[-empyre-] UCSD Anti-Racism Coalition open letter to Paul Drake

Green Jo-Anne jo at turbulence.org
Thu Apr 22 04:40:49 EST 2010

Hi Brett,

Did you get a response to this wonderful letter?

In solidarity,

On Apr 17, 2010, at 6:19 PM, Brett Stalbaum wrote:

> April 16, 2010
> Dear Professor Drake:
> The ongoing campus investigation that your office has launched  
> against Professor Ricardo Dominguez is baseless. The attempt to  
> file criminal charges against Professor Dominguez is hypocritical  
> for it is widely known that Professor Dominguez enjoys a national  
> and international reputation for his work in digital civil  
> disobedience. Utmost transparency is essential to Professor  
> Dominguez’ artistic work and he has never attempted to misrepresent  
> his work in any way.
> Your own office promoted him to Associate Professor on the basis of  
> this work, all of which was comprehensively and accurately laid out  
> in the material he provided to the Committee on Academic Personnel  
> a short while ago. Legal rulings have drawn a line between the  
> Virtual Sit-In that Professor Dominguez has theorized and  
> Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attacks, which are illegal.  
> Moreover, with the approval of the former Dean of Arts and  
> Humanities, the Center for Humanities has supported Professor  
> Dominguez’s project on the Transborder Immigrant Tool, which was  
> selected among other proposals for its creative way of promoting  
> critical thinking about what constitutes a “border.” Since these  
> facts are well-known to you, it seems clear that the investigation  
> into Professor Dominguez’ work was triggered by his support for the  
> recent students protests on campus.
> We regard this investigation as an unwarranted attack on a  
> prominent Latino faculty member and we hold the university  
> responsible for failing to adequately address the many threats  
> Professor Dominguez has received, something we regard as an  
> extension of the University’s broader failure to provide a campus  
> climate free from hostility and intimidation for faculty of color.  
> We therefore demand both the immediate halt to the campus  
> investigation and a full investigation into external threats made  
> toward Professor Dominguez, his research team and UCSD. This  
> reflects what we feel would be an appropriate adjustment of  
> priorities. In the absence of such a move, we will hold UCSD  
> administrators accountable for any and all threats received by  
> Professor Dominguez and for his safety. We demand as well that the  
> university announce public steps to address the safety concerns  
> expressed herein and that the university state its
> public commitment to both academic freedom and the active  
> protection of various forms of principled dissent.
> Professor Dominguez and the b.a.n.g. lab have been vilified for the  
> way in which they have explored the use of the innovative  
> Transborder Immigrant Tool to save the lives of undocumented  
> workers. We are aware of your ongoing and shameful attempts to  
> silence this powerful form of advocacy and simple humanity. The use  
> of the university’s machinery of fraud investigation to suppress  
> political dissent is both illegal and immoral. We know, as do you,  
> that many of the professors who have taken prominent roles in  
> opposing institutional racism at UCSD are assistant professors,  
> lecturers and graduate students. Your attack on Professor Dominguez  
> is widely interpreted as an attack on this vulnerable stratum  
> within the faculty. In light of this university’s endemic inability  
> to provide a climate for junior faculty that facilitates  
> appropriate career trajectories and in consideration of our refusal  
> to tolerate the combination of a racist student body, we understand  
> the attack on Professor Dominguez as the beginning of an organized  
> backlash against us all. For the past eight weeks, UCSD has been  
> rocked by a scandalous series of racist actions perpetrated by  
> people on and off the campus. The energetic investigation of  
> Professor Dominguez must be compared with the University’s  
> sanctioning of the parties responsible for the various racist  
> outrages we have witnessed ( i.e. the Koala has even been rewarded  
> with additional funds by the student government). As in other cases  
> throughout the University of California system, such as the case of  
> the “Irvine 11,” we are fully aware that the invocation of “free  
> speech” has become a tool to separate those whose voices count from  
> those to be silenced. We refuse silence. As the students have said,  
> we prefer to exit together, as one body, rather than to be picked  
> off as individuals.We demand a full and complete response from the  
> Senior Leadership Team of UCSD to the issues raised in this letter  
> by no later than 10AM, Monday April 19.
> To the administration: We demand unequivocal support for academic  
> freedom. We demand public recognition of the right of dissent. We  
> demand a public commitment to the safety of Professor Dominguez. We  
> demand a halt to the university investigation into the B.A.N.G.  
> lab. We demand that the SVCAA hold a public meeting with faculty to  
> explain his unwillingness to stand firmly on the side of academic  
> freedom.
> To the faculty: We ask you to consider seriously the implications  
> of working in a university where outside interference produces  
> criminal investigations, and where the mere threat of said charges  
> provokes the threatened revocation of tenure. We ask you to  
> consider seriously the implications of the dismissal of a prominent  
> Latino faculty member by a university fast on its way to acquiring  
> a public reputation for racism. We ask you to consider the likely  
> effect on extramural funding that will follow the likely departure  
> of faculty whose activism makes them targets for retaliation by a  
> university that has lost the sense of the basic meaning of  
> privileges and tenure.
> To our allies off campus: We ask that you contact UCSD Chancellor  
> Mary Anne Fox and Senior Vice-Chancellor Paul Drake to communicate  
> your anger at the attack on academic freedom, the disregard for  
> free speech protections, the attempt to suppress a humanitarian  
> project that ensures the safety of undocumented immigrants, and the  
> University administration’s continuing refusal to adequately  
> address the issues of institutional racism and neoliberal  
> governance that prompted Professor Dominguez’s activism in the  
> first place.
> Chancellor Fox may be reached at:
> Phone: (858)534-3135
> Email: chancellor at ucsd.edu
> SVCCAA Drake may be reached at:
> Phone: (858)534-3130
> Email: svcaa at ucsd.edu
> Finally, we are firmly resolved to stand firm with Professor  
> Ricardo Dominguez. We look forward to hearing in short order that  
> the investigation into his entirely legitimate artistic work will  
> be immediately discontinued and the criminal investigation halted.
> Sincerely,
> The UCSD Anti-Racism Coalition
> “Another University is Possible”
> Kindly direct correspondence to:
> Professor Yen Espiritu
> Ethnic Studies Department
> UC San Diego
> 9500 Gillman Dr
> La Jolla CA 92093
> cc:
> - Stephanie Burke (Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Audit & Management  
> Advisory Services)
> - Professor Harold Pashler, (Chair, Committee on Academic Freedom,  
> - Professor Raymond L. Russell, (UC-wide Committee on Academic  
> Freedom)
> - Charles A. Gonzalez (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute,  
> Civil Rights)
> - Tony Mendoza, (California State Assemblyman, 56th District)
> - Marie Watteau (National Council for La Raza)
> - Vanessa Cajina, (Director, California Immigration Policy Center)%
> - Professor Ricardo Dominguez (Visual Arts Department, UCSD)
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Jo-Anne Green
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
917.548.7780 or 617.522.3856
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