Tyler Stovall Replaces Karen Bassi

It looks like they replaced (directly or indirectly) Karen Bassi with another Dean of Humanities; a black male.

http://news.ucsc.edu/2014/08/humanities-dean-announcement.html

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Racial and Non-Racial-but-Questionable Experiences at UC Santa Cruz

I will post the visual/verbal documentation of my experiences at UC Santa Cruz here; a ‘timeline’ of events.

Part 1:
Karen Tei Yamashita Experience (Fall 2010)

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Nicholas Mokover aka ‘goldennixter’

Around 11/8/2012, I received a comment under my David Keenan post. This post was from a UCSC student who thought he was clever, believing that he could post anonymously, claiming that he was a ‘person of color,’ when in fact, he is a blond-haired, blue-eyed (?), Caucasian. The comment is as follows:

To put it bluntly,

Why don’t you just do your work and stop blaming it on racism? Dr. Keenan has always been accommodating to anyone who takes the time to ask for his help, and I think you should have acquired such help. I think you may have been taking his remarks a bit too personally. David Keenan has a unique sense of humor, that’s to be sure, but I’m certain he wasn’t aiming anything negative in your direction. His job is to make sure you succeed as a scholar of Chinese, which indeed takes a lot of hard work and dedication. He’s been doing what he does for many years and knows what it takes to push students, and also knows the telltale signs of stragglers. I’ve seen Dr. Keenan in action from Chinese 1 to Chinese 107 and beyond, and I can tell you that he has never once flinched when someone asked for extra help or support. His demeanor is professional, and he is very personable, caring, and motivated to help his students succeed, and his version of tough love is needed; if you ever decide to take Chinese elsewhere from a reputable source you’ll see what I mean. All in all, I firmly believe that Professor Keenan meant no harm, and I say this as another African American/student of color. Good luck in your further studies, I am glad you got a chance to study with Dr. Keenan, even for a quarter, because he is the quintessential college professor.

I replied to this comment by emailing the goldennixter@gmail.com address on the same day.

Me:
Hello!

I noticed you put a comment on my blog, which I am currently moderating. I’m considering adding your comment “Why don’t I do my work and stop blaming it on racism.” 

I want to make sure this isn’t a bogus email being used just for the comment.

Too, if I could have a first and last name; I want to check your name on the UCSC directory…

I look forward to your response.

–Joel K.

Nicholas gives me a reply with his UCSC address: nmokover@ucsc.edu the next day.

Nicholas:

Here I am.

Me:

You said you’re a fellow “African American/person of color”….why am I seeing pictures of a white male?

–Joel K.

Nicholas:

Joel,
 
It appears you may be judging strictly on phenotype, I’ve taken many classes that seem to assert that phenotype is but one of the items that defines race and ethnicity. I prefer not to dwell on it as it is something I’d like to avoid talking about. This has been a constant recurring theme in my life that I prefer to leave for now, as I only discuss it with those close to me. 
 
Best, 
Me:
Thank you for your reply.Well, you’re basically telling me what I should “feel” based on my phenotype and ethnicity; and since I would like to post facts on my blog (which is talking about the racial climate at UCSC) and my experience as a dark-skinned African American in a biased classroom, I feel that discussion is very much needed and relevant. Too, the blog is currently with the Department of Education/Office of Civil Rights as a documentation of my experience at UCSC.Those who have “white privilege” (and may or may not acknowledge, either conscious or unconsciously) may dismiss certain experiences that people of color (not just black people) go through. In your case, you were not in the class, you did not know the environment…yet you made judgements or trivialize what ; this is not uncommon with the campus. For you, as a white male, it’s simple to trivialize the circumstances, or say “Just do the work, race doesn’t matter.”Obviously, it’s a bit more than that.(Note: This correspondence is further documentation for my blog).–Joel K.

