In the latest outbreak of the unfortunately all-too-common instance of racism occurring at one of the United States' institutions of higher education, three students from San Jose State University have been charged with misdemeanor hate crimes and battery after repeatedly terrorizing their black roommate.
The three students, Colin Warren, Joseph Bomgardner and Logan Beaschler, all are 18-years-old and living in the dorms at SJSU. They lived in an eight-person suite along with a 17-year-old black student, who quickly became the victim of their hate crimes.
According to Raw Story, the victim’s parents had become suspicious about their son’s living situation after they noticed a confederate flag in the room as well as the n-word written on a dry erase board.
While these two items are undoubtedly expressions of racist behavior, the other incidents that occurred are much more horrific.
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According to the San Jose Mercury News, the three white students referred to their black roommate as “Three-fifths” or “fraction,” referring to the “Three-fifths compromise” of 1787 that determined African-Americans counted as 3/5ths of American citizens. They also locked him in his room and secured a metal bike “U-lock” around his neck for several minutes. Those investigating the incident found Nazi symbols and pentagrams in the dorm, both intended to frighten the freshman.
The three students are facing further punishment from the university, although they were immediately removed from their housing unit. They are also facing a punishment that could lead to a year in jail if they are convicted of the crimes with which they have been charged.