Does anyone believe that a university in this day and age is a seething hotbed of institutional racism? Or that a university administration wouldn't jump at the chance to stamp it out root and branch? That's practically the only acknowledged universal truth left in academe: that racism is evil. But the Whig digresses.
What happened: black student activists at "Mizzou," which included a graduate student hunger striker and later, the whole football team, demanded the president resign, for some vague reasons having to do with him being insensitive to the growing racist threat on campus. First he said he wouldn't, then when the governor and the board of curators got together, he said he would. See the NY Times piece here: University President Resigns
Here's some helpful things some enterprising journalists might clarify for all of us:
- Supposedly this started when the student body president, ironically, a black man in this hot bed of institutionalized racism, claimed he was assaulted with racial epithets by a truck full of white boys. He went on Facebook to announce it. Any witnesses? No, we take his word for it.
- Then other black protesters decided to block the president's car during the Homecoming Parade. They do it, but he drives on. We are supposed to believe he was insensitive for not stopping to engage with them in Platonic discourse--in the middle of the parade.
- More recently, someone at 2 am. smeared a swastika in human excrement on the floor or walls of a bathroom in some alternative lifestyle dorm. In the age of the smart phone, we have no photos of this scatological mess. (Because that what racists apparently do when there is no spray paint available.) What does this have to do with the black protesters? I dunno.
- There's a hunger striker in all of this. He claims to have been doing it. Okay.
Now the activists say you ain't seen nothin' yet (why should they give up now, after such an easy win) The activists demanded Wolfe not only resign, but issue an apology, claim to be the product of white privilege (not making any of this up), ensure all faculty and staff are 10 percent black, have more services for mental health patients (uh, what?), and have of course mandatory diversity and inclusivity courses which will be overseen, by---wait for it--people of color.
Somehow, this is about money, in the end, and not even a lot of money. Graduate students and professors have their salaries frozen or are finding it harder to get more lucrative administrative positions. Hence the demand for more administrative positions. (Which by the way is why the teaching assistant and professor salaries are frozen, but never mind.) Wolfe was brought in to cut costs. Now the Curators will do the opposite and hire more administrators.
I love it that the football team got involved. Any bigger example of privilege and exclusivity on a university campus? Please don't tell me their players are the victims of racism too! Have mercy!
Has anyone asked what Joe and Jane College at Mizzou think about all of this? They just saw the leadership knuckle under and get "resigned" by agitators who have no clear issue. What will happen next? See the National Review editorial here: university-missouri-racism-crisis
Big deal, you say? Maybe you're right. But I think it doesn't bode well for freedom in this country when 1) simple facts can't get verified and 2) when people who shout lies loud enough get their way.
Universities: High more crisis management coordinators. You will need them.
Coda: You have to read this about the communications professor at Mizzou saying she "needs some muscle"over here" to evict a journalist. Priceless, and in the NY Times, no less. : Communications Professor Evicts Journalist