Two HSU Students Were Victims of Racial Attack, Says President

Information from an email sent out by Humboldt State University to the students:

HumboldtOn Friday night, November 6, two black women who are HSU students were assaulted in downtown Arcata. Two unidentified white men threw a glass bottle at them, hitting them and spraying both women with beer. From their truck, the men then proceeded to taunt, harass, and chase them. Both students ran and successfully evaded the assailants.

The students are clear that this was not only a physical assault, but a racially motivated one. And we know this is not the first time that an incident like this has happened on campus or in the community. Harassment based on race, gender, or other characteristics continues to be a serious problem.

Incidents such as these are both shocking and appalling. They undermine our shared commitment to create a safe environment for learning, teaching, and living for our entire University community. We are all affected by what happens in the community around campus.

I call upon all members of the University and the broader community to be part of the solution. We need to understand that such acts are traumatic, as they diminish the survivors’ sense of safety. Furthermore, these acts impact survivors’ ability to live, study, and work in our community.

These acts are also antithetical to the values we hold as an institution, including our shared commitment to supporting the dignity of all individuals, to valuing diversity, and to respecting differences.

Each of us can play a role in supporting members of our community who experience harm, including listening compassionately and bridging them to resources such as Counseling and Psychological Services, our Bias Education Initiative, the Dean of Students, the Centers for Academic Excellence, and other allies across campus.

I hope you will all play a role in making our University and the broader community safe, welcoming, respectful, and free of violence, prejudice, and oppression.


Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.




  • There’s always going to be more stupid than smart people. Racism is based on stupidity. The only way to eradicate stupidity is through education.

  • so no discription of the truck? no plate number? arcata thursday night, any other witnesses? hospital report? or just the word of these two supposed victims? Did they call and fill out police report? all valid question i amj asking . is there any answers? did this really happen or is it just another false claim to feed the fire like mizzou university. maybe a little follow up would help this not be another dividing factor in this community.

    • Excellent questions ! I was thinking the same thing.

    • I’m there too

      • Let me guess- you commenters are all white. Not bein snarky, the reality is many white people have never experienced a hate crime, especially white males. Its hard to understand when its not happening to you, this line of questioning reminds me of what is often asked when a woman reports a rape.
        I am sure if these two women are lying someone will figure it out. Tho it seems great lengths to go to just to have a race crime reported on.
        Lets not forget, also, that Mckinleyville has history with the aryan nation. Racism is not a new thing here.

        • I don’t think it has anything to do with skin color. People of all races will be interested in finding out if this was a crime reported and being investigated or if it’s just another overblown story to promote the Victim Culture being made by use of our kids.

          • Perfectly said. And for the record “really” I have been discriminated against so many times in my life as a white male. So don’t assume anything .

          • Wow so lets hear your story of white male discrimination please! You didnt get the job u wanted, was that it? Have you ever been pulled over by cops and singled out due to your skin color or gender? Ever been raped and then told you’re lying because you’re a woman? Ever had someone say “hey you stupid white honky if I see you around here again i’ll kill you, we dont like your kind”?
            You proved my point exactly. True that in areas with few minorities it is the lowest white class that bears the brunt of police misconduct, as do outlaws and activists.
            A wise man I know said “I dont understand patriarchy because its not happening to me”.
            Take a few minutes to really think about it. Do you worry when you go out that you will be targeted by police? Are you scared to walk around town?

            & yes this is about skin color or it wouldn’t be questioned. The first cupla commenters tried to tie it to Missouri.
            If it was two blonde LA girls would you say the same?

    • I agree, well said.
      It sounds like a typical rejection reaction most women have witnessed at one time in their life before. Sore losers spouting off wrongly combined with university victim complex symptom for political purposes.
      I could be wrong, but.

  • Smells like bullshit, sorry.

    Honestly, some commenters already expressed what were my first thoughts as well. Why no info? Much less hateful incidents have still unleashed the unholy wrath of local law enforcement, etc. This incident reads like bullshit, and why should I have to disclaim myself for saying so? HSU president has been in bad need of a popularity boost, that’s for sure.

    • I read post and halfway threw I was thinking exactly what all of you just said and started think of how I would say it. Again I am happy I read kymkemp and not loco. I agree with all of you. Story sounds fishy. My guess they were all drunk and the girls fabricated the story into them pulling the race card.

  • I am shocked at what many of you guys are saying. Unbelievable. What the hell’s the matter with you? dave, tc, nines, american…. really? I don’t even have words. Just shaking my head. Those gals must have been terrified. Ever felt that way boys?

  • What time was this? Where did this happen? Why not more info?

