San Francisco State University Investigating ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Incident Captured on Video

Student physically confronts peer because of his hairstyle

March 29, 2016

San Francisco State University is investigating a spat captured on video during which a black female student physically confronted a white male student over the "cultural appropriation" suggested by his hairstyle.

A spokesman for the university said that school police were called to the scene of the incident, which was captured on video Monday afternoon. A black female student was seen verbally assaulting and grabbing a while male peer on campus in a disagreement over his dreadlocks hairstyle, the video posted to YouTube showed.

While the female individual was said to be a campus employee, the school disputed the report, saying that neither individual is employed by the university. Jonathan Morales, a spokesman for the university, confirmed that both individuals are students. The students have not been identified.

"We are aware of the video made of an incident which occurred on campus yesterday afternoon. University police were called to the scene of the incident when it occurred," the university told the Washington Free Beacon in a statement. "The two individuals involved in the incident are not San Francisco State University employees."

The female student appeared to confront the male student about his hair, according to the video. "You’re saying that I can’t have a hairstyle because of your culture? Why?" the male student, who sported dreadlocks, asked her.

"Because it’s my culture," the female student, who is black, said.

"Do you know it was in Egyptian culture? Are you Egyptian? Nah man, you’re not," the male student, who is white, responded.

"Are you Egyptian?" the female student, who was accompanied by another individual, countered.

"No, but it doesn’t matter," the male student said.

"Where’s Egypt? Tell me," the female student asked.

As the male student tried to walk away from the confrontation, the woman followed him, standing in the way of the staircase and hitting his arm.

"You have no right to tell me what I cannot wear," he said.

"Where’s Egypt?" the female student pressed. The male student then tried to exit by mounting a staircase, but the female student continued to block him.

"Stop touching me right now," the male student said. The female student then grabbed hold of his arm and pulled him down the stairs toward her, saying "Come back!"

"Get off me!" he said.

The female student then appeared to threaten the male student, saying, "You put your hands on me—you’ll learn."

"I don’t need your disrespect," the male student replied, finally escaping his peer’s grasp.

The video, which was filmed by a bystander, abruptly cut off after the female student asked the videographer why he was taping the incident and then hit the camera with her hand. The recording, published on YouTube by user Nicolas Silvera, has been viewed over 150,000 times.

The university said that it was unaware of any criminal charges filed in regards to the incident. The school plans to further investigate the confrontation.

"San Francisco State University promotes the rights of the campus community to engage in free speech, but does not condone behavior that impedes the safety or well-being of others," the university said. "We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable university channels, including our campus student conduct procedures."

The video emerged amidst a slew of incidents involving "political correctness" at college campuses across the country.

Black students at the University of California Los Angeles, New York University, and other schools have demanded the creation of "safe spaces" restricted only to students of color. Last year, the University of Vermont hosted a retreat solely for white students to confront their "white privilege." Students at Harvard and Princeton have also succeeded in eliminating the "house master" title given to dorm heads by alleging that the term has connotations of slavery. Historically, "master" is rooted in European terms for teachers or heads of household.