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Racial Hate Crime at UCSB

UC Santa Barbara's Iota Kappa Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha

Although there has been no official report yet, on March 2nd, a Vietnamese-American student at UCSB was allegedly harassed by four members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, who--without provocation--attacked Thanh and his friend while using various racial epithets such as "chink," "chinaman," and "gook." There is an ongoing investigation currently being conducted by the University of California Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Below is the article that has been circulating Facebook.

Early in the morning of March 2, 2009, Thanh Hong, a Vietnamese American student at the University of California at Santa Barbara , and his Asian American friend walked home through Isla Vista – the college town adjacent tothe UCSB campus. On their way home, Thanh and his friend passed in front of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house. Four men emerged from inside the fraternityhouse, approached Thanh and his friend, and began yelling racial epithets atthem including: “Chink,” “Chinamen,” and “Gook.”

THANH AND HIS FRIEND TRIED TO WALK AWAY. Before they could, however, one of the men -- without provocation -- punched Thanh’s friend in the face, and then attacked Thanh. The man from the fraternity house continued using racial slurs during the attack. Eventually, he stopped his attack and started laughing, providing Thanh and his friend an opportunity to escape. Thanh suffered a facial laceration requiring several stitches and his friend suffered a concussion resulting in partial memory loss.

The University of California Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office were called and opened an investigation into the case. The police questioned members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity who all denied any involvement. The fraternity also denied that any attack had taken place, even though the sidewalk in front of their house was stained with Thanh’s fresh blood. I still haven’t been able to ascertain where Thanh is originally from.

There doesn't seem to be much other info on the web, but if this is true, it is absolutely outrageous and these guys need to prosecuted! Will post with more information as it becomes available...

21 comments:

  1. davidklein said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Anonymous said...

    The members of Pi Kappa Alpha are very sympathetic and concerned for Thanh and his friend for the events that occurred in early March. We have been working together with the witnesses and the police to identify this individual and make sure he is brought to justice and punished for his actions.
    It may surprise many that the Pi Kappa Alpha, Iota Kappa chapter is comprised of people from various ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds including African Americans, Asians, Indians and Hispanics. This mix of cultures and nationalities contributes to a harmonious, diverse and vibrant brotherhood which for two decades has defined Pi Kappa Alpha.
    In no way shape or form do we tolerate racial or ethnic divisiveness as we pride ourselves and embrace the diversity of our members. All members of the UCSB community, regardless of race and ethnic origin, have always been and always will be welcome in our house. As a diverse fraternity, members of Pi Kappa Alpha have personally experienced the hurt and anguish of discrimination. All of them, individually and collectively, have voiced their strong concerns regarding this matter. As their brothers, we empathize with them and similarly relate with your reactions.
    We whole-heartedly understand your immediate and impassioned response based on the information that has been circulated. Therefore, the members of Pi Kappa Alpha are as concerned as you are to rapidly get all the facts and circumstances involved in this unfortunate event.
    Please recognize that while we completely empathize with the situation, we believe that getting a complete and thorough assessment of the facts and circumstances is in the best interests of all parties. Many discrepant reports have circulated about this matter, and we feel there is strong and urgent need for clarity. Given the attention to this issue, we believe that the authorities will soon have all the facts and details about this incident.
    We only ask that there is no “rush to judgment”. It is our hope that the actions of this one individual are not generalized to the members of Pi Kappa Alpha, either individually or collectively. To do so would broadly condemn an entire group individuals, which may be as unfair as the remarks reportedly made to Thanh and his friend. Until such time as all the facts are in, we would like to reiterate our concern for this serious matter and desire to do our part with assisting in the investigation of this incident. We are hoping for a swift resolution of this matter.

    The Brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha  

  3. Anonymous said...

    pi kappa alpha IS WAK. THE VIETS AINT NOTHIN TO MESS WITH.HOPE YOU GUYS GET WHAT YOU DESERVE. AND FOR EVERYONES INFORMATION THIS frat IS NOT RECOGNIZED BY UCSB FOR VARIOUS REASONS, INCLUDING INHUMANE ACTS.  

  4. Anonymous said...

    Whoever wrote that comment on Pi Kappa Alpha's sympathies has no idea about weekends in front of the PIKE house. To the Asian community in Isla Vista, Pi Kappa Alpha (or specific members of the organization) is known for being blatantly racist...ESPECIALLY when they are drunk. I could tell countless stories about walking in front of that PIKE house Friday night. It all ends with the same "freakin racist basturds" line.

    Its sad to say, but Isla Vista is filled with racial hate. The reason why a lot of asians stick together is because of the discrimination committed against them. It's of scary walking in IV after being the victim of a racial hate crime and its so easy to cling to people that understand the pain.  

  5. David said...

    wow. well said.  

  6. Anonymous said...

    Does anyone know the status of this case? Has anyone been arrested yet? This is outrageous that someone could be attacked walking on a public sidewalk just because they are Asian.  

  7. Anonymous said...

    wow this is all bullshit.. fucking grow up. so when random people say it, its ok but when a fraternity says it, its such a fuckng big deal. I, myself, am a pike and ive been racially harassed for being middle eastern and i just let it go like a human and not bitch to cops that words hurt my feelings. this guy needs to grow up and learn that their is racism in this world. its a bad thing that they called him out like that but to get the cops involved and make this a big ass deal is so stupid.. thats my 2 cents..
    say what you want against me i dont really care... i just might take it to the cops and say u committed hate crimes.  

