Three UCLA students woke up to unsightly, racially charged graffiti on the front door of their off-campus apartment this week. The racial slurs that were both anti-Mexican and sexist have prompted a hate crime investigation into the incident.
Phrases etched in black marker across the door included "you rude ignorant spic cunts," "dirty Meximelt bitches," and "go eat some refried beans and shut up," UCLA's Daily Bruin and CBS Local News report.
Third-year psychology student Kristine Phan discovered the graffiti upon leaving the apartment Monday morning. The slurs were written on their front door, in a stairway and on a fence facing the apartment.
"I thought we were here attaining a higher education, and with that, learning to be tolerant of other cultures," Phan told The Daily Bruin. "I'm very sad and disappointed."
Phan, who is not Latino herself, said she believes the attack was targeted toward her roommates -- Myra Ramirez, a Guatemalan-Salvadoran, and another Mexican American male roomate. Ramirez also feels that the slurs were directed toward her and her male roommate.
Ramirez may have expected to see graffiti like this in her hometown of South Los Angeles, but not at UCLA. "I would never expect it to happen here in Westwood," Ramirez, who is from South Los Angeles, told CBS. "If attention is what they wanted, then they did get it. But I hope they realize it is not good attention."
Surprisingly, as The Daily Bruin points out, the graffiti messages do not directly address both the ethnicity and gender of any of the roommates living in the apartment. Reading the writing on the wall, the slurs are directed at a Mexican female.
The Undergraduate's Student Association Council condemned the vandalism in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. The council will meet with school administrators to address the issue, while local police investigate the crime.