In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, we are more aware than ever of exactly what hatred can do and the effect it can have on communities, both big and small.
I have been gratified to see so many diverse individuals and groups come together all over the country to support one another. As we are members of an educational community, I have also been very grateful to hear a broad range of voices from many different perspectives discuss what some of the possible ramifications of recent events might be and what some of our options as both individuals and as a nation are. I hope we see even more of these lively discussions in the coming weeks.
However, I must confess a real concern. I am worried about members of our community who come from Arabian or Moslem backgrounds. I have no doubt that the overwhelming majority of our community will carefully consider their words and would certainly never verbally or physically harm someone else. I’d like to ask that those of you who share my concern and value some of the qualities associated with our nation – such as tolerance, the rule of law and free inquiry – do your part to promote an environment where every single member of our community can discuss recent events and go about their daily lives without fear of derogatory comments or physical violence.
If you or someone you care about has been a victim of either a hate crime or hate incident at UCSB or in Isla Vista, please contact me as soon as possible. I can provide both information on a wide array of campus and local resources as well as referrals to particularly sensitive members of the law enforcement community. I can also put you in contact with a number of national and local groups providing resources to victims of hate crimes and incidents.
If you are a faculty or staff member, or a leader or advisor of a campus organization who would like specific information on how to challenge bias against Arab or Muslim students in the classroom, I have some valuable yet free resources I’d love to share with you as well. Thank you.
Brandon Brod is UCSB’s conduct educator and hate incidents response coordinator. He can be reached by phone at 893-5016, by e-mail at or in his office at 2201 Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building.