I have searched far and wide, and this appears to be the full extent of the alleged provocation for the revolt of black students against the president of the University of Missouri, Tim Wolfe:
Sept. 12: Missouri Students Association president Payton Head posts about a racial slur directed at him.
Payton Head, MU senior and president of MSA, renewed the dialogue about racism and the racial climate on the University’s Columbia campus after publishing a Facebook post about his first-hand experience with racism. The night before, Head said he was walking around campus when the passenger of a pickup repeatedly shouted the “N-word” at him.
Head’s statement went viral on social media, and many people shared their support of Head and frustration with MU’s response, or lack thereof, to his post. “I’d had experience with racism before, like microaggressions, but that was the first time I’d experienced in-your-face racism,” Head told a Missourian reporter.
Oct. 5: Legion of Black Collegians members are the targets of racial slurs by a man on campus.
Another instance of racism brought the racial climate on campus again to the attention of students and administrators.
The Legion of Black Collegians shared a letter on social media describing the group’s encounter with overt racism the night before. The group was rehearsing for a performance at Traditions Plaza when a “young man” talking on his cellphone walked up to the group. After being politely and repeatedly asked to leave, the man walked away but referenced LBC members using racial slurs.
That same day, MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin responded with a post of his own, acknowledging and condemning racism at MU.
“There was a silence that fell over us all, almost in disbelief that this racial slur in particular was used in our vicinity,” Naomi Collier, president of MU’s NAACP chapter and member of the LBC’s activities committee, wrote in the letter.
Oct. 8: Loftin announces mandatory online diversity training for faculty, staff and students, which is met with widespread skepticism.
The training came after a number of accounts of overt racism experience by students on campus, but was met with skepticism and suspicion.Jonathan Butler, MU graduate student and campus activist, wrote a letter to Loftin saying the training was “a step in the right direction, but it is not enough.”
More recently, someone used human feces to draw a swastika inside Mizzou’s Gateway Hall.
Because of these episodes—none of which involve perpetrators who have been identified, or who have even been proved to be students, and none of which were remotely within the control of the University, Wolfe has been harassed, with black students demanding that he resign. Black graduate student Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike last week, promising to forgo all food and nutrition until Wolfe steps down. Now a group of black University of Missouri football players have announced that they will not participate in team activities until Wolfe resigns.
This is redolant of the 196o’s, and there is no good way for a university to respond. especially when the grievances are as attenuated as these are. What exactly is Wolfe supposed to do to stop random incidents like these from occurring? He had made some unpopular administrative decisions that had nothing to do with race, making him vulnerable to attack, and apparently this is why he is being targeted as if he drew the swastika. Such demonstrations and protests are disingenuous; students may be legitimately upset, but they are using random incidents as an opportunity to exert power for the sake of power. If the University capitulates, it will have simply given up its administrative authority to public relations extortion. If it doesn’t capitulate, the entire campus will be divided, students will reflexively side with the students, and chaos will reign, presumably succeeded by dictated racial spoils, as outlined in the black students’ list of eight demands, including enforcement of mandatory racial awareness and inclusion training for all faculty, staff and students; an increase in the percentage of black faculty and staff; and an increase in funding to hire mental health professionals for the MU Counseling Center, particularly those of color; and more staff for social justice centers on campus.
You know: political indoctrination and re-education.
If I were a student there, I’d transfer now.
This is a race-based power grab, inspired, I assume, by the success of Black Lives Matters in cowing white politicians and the media into support, obeisance and crippling white guilt. Why else would this be happening now? Missouri isn’t alone: there is a similar manufactured race crisis at Yale. There the provocation is vague and trivial—one incident is vague, and the other is trivial. Students claimed that a fraternity party was blocked at the door by a student saying “White girls only,” and the fraternity denies it. As with “Hands up! Don’t shoot!,” the white racism narrative is just presumed to be true. The second “outrage” was an e-mail from the associate master of Silliman College, one of Yale’s 12 undergraduate residential communities, that urged students not to take offense at Halloween costumes they might find insensitive. (The simple translation of this e-mail is “Oh, grow up.”) The Yale President has decided to take the less stressful route of grovelling to the protesters.
History tells us that this will spread around the country, not because campuses are suddenly racist, just as they are not suddenly filled with rapists. It will happen because activists will see an opportunity, because college administrators are weak and eager to avoid confrontation, and because the Obama administration has seeded divisiveness and racial distrust throughout the culture, the President’s primary and most destructive legacy.
Since the school is doomed for the foreseeable future no matter what it does, it would be courageous of Wolfe to do the right thing and tell the students that they don’t run the school and won’t, tell Butler that extorting the school is disruptive and unacceptable, and he can either eat on campus or starve off of it, and tell the football players that they can forfeit the games and their scholarships if they choose: he’s not putting them in charge of the university.
In the meantime, until the University of Missouri board caves in to the demands (and it will), he should look for another job.
Update: Wolfe has resigned.