Over the past few weeks, Xpress’ coverage of both the College of Ethnic Studies funding controversy and the viral dreadlocks video has drawn a particularly nasty breed of Internet denizen out of the woodwork and made it very clear that the type of education provided by the College is fundamental to racial discourse in the U.S.

The racist, misogynist vitriol employed by these commenters is frankly shocking.

This is a topic about which much has been written and much more could and should be, but a 500-word staff editorial is nowhere near enough space to begin addressing the far-reaching implications of white privilege, cultural appropriation and the socioeconomic rifts along racial lines in America. What we can do, however, is address the violent, personal, bigoted rhetoric that has inflamed the conversation.

However wrong student Bonita Tindle’s actions in the video appear to be, it is important to remember no one deserves to have their personal information exposed over a 45-second clip. The video begins at the end of Tindle and student Cory Goldstein’s interaction, and provides no context for their argument. Tindle, who deleted her social media accounts shortly after the video went viral, has not publicly commented or shared her side of the story.

Free speech is a fundamental belief in our country, and people have the right to express their opinions online. However, the majority of comments that have emerged in the wake of this video are angry, personal attacks aimed not only toward the people in the video, but to those who have any connection in the incident and its coverage.

The editor-in-chief of Xpress magazine has received several harassing Facebook messages in the wake of the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper’s articles about the viral video, despite having nothing to do with the coverage. Additionally, the Golden Gate Xpress reporter who interviewed Goldstein on camera was also personally targeted by numerous commenters on the Internet who used obscene and hurtful language to voice their complaints.

There are important racial issues surrounding this video, and resorting to intentionally hateful speech eliminates the possibility of a legitimate and meaningful conversation.

Comments have described College of Ethnic Studies classes as useless, but the bigotry and racial epithets these events have elicited are exactly the type of thing those courses are intended to prevent. Educating people about the systemic racism that still pervades this country, and the way it influences people’s actions on both sides of the aisle, is the only way to meaningfully engage in this debate.

If people express their opinions in a respectful manner, they would provide a more compelling argument for their own point of view and discourage others from immediately deploying personal attacks that are hugely damaging to the people in the line of fire. Time and time again, we have seen people’s lives ruined over their involvement in viral controversies.

We cannot begin to address the deep roots of this problem if we continue to converse with physical violence and verbal threats.

Latest comments
  • Yes justify her hatred more. How noble of her to bring up how privileged he was to wear his hairstyle however he wanted. Oh of course black people can’t be racist even when they are. Cultural appropriation? Because vikings, celts, and other white people’s haven’t worn this? Not all black people who have dreads have it as a racial statement, many just wear it as a style. Please stop justifying your anti white bigotry,

    “Comments have described College of Ethnic Studies classes as useless, but the bigotry and racial epithets these events have elicited are exactly the type of thing those courses are intended to prevent. Educating people about the systemic racism that still pervades this country, and the way it influences people’s actions on both sides of the aisle, is the only way to meaningfully engage in this debate.”

    Yes they are useless because considering what this girl is doing. “Educating” people on systemic racism you say? She sure seemed to be educating him. The bigotry and racial epithets are clearly pushback from a fascist anti-racist (which in reality is clearly anti-white) narrative. What about personal accountability? Why are black people treated differently? It couldn’t have anything to do with the subculture of criminality could it? Where’s the personal accountability? You are justifying a bullies actions by saying she’s “educating” this kid, when clearly she’s just trying to oppress him as some sort of justice for the past. Who are you to determine what is a meaningful way to engage in debate? People are sick of this shit and we’re not going to take it anymore. Social Justice Warriors have been caught with this video and as much as you try to bury it under the “racism” dirt you’re not going to be successful.

    “If people express their opinions in a respectful manner, they would provide a more compelling argument for their own point of view and discourage others from immediately deploying personal attacks that are hugely damaging to the people in the line of fire.”
    Yes because only whites are disrespectful racially right? Because Bonita Tindle was obviously soooo respectful. This article is Social Justice Warrior apologetics trash, and people see through it. Your cause is dying because people like you cheapen it by defending this behavior instead of condemning it. People like you are going to get trump elected, because we’re all sooooo sick of this PC black racism justification bullshit. Go back to your safe space, Tumblr, that echo chamber will accept you there. This movement is already losing traction. Say good bye social justice, hello trump. 🙂

  • Dear Xpress News,

    You guys are nothing but spineless, politically correct apologists for Bonita Tindle. You do not disavow Bonita Tindle’s despicable actions, and instead you try to avert the topic away from Bonita and instead make it about everyone else’s reactions which you conveniently publicly condemn. You are not an objective news outlet. As soon as this incident became public you tried to find any avenue you could to avert the focus way from Bonita as a means to aid her. Furthermore, the lady who interviewed Goldstein all but interrogated him just the same way Bonita did. You as a company should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Comments have described College of Ethnic Studies classes as useless, but the bigotry and racial epithets these events have elicited are exactly the type of thing those courses are intended to prevent.

    Well, it’s what the people teaching the courses claim they are trying to prevent. And yet, they seem to be producing people like Bonita Tindle, who commits assault on those having the “wrong” hairstyle. Good job, College of Ethnic Studies!

  • “…it is important to remember no one deserves to have their personal information exposed over a 45-second clip.”

    Really? so non-white racists are supposed to be protected regardless, right? Sorry, kiddo, but if you screw up, you pay the same price as anyone else committing a similar offense. Essentially, what you’re saying is that being a minority makes you automatically exempt from the the same rules everyone else has to play by. Hopefully someday, you’ll learn that you don’t live in a perfect world…and you’re not the only one who lives here. Grow up!

  • It would be interesting to explore the role Ethnic Studies played in forming her belief that assaulting people because they white would be applauded and that violence is okay.
    It would be interesting to explore why supporters of Ethnic Studies are, by and large, strong supporters of Bonita Tindle and what she did, and believe it was morally justified because the victims were white.
    It would be interesting to explore why, after attacking people for their skin color in her workplace at the Associated Students, she was never disciplined.
    It would be interesting to explore how her friendship with Shannon Deloso, the Chairman of the Board at AS, influenced their decision to support her after attacking people in their workplace.
    It would be interesting to explore how Bonita Tindle’s friendship with people at Golden Gate Xpress, influenced their coverage in her favor (including the above).
    It would be interesting to explore how the concepts of “social justice” and “diversity” lead directly to injustice and hate in cases exactly like this, and how journalists, particularly at Golden Gate Xpress, choose to ignore that.

  • Would the editor of the Golden Gate Xpress like to address and/or condemn the “racist rhetoric” Bonita Tindle used on Facebook after assaulting two people in her own, on-campus workplace because of the color of their skin? I’ll take you at your word that you object to “racist” (one always needs quotes for a safe word) language and acts. So please link us to the articles or editorials where you equally condemn what she said and did.

    After all, you’re objecting to what people are saying and writing. Bonita Tindle actually attacked people because of their race. In your opinion, what people say about what she did is wrong, but her actually attacking people isn’t?