The sight of inked swastikas and racist rhetoric on bathroom stalls is no longer shocking for most Cal State Long Beach students. The Associated Students Inc. senate has tried to prevent hate speech in the past, but the new resolution against white supremacy sparked debate in the senate Wednesday.
Some senators argued that the resolution isn’t proactive enough, that it only defines what white supremacy is and does not provide practical measures to take after a racist act has been committed.
“The resolution talks about what will happen when white supremacy continues to belong on campus but not what we will do to prevent it,” said college of the arts senator Camryn Hohneker.
Co-authors of the resolution, senators Thulani Ngazimbi and Leen Almahdi, quickly rebutted the argument by pointing to lines in the resolution that added practical steps to help marginalized students feel safe and increase ally training.
“The intention of this resolution is to provide similar opportunities to students on this campus,” Ngazimbi said. “This resolution is intended to outline specifically what things should happen in order for those students to be taken seriously.”
ASI President, Sofia Musman, questioned if the resolution should directly address white supremacy or be revised to assess all oppressors.
“When we say that ASI stands against white supremacy, that’s powerful,” said Almahdi, health and human services senator. “By saying we are against white supremacy and other forms of oppression makes the resolution weaker. White supremacy is the root cause of many oppressions.”
College of liberal arts senator Quentin Pestner argued that the title of the resolution should include more than white supremacy because his identity of being queer has been affected by many races.
“As a queer man, I should not be [excluded] from this conversation,” Pestner said. “I have faced discrimination not just from white people but from every ethnicity for being queer.”
College of Natural Science and Math Senator Ian Macdonald encouraged the senate to pass the resolution with the same title because the resolution has been stuck in the senate.
“We need to pass this now because it has been more than half a year that we have been sitting on this issue,” Macdonald said. “We need to get this through the senate so our students know that we can be decisive.”
Musman suggested that the resolution be tabled and have the co-authors put in the suggestions before it’s passed. The senate was encouraged to be prepared to vote on the resolution for next week’s meeting.
Updated on April 15, 2018 at 8:13 p.m.