Nicholas:
Joel,
 

I’m saying that race is a social construct that sometimes transcends JUST phenotype, does that make sense? In addition to what you’re talking about though, I’ve also studied about indigenous peoples of the Americas and find that to be quite an interesting case study as well. I feel like in today’s modern society, indigenous people experience a much more outright  and prominent form of discrimination. Taking for example groups of the Amazon region in South America. There are still a handful of uncontacted tribes which western society seeks to assimilate, but I find that this method of assimilation generally leads to a devolution of native society: they seek to become ‘developed’ like the US or other example countries, but in reality their giving away of traditional ways gives them nothing to come back to. If you’re also interested in this phenomenon I can point you to some amazing articles that highlight this dichotomy of thinking which I find truly fascinating in my studies of race.

Also, I’d love to continue this conversation if you’re interested, race studies is truly one of my interests, but due to the nature of my issues, may I ask that you keep my name private, I don’t feel confortable for public exposure of my condition specified earlier.

 
I appreciate your cooperation,
 
N
 
PS If you still have access to JSTOR they have a wealth of articles I’ve been reading and I can forward you some probably if you’re interested. I find the Amazon case studie(s) especially interesting because it adds a new dimension to what we’ve been discussing.
Me:
Hello Nicholas-
As an African American male, 37 years old, I am quite aware of the social construct of race (the blog you posted onto is one of many examples). I do find it insulting that you are coming at me as if “race” is a new concept, as if I am a child learning about race, as if you are the higher white individual speaking to the lower colored individual. Too, I find it interesting that you post on my blog (a post I found insulting) and you want to remain anonymous; something that is not new, as I came across individuals who do the same thing: post hurtful comments and use anonymous emails, or who choose to remain anonymous.–Joel K.
Nicholas:
I absolutely didn’t mean to disrespect you I was just asking what you thought of other issues related to race besides the African American side of things. I just meant to probe our discussion further and not insult you whatsoever. I apologize deeply if I insulted you, however, I was just trying to bring other information to the table as well and compare/contrast it. 
 
It appears you’re disregarding my further questioning as nonsense, which offends me as it happens to be something I am very fond of and have been studying for some time. Please consider working with me instead of dismissing my views as racist and such. I also am not talking down to you in any way, I just wanted to foster an environment where we could further examine issues I thought we could talk about but as it appears now, your only motive is to criminalize me for some reason, I then must ask myself why I’m wasting my time. I just meant to ask questions we could discuss not provide some kind of email sparring ground. 
I initially responded to your blog because I felt your comments were deeply flawed and I wanted to redeem a teacher that has guided so many of my colleagues towards greatness. I want you to know that there are always two sides to any story and neither may be right. I appreciate your time and effort and hope you appreciate my attempts to probe an issue that is so diverse in all societies today. Thanks for your time. 
Me:
Nicholas-
You seem to have to be coming at me with different sides: First you say you’re trying to generate discussion (fair enough) but you claim my “motive” is to criminalize you. (Actually, my motive is to find out who you are; you claimed you were African American/person of color when I found out differently just by an online search). Too, you then claimed my blog was “flawed”…because you disagree with my personal experience, because your “colleagues” (who may or may not be people of color) didn’t have problems in Keenan’s class.Indeed there ARE two sides to the story (or three, four, five sides depending on race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). That is the reason we have judicial procedures; the reason I have this blog; the reason why experiences I’ve had at UCSC as an African American male is documented. –Joel K.
Nicholas:
I feel this has gone far enough, thanks for your time but I don’t want to waste my or your time any further. Anything I try to say appears futile anyway. Please have an open heart to accept me and what I’m trying to bring to the table; that’s all I ask, regardless of what whatever searches you used seem to make me look like, I just want to have a discussion with you, and you keep going back to the issue I specifically said to avoid publicly. As a blogger you have a purpose and I respect that, so thanks for your time.
Me:
Thank you for your email, Nicholas.

Good luck with your endeavors.
–Joel K.

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Updates to blog – Timeline

I’m planning on posting a timeline of events, up to this point. I still have to approve a comment made by an individual who thought he was being clever (concerning my David Keenan post) and document the correspondences between myself and that individual that were “inspired” by said comment in this blog.

Of course, this all this is tentative.

