Race in Humboldt: Outside the Bubble


by David Crowfield II
Flapjack staff

After the 2015-2016 school year, I decided to stay in Humboldt for the summer. At the time I was trapped in this false illusion that Humboldt was a welcoming place to all, but I soon came to realize that the bubble HSU creates for its students did not expand beyond the campus.

During my stay I worked at the local Target, as a cashier. I had good and bad experiences with customers, but the worst of them came from the locals who seemed to have had racial bias. They would not come to my line even if the other lines were full and when they finally came to my line they would not make eye contact, they would rush me, throw the money, and would have an attitude.

On HSU’s campus one feels welcomed like they are apart of a big family. Many of the students at HSU come from similar backgrounds (The Hood). Growing up in The Hood one can only dream of making it out. Our neighborhoods are filled with corrupt school systems, drugs, crime, and racial segregation. For minorities in America, we strive to prove negative stereotypes wrong, by attending college to better our communities. Viewing college as a safe haven for many, escaping all of the troubles of The Hood.

On November 13, 2015, Robin and Shannon were assaulted by two unidentified white men. They had bottles thrown at them and beer sprayed on them They were taunted with racist remarks and chased by the two men. The students got away successfully and told proper authorities that this was a racially motivated attack. The two women had wanted to attend Humboldt State because they felt they could escape the nightmares of The Hood, but little did they know they were going to face hate crimes.

Ketly Sylla, a friend of the two women, gave insight on how this community view people of color.

“When I first got here I was excited about coming to college and sharing new experiences with new friends,” says Sylla. “But I wasn’t able to do that because I came here and faced new challenges and I’m not talking about academics. I go out into town to enjoy myself and I get looks from white people, like I’m going to rob them or something. Getting racially profiled is not a comfortable feeling.”

A lot of students of color feel unwelcome in Humboldt beyond the campus bubble because of their skin color. Many have questioned themselves on why they should stay in a place where they feel unwelcome. Sidney Broussard, 20, a marketing major at HSU, believes the people outside of the bubble are the way they are because of our institutions.

“If one is a person of color in America, one never gets to take off those glasses,” Broussard says.  “Racism is deeply rooted in our culture and defines society for black and brown people. There is a set of racially biased structures entrenched in the institutions that make up or society and the default setting is white.”

What is race? As defined by Urban Dictionary, race is a biological term used to classify living things.

What is race? bell hooks defines race as a system of power and privilege.

What is race? Race is something more than color. Race is something that divides us in this world. Race is the root of majority of physical, emotional, and mental crimes.

Race has played a big factor in the formation of American. From the founding of this country, African Americans have been considered second class citizens. We were brought over on slave ships, and in the American Constitution we were once considered 3/5 of a person. American society has been made to exclude people of color and social media has depicted us as menace to society.

A College of the Redwood communication major gave some great insight on how African American people are depicted in the media.

“I think that we as African Americans, need to speak out more to the media so that they can not keep portraying our heritage as violent in movies and TV shows. Even though the African American ethnicity is the most copied in the world.”

This is an ongoing matter that African Americans have to face day in and day out. People of color feel as if they need to stick together because of the way we are depicted in the media and the way we are viewed outside of the bubble. The media and the culture of America has helped create a society full of racism.


Diego Sanchez led win over Sonoma Seawolves

By David Crowfield II
Flapjack staff

Rugby is a true team sport, no matter how good one player is, he can’t do anything, without the help of his teammates. Diego Sanchez is a 21-year=old forward for the Humboldt State Mens Rugby team. Sanchez has been playing Rugby since he arrived at HSU in 2013. Rugby was brought to Sanchez’s attention during his freshman year, while he was walking through the quad and a couple of member of the team was tabling. His interest was stuck as he approached the table. Within a months span, Sanchez was out at practice. Now, let’s jump to present day.

Sanchez is a valuable part for the Jacks mens rugby team. He leads the team emotionally, physically, and mentally. Sanchez has seemed to master the fullback position.

“I have gotten better over the years,” Sanchez said. “I plan on getting even better because I’m going to keep training until I learn every position and that way I’ll be able to impact the game even more.”

Sanchez’s work ethic has shown in the way that he leads and plays. On March 11, in a tough, standstill match the Jacks performed well in conditions that most teams would fold in. Many would consider the match a Humboldt classic because of the weather conditions. The players took the field as the crowd yelled in anticipation of the match. The ball was placed for the kicker. When kicked, though the crowd howled, the ball was still heard by everyone as it was kicked into the air. Sanchez caught the ball. He took the ball up the field, and as he ran his hardest, he dodged the opposition as they threw their bodies at him. As he ran, he saw the triezone in front of him. The crowd yelled in excitement for Sanchez, who was fearlessly dodging the Seawolves. He broke one tackle and then another. As he was about to break free and just as he thought he  avoided all that there was, he was abruptly side-blinded by a Seawolf that was not seen in the corner of his eye.

