled, “Go back to your home, go back where you are from."
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The Asian student said a white female driver asked her if she was OK, and if the students wanted her to call the police.
“The point I’m making here is that we should not distinguish people by their race or gender or anything," the Asian student stated. "Black people can be racist."
The crowd began grumbling and booing her, although some students said she should be allowed to finish. The woman urged her fellow students "to look at people individually" and at the “action, not the race.”
That statement brought more grumbling. The student surrendered the microphone and walked away. Moments later, a black woman yelled at the students through a megaphone, "We're getting derailed. You're losing sight of the movement!"
Mary Spellman, the school's dean of students, resigned on Nov. 12 after fueling protests and hunger strikes by students. Spellman had told a Latina student in an email that she would serve people who “don’t fit our CMC mold,” notes the Los Angeles Times.
Spellman did apologize, but the incident served as a catalyst for students who have previously demanded greater diversity in the school's employees, and more money for multicultural services on campus.