San Francisco State University announced Tuesday that it is investigating an on-campus confrontation caught on video in which a black woman accuses a white man of cultural appropriation for sporting dreadlocks.
The video, which was posted to YouTube Monday, went viral and had been viewed more than 1.3 million times by Wednesday morning.
“We are aware of the video made of an incident which occurred on campus yesterday afternoon,” the school said in a statement. “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.”
The man and the woman in the video were later identified as Cory Goldstein and Bonita Tindle.
At the beginning of the video, Tindle asks Goldstein, “You got some scissors?”
Goldstein replies, “You’re saying that I can’t have a hairstyle because of your culture? Why?”
“Because it’s my culture,” she says, before asking if he knows the meaning behind dreadlocks.
Goldstein says that dreadlocks were a part of Egyptian culture. “Are you Egyptian?” he asks. “Nah, bro, you’re not.”
Tindle asks where Egypt is located several times as he attempts to walk away.
“Dude, girl, you have no right to tell me what I cannot wear,” he says.
Goldstein keeps trying to leave the scene by walking upstairs, but she grabs his arm and pulls him back down.
“Yo, girl, stop touching me right now,” he says. “You’re going to start some s*** because of the hair I have. That’s no reason, yo. I don’t need your disrespect.”
At this point, Tindle realizes that their confrontation is being recorded on video.
“Why are you filming this?” she asks.
“Just for everyone’s safety,” the cameraman replies. Then Tindle reaches out to grab the camera — bringing the video to an end.
Despite the video’s title, “SFSU 2016 — Campus employee assaults white student for ‘cultural appropriation,’” both parties in the confrontation appear to be students.
The majority of those commenting on the video appear to side with Goldstein, saying it underscores the hostility and closed-mindedness of “social justice warriors” on college campuses.
San Francisco State University said it promotes the right of free speech but does not condone behavior that endangers anyone's safety or well-being.
“We are taking the matter seriously,” the school’s statement continues, “and will promptly and thoroughly investigate this incident through applicable University channels, including our campus student conduct procedures.”
In a Facebook post, Goldstein said he filed a formal campus police report but will not be filing any criminal charges.
The video was posted under the name Nicholas Silvera. It is the account’s only video on YouTube. He did not immediately respond to Yahoo News’ request for further comment.
When contacted by Yahoo News, San Francisco State spokesman Jonathan Morales said, “The only update is that we became aware yesterday afternoon that the individual filming the video has requested that charges be pressed. I have no further information at this time.”