From the beginning of the match, the Jacks were pounding the Seawolves and had many chances to score, but failed to do so. During this intense match, Sanchez and his teammates had high hopes of dominating the opposing Seawolves.

“Many of us thought we were going to be the first ones to score a trie,” Sanchez said. “That wasn’t the case.”

The Seawolves scored in the last minutes of the first half scored, leaving the score 7-0. At the half Sanchez appeared to tell his team what they need to do better. Dalvine Jones, a teammate of Sanchez, gave a brief description of what was said by Sanchez.

“We played dismal and nonchalant in the last 10 minutes, looking as if they did not prepare all week,” Jones said. “Passes were dropped, tackles were missed, and no one was rucking like we wanted to win the half.”

In the second half the Sanchez and the Jacks came out hitting hard, running fast, and playing like they had something on the line. They scored with in the first five minutes, but failed to make their extra point kick. At this point in the game the score was 7-5. The Seawolves scored two more times and the Jacks appeared to fall off.

James Ball, a former HSU rugby player, has been attending HSU’s rugby games since he graduated in 2010. Ball knows many of the the current players on the team, and he gave pointers and insight to Sanchez when he first started playing. Ball had a lot to say about how Sanchez has grown over the years.

“Diego has gotten better,” Ball said. “He needs to keep the intensity up if he wants to continue to be a leader and compete for a championship.”

Ball believed that Sanchez could rally the Jacks come back effort for the win. The faith that Ball had in Sanchez and the Jacks seemed to  be good faith because they turned it up a notch at the 60th minute and scoring 20 unanswered points to secure the win. After the game, Coach Vince Celotto, who has been Sanchez’s coach for the past three years, gave his team a motivational speech and delivered Sanchez the game ball.

“I am so impressed with our rookies and new recruits filling our needs on the field,” Celotto said. “Diego, you were all over the place today. Keep it up because your making us stronger. And for that, I would like to award with the you the game ball.”

Receiving the ball is a high honor for the teams player of the week. Although, Sanchez’s success is a testament to his talent, he would not have gotten to where he is today without the help of his teammates. He will need to continue to rely on them, as they prepare for the playoffs.

On April 1, the Jacks will travel to Vallejo to compete in the playoffs. In order for the Jacks to win, they will need  the continuing leadership from Sanchez, to practice patience, communication, tackling, and simply executing their game plan. All of these things can help the Jacks secure a playoff win and a potential shot to travel to Pittsburgh, Pensilvania for a shot at the championship.

Black Liberation Month opens with moving speech

By David Crowfield II
Flapjack staff

On Feb. 1,  the African American Center for Academic Excellence held its second annual Black Liberation Month opening ceremony. The event had several parts to it which consisted of singing the black national anthem, introducing the AACAE workers/mission, musical selection, origins of black history month, and a spoken word performance. Dr. Corliss Bennett, also gave a moving speech during the event. She touched on how there are people out in the world who do not want to see people of color succeed in life. She also, gave us her background and how she over came  the streets of South Central, Los Angeles.

Dr. Bennett is the director of the cultural centers for academic excellence, who obtained her Bachelors degree from UCR (University of California, Riverside). Dr.Bennett is a first-generation college graduate from Crenshaw and Slauson, cross streets in Los Angeles. She says she’s passionate about education for people of color.

“I went to Saint Mary’s high school where my counselors did not believe I could go to college and be successful in life,” she said. “And that’s why I chose to become an educator, to show my people it’s possible to beat the odds and to help people that look like me.”

Business major Sidney Broussard, 20, is an operations and hospitality specialist at the AACAE.

“Black Liberation means understanding where a person of color comes from because if we do not know where we came from we won’t know where we are going,” Broussard said, touching on the how “blackness” is the escape from white oppression. “Blackness is not merely a reference to skin color, but rather a symbol of oppression that can be applied to all persons except whites, of course because they have never been oppressed.”

Sophomore sociology major Ketly Sylla, 19, is from South Central, Los Angeles. She aspires to work with disabled children in the near future. She hopes that her current job title, as the Intercultural Intersections Specialists will help her prepare for her future career choice. Sylla believes that it is her duty to help the P.O.C. (people of color) community to understand the world we live in, the problems our society is currently facing, and how this all relates to our past.

“It is important to educate our youth on a history that is often forgotten and left out of our current education system and how white privileged is not something of the past,” she said. “I didn’t choose this position; it chose me. Diversifying our communities and properly educating the youth will help them because how are we supposed to know where we’re going if we do not know where we came from.”