LOS ANGELES — Students at the University of Southern California gathered in solidarity with “Mizzou,” Yale and a slew of other campuses throughout the United States in a demonstration calling itself the “Million Student March” on Thursday to protest against alleged gentrification, racism and white privilege on campus grounds.
“We are calling for the school to redefine what diversity means on this campus,” said one black male student who took a few minutes to address a crowd who had gathered after midday on campus.
Many of those gathered wore black clothing, in solidarity with the cause.
Prospective USC student, social activist and self-described “gay Latino” Richard Aviles also spoke to the crowd ,telling all who were gathered that he’s “here because this institution will not accept that it gentrifies.” He alleged that USC is displacing both its students and people of color by buying up the homes “of people of color who who have worked hard to own the homes that they live in, that are now being taken over by student housing.”
Aviles continued, “I am here to dismantle the myth that Latinos do not care about the struggles of black folk. Because, at the end of the day, it is the same white system that doesn’t like me either.”
Meanwhile, Professor Terry Cooper was present at the rally as an observer. He teaches public policy and public management at USC and told Breitbart News that while he has not taken a position on the resolution yet, he is concerned over what happened to student and senate president Rini Sampath on campus, noting that it’s the only occurrence of discrimination that he knows of in recent times.
Sampath, who is of Indian origin, was allegedly called a racial slur by a drunk, male member of a fraternity on campus. Several called the incident isolated. However, Sampath and several other memebrs of the campus’s minority population felt the administration had not done enough to address the issue and decided to take action by crafting a resolution calling for mandatory diversity classes and $100 million of new spending on “inclusion.”
African-American studies and law, history and culture student Miko Phillips told Breitbart News she experienced “microaggressive” racism manifested by what she described as “oppressive” looks being shot at her by white students during her attendance at several parties on University Row. She said, “It’s kind of hard to find a lot of support being a black, female student at this university.”
Another student expanded on Phillips’s view of microaggressions on campus.
“this didn’t start with Mizzou. This didn’t start with Rini Sampath being attacked on campus. [And] this didn’t start with Jonathan Butler….This rally is not the end of anything. It is merely another step.”