  • The crude comments made above questioning the truthfulness of the claims unwitting proove that racism is alive in Humboldt County. This is a posting in a blog, not the whole story. By projecting ulterior motives onto the two women, without a shred of proof, is a racist act… because the accusation is based on their race. Pretending that this story is the story the women told, rather than a story that the internet press told, is a racist act. And it’s racist because if it was two caucasian women attacked by two guys, their word would not be questioned and infused with projected political motives. It’s as if these things can not happen, and so therefore they must be lying.

    Thank you, gentlemen, for proving the point you all were trying to disprove. I fully realize you can’t get that, and that’s kinda ok, because why in the world would you admit to being racists. Ain’t gonna happen so let’s not raise the bar too high.

    s not what the women have said, but rather what the blog posting said,

    • Much of what you said was eloquent but the post is not what I said but rather what the HSU president said.

    • I agree with what you’ve stated with one exception: Many womens’
      accounts of being assaulted are routinely questioned and met with suspicion ,no matter what their ethnicity may be, often in an attempt to shift the blame to the victim.Why would these women fabricate such a story? What could they possibly gain by doing so? The answers are obvious. My reply was meant for Grim Reaper.

  • I’d like to take a moment to bring a rational view to what was said above, Racism is alive and well and most probably what was written about really did happen, in which case I would like to send my regards, without some sort of tangible evidence it iS just hearsay though and pointing this out while generally unnecessary isn’t untrue. It is unfair to attack these people for making a true statement and it shouldn’t matter what skin color THEY have as it wasn’t said in hatred or as a racist comment.

    Being a man of European descent myself you’d think that the feeling of being treated unfairly or unkindly due to my race is beyond my capacity to understand. Far from the truth, in rural or poverty stricken areas where white people are the minority per-capita they can and do experience brutalities and hatred to name one example.

    I myself was raised without any awareness of one person or another being subjected to unfair treatment due to their skin color or other differences, I was sheltered but in a positive way because when I met anyone with different colored skin or who looked or acted different I satiated my curiosity by asking a few questions about them and then just played and didn’t care, it was just innocent curiosity and wasn’t a big deal and neither of us let it get in the way of fun 🙂

    One of my first experiences with racism was in school when some children of bigots dropped the word nigger, I remember thinking it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard and wondered what the big deal was, I remember feeling angry about it though I soon learned to accept that some people were just ignorant. My next and very real experience with racism was when I moved to Hawaii in 4th grade. I was dropped into a Grade School that operated like a High School with periods, lockers, and different teachers, we shared a lunchroom with Junior High and High School students and shared the same campus with K-12. My first day was filled with hate, spite, humiliation, confusion, physical attacks, and abusive treatment, and all because I was a different race. I was a threat to no one, very slight of build and innocent, no matter how hard I tried to be friendly or indifferent to my treatment it made no difference. I was a Haole’.. I was spit on, beaten up by angry boys and even a 6th grade girl slapped at me and drew blood with her nails because I looked her direction, not even the teachers had compassion for a little 4th grader crying in the hallway bleeding because I was Haole’.

    This was only one day, I lived in Hawaii for years before I was forced to go against my peaceful nature and fight, I was even chased by angry mobs of around 20 kids my age and older before I learned that the only way to earn respect was to prove myself. It was the single most terrifying yet insightful experience of my life and you know what? I still hold no animosity to anyone of any nation, race, creed, or belief structure. I want people to understand that racism is alive only because people keep it alive, and white people are only a part of the equation. We all need to remain positive no matter what skin color we are, it takes both sides to create a positive change and so far we are barely scratching the surface because we hang on to the memory of a bygone era. Every time we talk about it but do nothing we just perpetuate it because nothing changes.

  • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

    Yes, I can understand why there were no other witnesses, not many people walk around Arcata . Gee, seems the news is full of (what turns out to be) staged racism and the media is falling over itself to give airtime to these creeps. Now, if they said they threw a glass bong, it would be believable.

  • I don’t usually weigh in on these incidents but this has been handled the wrong way. This should not have been handled with a statement from the HSU president, but rather as a police report. The statement comes off as didactic, the president as scolding the community of Arcata. She has over-stepped in this incident.

    • Although I said this was an email from the HSU president, I did not make it clear that this was an internal email to the students. It was passed on to me and I shared it. I’ve corrected that omission now.

  • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

    Remember when the hispanics and the war on women were getting all the air time and print in the media? Not long ago and you seldom heard about black racism. Now thats all there is in the media. I look outside now expecting to see lynchings and orange cars with the confederate flag painted on them. Are you aware enough to see this is engineered? Have you noticed that racism has been steadily declining in the USA? Why is this happening? Maybe its the only way to get the black vote out to vote for a old rich white woman?

    • Oh, for heaven’s sake….There is no Hilary machine here. This is basically a one woman operation. Me. And I posted that because when the president of the University is speaking to students about racism occurring it is a piece of news (It is a piece of news even if the event didn’t happen. Though let me make it clear I’m personally inclined to believe it did.) I trusted my readers to read this as what it was–information about what the HSU community is experiencing.

      • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

        I’m afraid you are not the center of the universe, my comment is an observation of “the” media over the last few years, not your site.

  • Maybe part of the “BORN & RAISED” crowd?

    • As a part of the born & raised crowd that attended HSU I find that remark also as discriminatory. You don’t know how many times I had to defend the fact I was a native Humboldtian. That all of my family was not out chopping down every redwood tree on the planet; living in mobile homes and didn’t have the IQ to even make it through high school. Racism is not the only form of discrimination.

  • There isn’t a way to stop racism,it will be here long after I’m gone,and on.So sad.what if the whole world was born color blind??

  • If it's not bullshit, it still stinks.

    ” I trusted my readers to read this as what it was–information about what the HSU community is experiencing.”

    The problem I have with it is that the incident ISN’T what the HSU community is experiencing at all. Quite the opposite. I’ve lived here long enough to notice the campus is way more ethnically diverse than ten years ago, and that goes for the area in general, and I have only seen the opposite of bigotry. Humboldt is a very white place. That’s just how it is, nothing political about it. The people are exceptionally friendly, and I’d say a lot less racist bullshit happens here than any real metro area. I don’t necessarily doubt that the incident with the two girls happened, but if there’s no APB on the truck, no info of any real kind emerging from this, then the president of HSU is making a mountain out of a molehill and that actually fuels the racist fire, as can be seen on this and other forums. It reads like a PR stunt and that’s not cool. It’s especially wrong for public authority figures to be creating problems where there aren’t any.

    • Referring to the girls as “survivors” was particularly insulting. No wonder college kids are so whipped up, when the very presidents of their schools are coming out with this hyper-vigilant ass-covering babble. I’d be screaming “racism” or at least “sexism” at HER for daring to suggest I might need counseling for the horrendous incident where some drunks threw a bottle at me and got me all wet with beer.

      If the girls were six or seven, maybe yes, but COLLEGE girls? And the slippery — or sub-PhD — wording really makes me mad.

      “The students are clear that this was not only a physical assault, but a racially motivated one.” Are we talking about the two young ladies or the whole student body? Are they clear because it was made clear to them later? Or did the girls themselves report racial epithets being hurled with the beer bottle? I wanted to pick the entire thing apart but it makes me too mad.

      If I were a parent of either of them, I’d be after HSU for INFANTILIZING my daughter. You wonder why we’ve got these mobs of heedless ninnies from everywhere milling around the streets all night and day, they and their dogs pooping everywhere, with signs that amount to little kids whining to their parents. This memo is a clue.

  • If it's not bullshit, it still stinks.

    “Now, if they said they threw a glass bong, it would be believable.”

    Exponentially more spiteful crap goes down based on style and fashion, no doubt about that. The politically correct hype is just plain stupid. Neighborhood watch group lynch mob mentality. Catering to the lowest common denominator dumbs everybody down. It paints a false picture of reality. Bad juju.

  • If it's not bullshit, it still stinks.

    “Wow so lets hear your story of white male discrimination please!”

    How about simply trying to discuss racial matters and always, without exception, being told I don’t know what I’m talking about? That I don’t have the birthright to empathize, etc? “My kind” are the bad guys yet you simultaneously don’t care to digest anything I’m trying to communicate to you about my perspective? As if I don’t know what it is to be hated and mistreated for no good reason? This is my last post on the matter, I don’t know why I care to even comment but that it’s easy. We need fewer non-issues shoved in our faces, is all.

    • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

      So Jews don’t get discriminated against?

    • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

      My parents immigrated from europe to the states and we lived a middle class neighborhood, they did not speak english and I was learning it fast. We are “white” but we were “the foreigners” or the “gypsies”. We did not dress,eat or listen to the same music. No one talked to us, only about us, we were not welcome and shunned every where for a few years. This is in California back in the 60’s. I understand what it is like but I do not hold a grudge or want special treatment and it’s not part of my identity. This is because I discriminate, along with everyone else, I cannot stand liberal parrots who have lost the ability of analysis form their own opinions, only parrot what they hear that is in “fashion”or instructed how to react. Liberal parrots also discriminate in the same manner to those who do not fall inline with what the progressives dictate to them.

  • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

    I find it so pitiful that some exhibit so much outrage over other peoples words. If these outraged people ever traveled to other countries and experienced how the rest of the world lives, and governed, no first amendment rights, they wouldn’t wouldn’t sweat this BS. No matter how small your biggest problem is, its still your biggest problem. We have a generation of slackers and pansies who cannot form their own opinion or judge anything for themselves due to the PC indoctrination.

  • Do college students not know how to read license plates anymore?
    Guaranteed they have cell phones, why not call the popo??
    Dirka dirka

  • What’s with the discrimination against people who live in mobile homes? Aggressors were probably not students and where’s Billy Jack?

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