Chicana/o studies department targeted by hate crime

Juana Esquivel

A racial slur was written on a Chicano studies professor’s door in Jerome Richfield Hall.

Chicana/o studies Professor Xocoyotzin Herrera reported the incident to David Rodriguez, Chicano studies department chair, who immediately notified CSUN Police.

“The police used the term ‘hate crime’ and we agree,” Rodriguez said.

A swastika and “U.S.= white power” were found on Chicano studies professor Jorge Garcia’s office door. Garcia was notified by a general e-mail sent by Rodriguez to the entire department.

Rodriguez said he thinks the act may have been in response to a photo of undocumented immigrants and a card reading “Alto Arizona” which were on Garcia’s door.

“Maybe it’s toward him, maybe it’s toward the department,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the department may have been targeted because it is the largest in the nation.

It is unknown when the act was done.

Rodriguez said the building was open until 5 p.m. on Monday and he had come in at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and had not noticed anything.

Rodriguez said he thinks this act could be linked to another incident that occurred about a month ago where Chicana/o studies Assistant Professor Peter Garcia said the words “Mexicans go home” were written on his office door and ketchup had been smeared on six flyers advertising guest speakers and musicians in the spring semester.

“I just thought it was a prank,” Peter Garcia said.

He added that there is graffiti in the men’s room with swastikas and messages attacking MEChA and the Chicana/o studies department so, he said, he thought it was something similar.

“We’re hoping they catch the person and we want to prosecute if they do,” Rodriguez said.