It’s Protest Season: Missouri
The history of racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri dates back generations. When the university denied admission to black law school applicant Lloyd Gaines, the issue led to an influential 1938 Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for the civil rights movement. Three decades later, during the unrest of the late 1960s, the Legion of Black Collegians emerged at Mizzou to press for increased minority representation among students, staff and faculty – a goal student protesters say remains unmet. The 2011 suicide of black swimmer Sasha Menu Courey after she was allegedly raped by several football players led some to question the campus commitment to investigating sexual assaults. There are countless testimonies of current and former faculty members about the blatant culture of racism, sexism, and homophobia on campus.
Should students of color tolerate racist slurs and graffiti on the campus? Ultimately, I’m of the belief that the president should have been more forceful in dealing with that element of hate knowing the history of the school.
It seems some think it’s “immoral” for ineffective leaders to be fired, and for racists to be expelled from institutions of higher learning. Apparently, while CEOs get fired for poor performance all the time, when a university president isn’t up to the job, it’s the French Terror. Their argument is that those whom are “others” must tolerate being treated this way, because that’s the “moral” thing to do?
In the old days, these rabblerousers would have just been beat down. No fuss, no media, no protests. Today’s student activists are far more patient, organized, and strategic in hurting bigots where it really counts, economically and financially.
It bothers many now that millennials are standing up and fighting against it. Remember, the squeaky wheel always gets the grease. Power, in the end, is all that matters which is why the football team entering this fray is a game changer. What those opposed to these protesters need to concentrate on is how to get power and then use it to ensure their vision of what they think campuses should look like. Until they gain that power, no amount of lamenting will matter.