Students rally against San Jose State hate crime

San Jose State University president is accepting full responsibility for the recent hate crime at the school.
November 26, 2013 11:53:12 AM PST
San Jose State University President Mohammad Qayoumi is accepting full responsibility for the recent hate crime that occurred in a school dormitory.

That's not enough to satisfy angry students and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Four white students have been suspended and three are charged with misdemeanor battery hate crimes.

Qayoumi acknowledged his failing wasn't enough to satisfy African-American students and their supporters.

More than 100 students lined up near the dorm where a black student was tormented by his white roommates. They wore tape over their mouths to protest how the university doesn't listen to them.

Some of them raised their fists to mirror the statue behind them of Olympic medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in protest at the 1968 games in Mexico City.

Qayoumi welcomed more dialogue with students.

"We need to have more communications with all of our students. Last night, we had great communication with some of our students and I hope that will be the beginning of more discussions that we'll have," he said.

Qayoumi left quickly before hearing a student leader complain they have been trying all year to warn him of problems.

"Last semester when we were protesting and requesting to meet with you, we're trying our hardest to let you know that something was terribly wrong with the experience that African-American students are having at San Jose State. But you did not want to hear us," said Gary Daniels, Senior political science major and spokesperson for In Solidarity, a coalition of student organizations on campus.

The California president of the NAACP assailed District Attorney Jeff Rosen for charging the three students with misdemeanor battery and hate crimes.

"This is a deeply disturbing, outrageous case and must be properly prosecuted as a felony in order to enforce hate crime victim rights," said California President Alice Huffman.

Rosen responded with a statement that read:

"While we understand the outrage of those calling for even stiffer charges in this case, the charges are not a reflection of the degree of their racism. The charges are a reflection of their criminal conduct."

A San Jose woman brought her two young grandchildren to support the students.

"Something should have been done a long time ago. School started in August and just now they're taking care of the situation," said Donna Simmons of San Jose.

The university plans an independent investigation.

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