  8. Nhu-Y said...

    comment number 7 hurts my brain  

  9. Todd said...

    Right on comment #7 we should just ignore the injustice in our world and everything will be better. You are a college student? Ever heard of MLK Jr.? Sometimes I lose faith in our ability to build a future for the next generation because of people like you. You need to go back and think about what you wrote. Maybe open up your mind to fighting for a better world rather than just giving up on it. Is that what they teach you at frats? To just give up on the things that are most important. They probably just give you a punching bag with some asians face scotch taped to it then tell you to beat the hell out of it. That's my 2 cents and I hope it makes sense to you.  

  10. mrscott90 said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  11. Anonymous said...

    This wasn't just "harassment", they were beaten. One asshole had a broomstick!

    Shut those fuckers down! Show them we won't stand for this!

    Why aren't the students rallying against Pi Kappa Alpha?!!!  

  12. kzhai said...

    Dear UCSB Pi Kappa Alpha,

    Thank you for your very thorough and diplomatic response to my post. That being said, I think there are various issues you bring up that need some addressing. This is all, of course, personal thoughts, so feel free to disagree.

    First of all, I am not judging the entire fraternity based on this alleged incident (which I will not say did or did not happen until I get hard evidence--innocent until proven guilty, right?). At least not in the sense of pointing fingers. If this racist gesture was an anomaly and you are not a generally racist institution (which I'm not saying you are), it still does not excuse the fraternity from responsibility.

    Allow me to explain. Anytime you are a part of a company, school, organization, etc., you REPRESENT that institution, no matter where you are, ESPECIALLY a fraternity. I am a brother of Sigma Nu myself, and I think it is quite contradictory to fraternal values for you to default blame onto one brother. You, as a fraternity, have a responsibility for each other, and should be held accountable to each others' actions.

    So that was my logical argument for why the existence of this post is doing no injustice to you, the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha. In less logically justifiable terms, I think there is a bigger problem of racism here. While I understand your request not to "rush to judgment," I don't think that the racist activities going on surrounding Pi Kappa Alpha is based on the existence of only this one alleged hate crime. Unless the posts by other people have been complete fabrications, it is undeniable that your fraternity has been the center for a certain degree of racism. That is unacceptable and inexcusable, and the claim that this racism is more pronounced under the influence of alcohol, coupled with the professional language and somewhat submissive manner of your first post suggests to me that you do a good job of putting on an act of equality and acceptance while maintaining a fundamentally racist demeanor amongst brothers.

    Now, if you are reading this, and don't think what I just said applies to you, then I think you have a lot to think about in terms of how your presence is a gesture of support that perpetuates racist attitudes which can conclude in hate crimes such as this alleged one.

    I apologize if this seems like an attack on your chapter; it's not. However, I advise you guys to think long and hard about what your values are, why you became brothers in the first place, and the consequences of your individual actions, either in the house or in the public. I'm not saying that you all deserve to be prosecuted, but if you truly believe in the values that mandate this incident as wrong, then I suggest you do some serious thinking about your place in Pike and the consequences of that role.

    Thank you,
    Kevin  

  13. Anonymous said...

    hey Genius's, look at the pike in the center of the picture. ASIAN. figure it out.  

  14. Anonymous said...

    Hopefully the four Pikes involved do some time for their actions. Lets see how hard they really are once they're in prison, where they're the minority. There's nothing wrong with getting in a random scrap, but once a dude needs stitches in the face, AND he didn't even start the fight, thats going too far. And yelling racist comments while doing it...bush league. Thats how you draw unwanted attention to yourselves. To the Pikes involved, you deserve what's coming to you for being idiots.  

  15. kzhai said...

    #13, do you really think that the existence of an Asian American in the fraternity proves that they aren't racist, or justifies their behavior in any way? That's like saying, "Oh yeah, I have an Asian friend. Therefore, I am not racist." It is precisely this kind of thinking that leads to racist behavior; believing that an encounter with one Asian person will have any sort of cosmic justice effect on any other actions is just plain stupid. Do you think that all Asians have a quarterly convention where we talk assess individuals on their "goodness to Asians?"  

  16. Anonymous said...

    poster number 7, you are a big fucking idiot and a retard. seems like its what your fraternity is good at breeding, a bunch of racist retards. so go fuck yourself and do an elephant walk. you are so retarded i want to kill myself. you are my sole reason for wanting to stay in school so i dont learn to be a racist bigot like you. i wont even begin on how flawed your argument is. go take this to the cops. because this comment is clearly far worse than calling someone a gook and beating on them for something genetic. although i think because you are genetically RETARDED i would beat on you too. it's a wonder your mother didn't abort you, fucktard.

    plus you cant complain to the cops. because calling you a retard isn't a hate crime, it's the truth. rot in hell retard.  

  17. Anonymous said...

    It was one drunk fraternity member one Asian and his white friend who were involved in this alleged raciest act.I am an American and I still believe in innocent until proven guilty.I suppose you all believe that Fight Night should be canceled too so that their philanthropy will be punished as well. Great work guys  

  18. Nhu-Y said...

    concerning anonymous above, we also believe in due process and equal protection... 'cause we're americans.  

  19. Anonymous said...

    Typical Pike doing stupid crap. They're pretty much an embarrassment on every campus and to IFC as a whole. Put a bunch of drunk douchebag athletes together in one house and you get Pike.  

  20. Anonymous said...

    This article has no facts. Several stitches was actually 3. Thahns friend was white and was hit first then thahn in turn punched the "pike" and the "pike" hit him back. It was proven to be only one aggressor and from what i hear he's not even an official pike, just a friend.
    Also heard only "racial slur" said was that the aggressor knows kung fu.

    Fact is there are fights everyday in IV. I have personally had to break them up. People get drunk and mad and say hurtful things and fight. (not saying thats ok) but it happens all the time.  

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