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UC Irvine probes hate incident involving racist note

UC Irvine's chancellor pledges to find and discipline whoever slipped the note into a black female student's backpack. The student found the note on May 7.

May 15, 2013|By Jeremiah Dobruck, Los Angeles Times
  • 'We do not, and will not, tolerate this kind of behavior,' said UCI Chancellor Michael Drake, shown speaking to a business group in 2006.
'We do not, and will not, tolerate this kind of behavior,' said… (Marc Martin / Los Angeles…)

UC Irvine's chancellor pledged Wednesday to find and discipline whoever slipped a racist note into a black female student's backpack last week.

The student found the note, which read "Go back 2 Africa slave," while she was in the science library on May 7, according to UCI police.

The department is investigating what it is calling a hate incident.

"When apprehended, the responsible individual(s) will face appropriate sanctions," Chancellor Michael Drake said in a statement on UCI's website.

"We have clear and unwavering policies forbidding such hateful actions, and we take the security and well-being of everyone on campus most seriously. We do not, and will not, tolerate this kind of behavior," Drake said.

The campus, which is 2.6% African American, garnered nationwide attention last month when a fraternity posted a video in which one of the characters was in blackface. Members of the Black Student Union called it an example of racial insensitivity.

"We'd like to point out that this blackface video isn't the first, nor is it the last, example of racism that's been shown on this campus," said Ainaria Johnson, co-chair of the Black Student Union.

Police say they are unaware of any connection between the note and the fraternity's YouTube video.

The parody music video featured a member of the Asian fraternity Lambda Theta Delta wearing black face.

The fraternity has since apologized and volunteered to suspend itself. The university is investigating to see if it will take any disciplinary action.

Drake's statement Tuesday also cited campus services aimed at promoting diversity and cultural sensitivity.

"Please join us in continuing to eliminate all vestiges of hostility and intolerance," he said.

jeremiah.dobruck@latimes.com

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