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Apr 03 2016
by Noemi Griffin

Video: A Fight Broke Out Over A White Guy's Dreadlocks

By Noemi Griffin - Apr 03 2016

Two students at San Francisco State University were videotaped during an altercation over a white student's dreadlocks. According to a report by USA Today, university police had to be called to the scene when the argument became physical. 

Nicholas Silvera via YouTube

At the start of the video the woman can be heard asking, “You got some scissors?”

The man replies, “You’re saying that I can’t have a hairstyle because of your culture? Why?”

Her reply: “Because it’s my culture.”

At one point the white student, unidentified, attempts to leave the argument and the black student, also unidentified, attempts to block him. The incident escalates when the female student grabs the male by the shirt and pulls him back down the stairs to continue the argument. He then grabs her, possibly to break her grip. 

SSFU responded to the incident with this statement released March 29;

We are aware of the video made of an incident which occurred on campus yesterday afternoon. University police were called to the scene of the incident when it occurred. The two individuals involved in the incident are not San Francisco State University employees. Further, no criminal charges have been pressed at this time to the University’s knowledge.
San Francisco State University promotes the rights of the campus community to engage in free speech, but does not condone behavior that impedes the safety or well-being of others. We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable University channels, including our campus student conduct procedures.

There has been no update as to if the students faced any penalty for the incident. However, it did bring the issue of cultural appropriation back into the light. The video emerged amidst a slew of incidents involving “political correctness” at college campuses across the country., who also reported on the story, included that black students at the University of California, Los Angeles, New York University, and other schools have fought for the creation of “safe spaces” restricted only to students of color. Last year, the University of Vermont hosted a retreat solely for white students to confront their “white privilege.” Students at Harvard and Princeton have also succeeded in eliminating the “house master” title given to dorm heads by alleging that the term has connotations of slavery. 

The 2015 film, "Dope," also wrestles with the issue of political correctness. The black protagonist who is attempting to get admission to Harvard ends the movie with the line "so why do I want to go to Harvard? If I was white would you even have to ask that." 

Lead Image Credit: Screen shot from YouTube video via Nicholas Silvera

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Noemi Griffin - Mercer University

Noemi Griffin is a Journalism and Spanish major at Mercer University. Her true passion is dogs and it is truly a great day whenever there is a dog in sight. Instagram: noemioriana Twitter: noemi_oriana

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