We have seen rising violence and intolerance on our colleges and universities as some students seek to prevent speakers and claim an ever-widening array of “microaggressions” and cultural appropriations. The latest occurred during a basketball game where a player was attacked due to wearing braids that 20-year-old Hispanic student, Carmen Figueroa, claimed to be cultural misappropriation.
Figueroa pleaded not guilty to charged of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. She was arrested after the attack at Hampshire College’s Robert Crown Center on January 27. Figueroa allegedly told the players at the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team and told them to remove braids from their hair as“cultural appropriation.” When the players refused, police say that Figueroa assaulted one of the students. She was allegedly assisted by another Hampshire College student, who pulled the hair of one of the players. Figueroa is accused of stepping on the student who fell to the ground and further injuring her. She is quoted as screaming racial slurs and abuse and trying to punch the players.
This incident followed an incident at Pitzer College where white female students to warned to take off big hoop earrings as cultural appropriation. Two Latina students were responsible for the warnings.
We also discussed earlier how a students at Oberlin declared the serving of sushi as cultural appropriation while a white student was assaulted at San Francisco State University for wearing dreadlocks by an African American student.
The belief that students can demand changes in the clothing of other students is a predictable extension of the growing levels of speech restrictions on our campuses. After if you can determine what students or speakers cannot say, why not dictate what they cannot wear?