Some student groups at UCLA say the student body president needs to go after a photo surfaced of the white man flashing the Bloods' gang sign.
The photo showed up on Facebook after Danny Siegel shared the photo of him flashing the gang sign in a GroupMe chat earlier this week.
The photo went viral just days before the student body began voting for this year's USAC elections.
UCLA students are expressing their outrage over the photo that Seigel says was taken over a year ago, before he was appointed to the role of president.
Students say they're disappointed in Seigel and that he needs to go.
'When a white person throws up the gang sign, they're basically making a mockery of the oppression that African Americans in hyper-segregated neighborhoods face,' fourth-year Robert Gardner told the Daily Bruin of the incident said. 'A lot of black Bruins are extremely upset at this appropriation of our culture … that's derived out of anti-black racism.'
For his part, Seigel posted a lengthy apology on Facebook on Sunday afternoon blaming the photo on his lack of perspective on the black experience in America and his own white privilege (the post has since been taken down or hidden from public view).
“This is a result of my white privilege and lack of perspective, something that so many victims of gang violence don’t have the luxury of, in fact this behavior can put their lives at risk. I should have known better and take full responsibility for my insensitivity.”
Kosi Ogbuli, the incoming vice chair of the Afrikan Student Union and a first-year neuroscience student doesn't buy it and thinks the photo is inexcusable he told the Daily Bruin.
“From where I grew up, it’s a sign that implies a lot of things and a lot of danger,” Ogbuli said. “It’s like a name tag for what gang you’re in – that’s your set and you’re proud of being in it.”
The Bloods are a predominantly black street gang that was founded in Los Angeles, identified by the use of the color red worn by members and hand signals made by members.