A San Francisco State University student of color harassed and assaulted a white student earlier this week, accusing him of stealing her culture—because he had dreadlocks.
The encounter took place in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, and was captured on video. The video clearly shows a black female student, identified as Bonita Tindle, confronting a dreadlocks-wearing white male named Cory Goldstein. Tindle is accompanied by a black male: both insist to Goldstein that his dreadlocks are tantamount to cultural appropriation.
Goldstein responds by insisting that his look is Egyptian, and doesn't belong to them. They counter by demanding to know whether he is Egyptian.
"You're saying I can't have a hairstyle because of your culture?" asks Goldstein. "Why?"
"Because it's my culture," asserts Tindle.
Goldstein eventually says, "You know what, girl, you have no right to tell me what I can and cannot wear." He then attempts to leave the area. Tindle grabs his arm and physically restrains him. After being pushed around for a few moments, Goldstein separates himself from Tindle and walks off. The self-proclaimed cultural enforcer then notices that she is being recorded by a third-party, and demands to know why.
"For everyone's safety," says the person shooting the video.
Tindle then appears to attack the cameraman just before the clip ends.
When I first watched this video, I was suspicious that it was staged: It just seems too ridiculous. But Goldstein posted about it on Facebook and said it really happened. "I just got physically assaulted because I have dreadlocks woe," he wrote.
What's more, the campus police responded to the incident, according to a press release:
University police were called to the scene of the incident when it occurred. The two individuals involved in the incident are not San Francisco State University employees. Further, no criminal charges have been pressed at this time to the University's knowledge.
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. We are taking the matter seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable University channels, including our campus student conduct procedures.
I don't know whether Goldstein or someone else called the police, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If he doesn't want to press charges, that's his choice. But Tindle's thuggish behavior was completely inappropriate, and she deserves plenty of derision—partly for her awful views on cultural appropriation, but mostly because she used violence to back up her opinion.
Given how obsessed universities are with creating safe spaces for students, I'm surprised SFSU isn't taking more decisive action. What good is a safe space, after all, if it does not guarantee actual physical safety?
In any case, shame on Tindle for going full Melissa Click on someone she disagreed with. To borrow a phrase from student-activists, perhaps she needs some mandatory cultural sensitivity training.