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Viral video captures racial slur being shouted at SDSU’s Black Resource Center

Rillo Moons reacts to the sound of a racial slur being shouted at the Black Resource Center on campus in a video posted to their Twitter.

@RilloMoons on Twitter

Rillo Moons reacts to the sound of a racial slur being shouted at the Black Resource Center on campus in a video posted to their Twitter.

by Bella Ross, News Editor

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Updated on March 6, 2019.

A viral video originating from San Diego State’s campus displays a situation where a racial slur is shouted at a black student, resulting in online pushback and a campus-wide email from President Adela de la Torre.

The video was posted to Twitter on Saturday, March 2, by Rillo Moons. Moons can be seen sitting in a car when a group of people drive past off-camera laughing and shouting an unprintable, offensive slur sometimes known as “the n-word.” Moons, who is black, believes the comment was directed at the Black Resource Center building they were parked outside of. The vehicle reportedly consisted of multiple men of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“@SDSU these your students,” Moons tweeted. “How are you going to address this to prevent this in the future? Because this feels like an unsafe learning environment.”

The campus-wide email, sent around 5 p.m. on March 4, condemned the incident and announced the university would be arranging healing circles for affected students. The email was signed by de la Torre, Interim Vice President or Student Affairs Christy Samarkos and Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion J. Luke Wood.

“We stand behind the belief that diversity and inclusion benefits everyone,” the email said. “A diverse and inclusive culture helps our students to be better prepared for succeeding in a global community and workforce that is highly diverse. With that, we refute acts of marginalization, racism and hatred; we must all respectfully come together and support one another regardless of our backgrounds.”

Business senior and Vice President of Financial Affairs Christian Onwuka said in a tweet that black students at SDSU need to be proud of their black heritage and stand up to racists and racist incidents.

“To everybody questioning why the (Black Resource Center) is important and why it was necessary … cuz opposition is everywhere,” Onwuka tweeted. “To the new generation of Black students at SDSU … step up. Recognize our reality. Use your voice, rep your community. Be proud in who you are, and what you are.”

In discussing her reaction to the video, health communications senior Chidera Ezeani said she was shocked to know “this kind of thing” was happening in her own backyard.

“It was just confusing and disgusting because it’s the kind of stuff I see viral on Twitter all the time,” Ezeani said.

She also said she was disheartened the video did not show the people who shouted the racial slur as there is no way to hold them accountable for their actions.

“Who’s to say it won’t happen again tomorrow, tonight or next week?” Ezeani asked.

Following the incident, students and faculty gathered in a healing circle on March 5, to discuss the incident and express their concerns and frustrations.

Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Luke Wood attended the healing circle and acknowledge the need for change in the university.  

“We’re having multiple circles for these discussions, but beyond that there’s a lot of things that we’re going to have to do as an institution,” Wood said. “Some of those things we’ve already begun, such as (having) the provost professors who are doing training with other faculty.”

However, Wood acknowledged these kinds of things only address part of the problem, adding that there’s more work to be done.

Political science sophomore and A.S. Vice President of External Relations Michael Wiafe said, when it comes to issues like this, it’s all about power in numbers.

“Something that I took away from this … was that not one person can solve this,” Wiafe said. “You’re going to need everybody.”

Students interested in attending a healing circle following the video incident can contact the Black Resource Center at HarambeeScholars@sdsu.edu. Anybody with information on the incident was asked to contact university police by calling (619) 594-1991 or emailing PoliceInvestigations@sdsu.edu.

previous version of this story incorrectly identified Moons as an SDSU student. The Daily Aztec regrets this error. 

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Viral video captures racial slur being shouted at SDSU’s Black Resource Center”

  1. Native Jo on March 5th, 2019 2:02 am

    The lady said herself the guys weren’t calling her anything but they were shouting it towards the building. It was quick and hard to understand but I believe the lady who heard it clearly.

    I don’t know why this is national news. I don’t know why the school needs to send a campus wide email and have support counselors for the students who are adults, and didn’t hear it to themselves. I don’t know why everyone offended is acting like it’s the first time they have ever heard that word in their lives. They use the word casually and it’s in all their music they choose to listen to everyday. Can we not pretend their virgin ears are burning? The lady said the guys were of multi racial and ethnic backgrounds. This is not a big deal. It’s only a short story of this ladies day. People are going to have to alter their behavior and boycott the normalisition of these slurs if they expect horrible shock and concern their to be treated seriously. The virtue signaling here is a joke. Noone should shout stuff like that in public, but don’t act like it’s the most egregious thing anyone has ever heard before. Not when there are actually violent attacks going on daily

  2. Chinny on March 6th, 2019 12:25 am

    To the comment above, you are so ignorant. The N word is for only BLACK people to use, so many words in the US language, but this is the word you guys are itching to use. The N word was used in hate, and your comment and views show how unconsciously racist you are. Your dumb ass admitted how they yelled the slurred towards the building, that building is a BLACK resource center. Secondly, you must be deaf because I heard the N word clearly hun, yet you want to state that we hear it in our music which I pretty sure you’re a fan of, therefore I am sure you heard that word clearly as well whether you wanna believe it or not like the doubtful racist you are. And yes there are other violent attacks going on, I agree, and this is also one of importance. Lastly, who are these violent attacks usually coming from… 👀…nothing further.

  3. ROBERTCALDERON on April 4th, 2019 5:29 pm

    RACISM IS STUPID BECAUSE I NOW AM ENGAGED TO A BEAUTIFUL MUSLIM WOMAN

  4. Nubia on April 10th, 2019 5:41 pm

    So the video is slightly out of context as it does not show the people who were shouting at the said building. Granted disrespectful behavior should be looked down upon but to what regard? As mentioned by the first comment, it should be taken into account that it’s not really shocking as its a word used every day by people of color, and in songs… To add to the second comment, if the N word is so harmful and terrible, then why do us black folk use it towards each other if it has the same meaning? Alternatively, if it is soo awful then no one including blacks should be able to use it. Racism works in all ways… and with this logic, it is throwing us back into the segregation days of which we limit peoples usage of a single word.. Take a look at freedom of speech, as long as we don’t yell fire in a theater or tell people to literally harm others.. besides that, everyone has the right to say whatever they want to whether we like it or not. We cannot and should not control what other people say because that is essentially repeating slavery. Peoples minds are bound to be different regardless and we cannot all literally think the same thing like some hive mind.. All we have got to do is include everyone in equality.. EVERY single race, not just some people. Also, we need not attack one another and be hypocrites and bar each other from work for saying a certain word or thinking a certain way..

  5. Kash on April 14th, 2019 3:39 pm

    to Native Jo & Nubia, yes the N word is used in songs but black people have the right to reclaim a word that was used towards them in a negative way. And I agree no one should say the word BUT if someone is going to say it, it SHOULD be the people who were abused by it and now find no offense to it since there is now a different power to the word. The group in the video were using the word in the negative way it originated so the group of students is out of line period. We cannot control what people say but people as a whole should simply respect others regardless of their ethnicity/race. And black people being the only group allowed to say it will and does not mean segregation… what other ethnicity/race was called the N word as much as them? None, so why should other races say it?? Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. 🙃

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