A little sidenote: A Korean-American grad student, who came across my blog, contacted me a few weeks ago (or months ago?) to get my opinion on some questionable things she was going through at UCSC. I won’t post her name or her situation since she probably has her own plans of how she is going to proceed with said situation…

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Email sent March 2rd, 2013 – Yamashita and her TA’s, Chancellor’s office, Bassi, and Galloway

As stated in the title, this was an email I sent to Karen Tei Yamashita, her TA’s (Melissa Poulsen, Fritzie De Mata, and Stephanie Chan)…and copied to Karen Bassi, Executive Vice Chancellor Galloway, and the Chancellor’s office.

Of course, there was no reply.

This concerned a class meeting that occurred in Yamashita’s class about three years ago:

Hello!

I noticed that there was a movie made about the novel ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist,’ which I read for your class, Miss Karen Yamashita. I believe you were away for that particular class when your TA’s Melissa Poulsen, Stephanie Chan, and Fritzie DeMata, were saying the book’s main black lead was a racially ambiguous character even though it was very obvious. (The character is portrayed by a black man in the film). I recall trying to explain this obvious matter, but was ignored.

I believe this ambiguous matter was during or after I called out Karen Yamashita on her having issues with me writing about black male/Asian female stories….and her telling me that 1. There were no white people in my stories. 2. White people would be offended by what I wrote….as if I have to, as a black man, live up to white expectations.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2032557/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

These were not only for stories that I had asked Yamashita to look at, but stories which I did for a grade. Of course, we remember my complaint sent to the Dean at the time, Karen Bassi, and her comment to me (with a smile): ‘You probably don’t want black people coming to this school because your experiences.”

(Note: As aforementioned, I received harsh attitudes from Yamashita’s TA’s as well).

As you may or may not know, my blog is being used for my complaint against UCSC – currently with the Office of Civil Rights/Department of Education – as well as documentation on my experiences as a black male attending that college.

I am in the process of updating said blog, and also I am in the process of creating a Youtube video which I will use to link my blog…in order to ‘spread the word’ even further.

In any event, I do hope your quarter is going well…and I’ll definitely try and keep you posted.

http://stopucscracism.com/

Very truly yours,

Joel K.

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Addendum to previous entry…

In the first two weeks of September, after I left Santa Cruz and my internship with Student Services, I was receiving crank calls from a number: 831.706.8693. When I would answer with “hello” the person on the other end would say in an exaggerated accent “yes?” And when I would ask, “Can I help you?” the answer was a “Hello?”

I would get these calls randomly, and choose not to answer them most of the time. (My notes list one call received at 10:07pm on September 7th). Once I did call back via Skype, but the individual didn’t pick up; I called another day and the person who picked up answered in perfect English: “Hello? Hello?”

I didn’t answer; however, since that day I haven’t received another crank call from that number or any other numbers. I’m speculating it has something to do with the previous roommates since they’re the only ones outside the job/internship that would actually have my number, and would have people who would do something that – for lack of a better term – “creepy;” I didn’t think to notify the campus police or the SCPD at the time. Nevertheless, it is documented here, as one more questionable experience with “lovely” Santa Cruz and its “lovely” namesake college.

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Fellow Intern/Fellow Roommate Stuff

This isn’t about racism per se, but it does deal with individuals who have a place in various UCSC organizations that talk about race.

In July of this year I stayed with some acquaintances, for what I thought was temporary; since after July I was in the process of going abroad. (Granted, “life” happens, and plans usually are affected). Those individuals were:
• Ashley Emery (black Latina who is interning with the African American Resource Center)
• Dre Coleman (black student, boyfriend to Ashley)
• Kimberly “Kimbo” Butcher (Hispanic woman who interns with Student Services)
• Chris Goree (black student who is president of Black Men’s Alliance)
• Jasmine Williams (black Latina who works with African American Resource Center, from my understanding)
• Jessica Hernandez (Latina, who is a friend of Jasmine)
• Efren Lopez (Hispanic who interns with African American Resource Center

However, I was given the option of staying in a garage for two weeks if need be, and paying rent after those two weeks.

I was pretty much minding my own business, staying in my room and/or on my headphones in the initial room I was paying rent for. However, I was told two days before the end of July I would have to move out into the garage since Ashley Emery felt her friends (black or biracial student Jocqui Smollett, and his girlfriend, also black, would be tired); Kimberly, would be moving into my room I was paying rent in, and Smollett and his girlfriend would be moving in Kimbo’s room.

