It’s no secret that racial issues have dominated the discussion at Mizzou for the past couple of months, but nobody seems to realize the implications of the current round of protests. While these students seem to be helping their cause, they’re ultimately hurting their school.
I don’t know where this all started, and I’m pretty sure no one else knows either, but there have been a few specific incidents at the University of Missouri that have really sparked unrest over the last few months. Back in September, the Missouri Student Association president was called a series of racial slurs by a group of drunk idiots in a pickup truck. In early October, the Legion of Black Collegians‘ Homecoming Court was called another series of racial slurs by another drunk idiot. Since then, that student was identified and removed from campus. In mid-October, it was reported that a swastika was drawn with feces on the floor of a residence hall, but the Federalist argues that there is no evidence proving that the swastika incident actually occurred.
On November 2nd, Jonathan Butler, a grad student at Mizzou, announced his “hunger strike” and stated that he would abstain from eating until President Tim Wolfe resigns. The football team, with the full support of the coaches, joined in on the protests and announced that they would boycott the season until Wolfe resigns. Protesters, under the name #ConcernedStudent1950, were camped out on the quad in support of Butler and the football team.
Wolfe eventually resigned, and University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was stripped of his title shortly thereafter. Honestly, I don’t blame Wolfe one bit for resigning. These protests are only the beginning for Mizzou. The protesters turned to childish tactics to oust someone who had nothing to do with any of the three isolated incidents. Tim Wolfe was nothing but a scapegoat.
Why do I say that the protests are going to get out of control? Because they already have.
The protesters currently camped in Carnahan Square were, until recently, refusing to let media into the camp. They posted signs reading “Safe Space, No Media,” and formed human blockades to keep media out. The protesters pushed around a local journalist who was just trying to do his job. Among the protesters was Professor Melissa Click, a communications professor at Mizzou, who was apparently courting the media before pushing journalists around:
— Kevin Hardy (@kevinmhardy) November 10, 2015
These Mizzou protests have mutated into anti-media, anti-First Amendment camps. It’s ridiculous to think that the students who are camping out are being praised more than students who are actually working hard and going to class. Any movement that believes that First Amendment rights only apply to its members deserves no credence.
I had hoped that, this week, something would change at Mizzou. Sadly, I was wrong. Mizzou PD sent out an email on Tuesday saying that students should contact the police immediately if someone says something hurtful or hateful to them. Are you kidding me? That is the literal embodiment of thought police! I guess college students are so frail that they have to call the police when they feel hurt.
In a brilliant National Review article, David French summarizes the protests perfectly. French states that Concerned Student 1950 “is a movement built from the ground up around power and coercion. They hate free speech because free speech represents nothing but a threat — a chance for dissenters to expose the bankruptcy of their ideas.” French continues, “No rational, sentient human being believes system presidents can be responsible for what lunatics do with their own feces, or that they can prevent any given student from shouting racial slurs. Not even the worst communist dictatorships could control the speech of all their subjects.”
A word of warning for conservatives at Mizzou: this is far from over. The protesters know that they can get what they want, and will continue to bully the administration until their radical agenda is forced on Mizzou.
Good luck Mizzou. You’re gonna need it.