Friday, September 22

Westwood apartment vandalized with racial, sexist slurs


Editor’s Note: We have decided to run in our article the exact wording of the slurs in this incident. Several editors debated whether or not it was appropriate for the student newspaper to repeat these slurs and potentially perpetuate their use. However, we ultimately decided that it was our responsibility to report accurately and thoroughly on the incident.

Police are investigating a hate crime that occurred Monday morning when an apartment door was vandalized with anti-Mexican and sexist slurs.

Kristine Phan was leaving the apartment for class when she saw her red door marred by black marker with phrases such as “You rude ignorant spic cunts” and “dirty Meximelt bitches.” The stairs leading to the door and a wall directly facing the apartment have similar writing.

The Landfair Avenue apartment is only accessible after climbing a few flights of stairs, so it seems as if someone who knew a Latina person lived there was targeting them, said Phan, a third-year psychology student.

Mayra Ramirez, who also lives in the apartment, said although she isn’t Mexican, she assumes the slurs were directed at her, since she is Latina.

“I’m not mad, I’m just more disappointed than anything else,” said Ramirez, a third-year political science and international development studies student. “I thought we were well-accepted.”

Ramirez said she’s been kickboxing since she was 10 and carries pepper spray, but since Monday she’s felt a sense of panic being around the apartment and in Westwood.

“I know how to defend myself, but I thought I’d never had to do it here, I didn’t think I had to watch where I go,” she said.

All three residents of the apartment said they don’t just view this as an attack on the Latino community, but one on all minorities.

“I want people to see that as all minorities we should come together and accept one another,” said Juan Flores, a third-year political science student and the only Mexican student who lives in the apartment.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council released a statement Tuesday afternoon to condemn the graffiti. The council will hold campus climate events and meet with administrators to address the incident, according to the release.

UCPD does not receive many reports of hate crimes, and there are probably more hate crimes that go unreported by students, said UCPD spokeswoman Nancy Greenstein.

“If hate crimes aren’t reported, we’re doing a disservice to people on campus who potentially could be victims,” Greenstein said.

Students or community members can also report hate crimes to the dean of students or online at www.reportincidents.ucla.edu

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