USC Student Endures Anti-Asian and Homophobic Slurs in Egging Episode

A cellphone image with the balcony of Cardinal Gardens, Rm F552 circled in red. (Photo Credit: Ivan Tsang / Facebook).
A cellphone image with the balcony of Cardinal Gardens, Rm F552 circled in red. (Photo Credit: Ivan Tsang / Facebook).

Just six months after University of Southern California’s student body president — who is Asian American — was victimized by a racial epithet, another incident of anti-Asian racism has rocked the campus. Yesterday, USC sophomore Ivan Tsang posted to his Facebook describing an ugly incident of racism he endured early Sunday morning. Tsang writes that while he was sitting by the outdoor fireplace of Cardinal Gardens — an on-campus townhouse-style housing complex — someone yelled a racist and homophobic phrase at him from an upper-level balcony, and tried to hit him repeatedly with eggs.

USC has already made headlines for being a potentially unsafe environment for international students from China. Last year, USC graduate student Xinran Ji was targeted for a brutal robbery because he was Chinese, and beaten to death. A year earlier, Chinese graduate students Ming Qu and Ying Wu were shot and killed in their parked car, sparking an outcry from the Chinese community. Against this context, the incident of racism described by Tsang is chilling.

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Murdered USC Grad Student Was Targeted Because He Was Chinese

USC graduate student Xinran Ji was murdered last year during a robbery attempt.
USC graduate student Xinran Ji was murdered last year during a robbery attempt.

Last July, 24-year-old USC graduate student in engineering, Xinran Ji, was walking home to his apartment after a late-night study session when he was brutally accosted by a group of unknown strangers just a few hundred feet off-campus, and beaten bloody with a baseball bat and a wrench in an attempted robbery. Ji survived the initial attack and stumbled to his apartment with multiple internal injuries, where his roommate found him dead in his bed the following morning.

Now, three teenagers —  Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 — are standing trial for murder. Two additional teenagers were also arrested in the incident, but one — 19-year-old Andrew Garcia — is currently awaiting a hearing to determine his mental competency, while the other unnamed teenaged girl is not being charged with Ji’s murder because officials say she was not involved in the attack; she was instead charged with robbery for a crime committed later in the night.

All four of Ji’s attackers confessed to the robbery and assault. Further, Andrew Garcia is quoted as saying that the teenagers targeted Ji for his race. Reports the New York Daily News:

Andrew Garcia, 19, told cops that he and four other friends saw the 24-year-old walking home alone on July 24. The group decided to mug him, he said.

“Because he was Chinese, he must have money,” Garcia told police.

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