I was told I didn’t have any rights as a tenant, and I was told by Kimberly to “get my shit” out of the room; and, according to Ashley, the other roommates felt I should move into the garage since I was staying there for free. Apparently there was a text message sent to everyone but myself by Ashley, and, according to Kimberly, I knew I was going to be moved out two days before my tenancy in the room ended.

Once I started looking into my rights, and documenting said rights, and questioning attitudes and actions against me, the attitudes I was already getting from these individuals were becoming even more shifty. On August 4th, there was a “house meeting” where I was told by Ashley that she is scared for the other women in the house, and she is frightened by my “pedophile stares” …she thought I was 23, when my actual age was 37…and she and others were 18, 19, and so forth. (Which is interesting since weekly alcohol was consumed, and Efren was intoxicated during that “meeting” telling me to not make them angry with my questions; too, I believe some of them are in their 20s, but the attitudes obviously show they aren’t “world-wise”). Ashley stated that she wanted to slap me, and it was mentioned that since Jasmine’s father was a lawyer, I shouldn’t have to look up my rights or question anything. Every time I mentioned that I would look up my rights, they each would smile and look at each other. Before this meeting, on August 4th, I was told by Ashley that her father was a Federal Agent for some reason, as if he was going to do something physical to me.

Information that should have been confidential, concerning financial assistance and emotional assistance was brought forth in this meeting; at the time, I understand that Kimberley is allowed to look at private emails to Alma Sifuentes in Student Services, and possibly handle other matters. I’m not sure if things had changed since then concerning the allowance of Kimberly and those confidential emails since I notified Alma Sifuentes and her assistant, Lucy Rojas.

During this meeting, I also brought up when Kimberly forced a pizza box on me days before after work. (Yes, you read that correctly). Doug Zuidema in Student Services bought pizza for the office, and one box was left. (This was when I would ride with Efren to the house; Kimberly had the tendency to not know how to deal with some people, she is bullying, bossy, and lacks tact). She knew I was already carrying my laptop, coat, and other personal items; and, I wound up dropping and chipping my Acer laptop; the laptop sleeve was torn, and is just a flimsy cover now.

In regards to the meeting, I wasn’t allowed to really get a word in, as Ashley would say, “I don’t like when people talk over me!”

Kimberly actually left the room with her fists balled, after I described the incident, and either Dre or Jasmine mentioned that Kimberly left because she didn’t want to do something she would regret.
After this meeting, I was told to leave in 3 days or the police would be called; and asked “Why do you want to stay where no one likes you?” They would continue to say that we are all minorities, and they would hate to call the police on a fellow black man, and so forth.

I was also told to do their dishes after a BBQ they had, since they believed I was “mooching” off of them. I did, just so there wouldn’t be even more nonsense – as if there already wasn’t – since they could do anything as they believed I had no rights…..

I emailed Alma Sifuentes, Lucy Rojas, some friends and acquaintances…since I was scared. Interestingly, an acquaintance got hold of me around the next day and asked me if I needed a place to stay. (This was an interesting aspect of “life”). Note: Jocqui Smollett and his girlfriend weren’t present at this “meeting.”

On the 19th, I was able to file an incident report on my laptop with the UCSC police, and send them – or at least the officer who took down my information – emails about what I went through with some students:
On that day, August 2nd, Doug Zuidema bought pizza for everyone in the office, and – at the time – I was still riding “home” with Efren Lopez. I basically had my hands full, as described, and Kimbo (and her two friends) carried little to no materials. In my emails, I described Kimbo as a bullying, domineering individual…whom I had to deal with not only in my living space I was renting, but on-campus. Obviously, due to various circumstances I would also have to deal with not only “Kimbo,” but Lopez, and other UCSC students I was living with; Amanda seemed to be somewhat of a neutral individual as, even though she was friends with those who were interns/roommates, I was able to still somewhat able work with her.

After my experiences were brought to the attention of Lucy Rojas, who asked questions for a tentative investigation, she suggested, in an October 16th email, I go ahead and file a police report in regards to my damaged property, which is a chipped Acer Aspire laptop…and – not put into my original documentation – a now flimsy, black, Init brand laptop sleeve.

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