CSULB professor finds hate note on car
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 00:09
Coming back from a stroll on the beach, Griselda Suarez and her family found a slip of yellow paper on their car’s windshield, and at first they thought it was a citation.
But it wasn’t a citation — it was a note.
“You Mexicans took over Cherry Beach — (No white people allowed),” the note read. “Now you invade our beach. Go back to Baja, wetbacks.”
Suarez, a Chicano and Latino studies professor at Cal State Long Beach, and her family were just a few of the Belmont Shore visitors to find hate notes on their cars during labor day on Sept. 3, something that the Long Beach Police Department is calling “an isolated and random incident.”
“I was shocked that someone was staking out the parking lot to leave notes,” Suarez said. “Having to translate the notes to my mom was hard.”
Another of the notes read, “The Mexicans invaded this beach now — sad.”
A statement released by the LBPD described the note as a racial slur that did not contain “direct or specific threats.” The LBPD also “determined that no crime occurred in this incident.”
Suarez said she was saddened and frustrated by the lack of interest from the LBPD.
“This should be considered a hate crime,” Suarez said, “because I was targeted, and it was personally put on my property.”
Suarez said the population of Belmont Shore’s visitors was very diverse the day she found the note.
As a Belmont Shore resident, Suarez said she hopes that these hateful notes will not keep other Latinos from frequenting the beach.
“It won’t stop me from going back to that beach,” Suarez said. “I can see how it will keep other [Latinos] from going back to that same beach.”
Suarez said she looks to turn this negative experience into a positive learning opportunity for herself and her students. She said she can relate the experience directly to her teaching of Chicano and Latino Studies.
“As an educator, I can bring [the note] to class and educate my students on how racism is active and still part of our community,” Suarez said. “This will only make me more passionate about ethnic studies and why it is so important to have at the university.”
University Police Captain Scott Brown said if something like this happened at CSULB, the University Police’s priority would be to provide support.
“The [University Police’s] first goal would be to support those affected and provide them with support and information on campus and community-based support resources,” Brown said. “Officers would begin an investigation into the matter and refer it on to our investigations unit for any necessary follow-up.”
Brown said that because CSULB has its own set of regulations regarding behavior, if a member of the campus community made such statements, then other departments, like the Office of Equity and Diversity and Judicial Affairs, would have to handle the matter as well.
The Long Beach Police Department is asking anyone with information regarding this incident to contact the Violent Crimes Detail at (562) 570-7250. Anonymous tips via text or web may be submitted to www.tipsoft.com.