Today, your Facebook feed was probably flooded with these statuses:
We, at BlogDailyHerald, acknowledge that the events at University of Missouri’s campus are a symptom of much larger system of racism, violence and injustice. Tonight, we provide a reading list for those who have not gotten the chance to educate themselves on the immediate issues at hand.
Ever since September, when Payton Head, President of the Missouri Students Association, wrote a post on social media about receiving continuous racial slurs from a pick-up truck on campus, the student body has been ablaze with protest. For more detailed coverage on the events leading up to the erupting racial tensions, we turn to The Atlantic for an article titled “What’s Happening at the University of Missouri?” When calls for action from the administration were met with a lackluster effort at best, students blockaded then-President Wolfe’s car at the homecoming parade. He did not get out of the vehicle, and a graduate student, Jonathan Butler, was physically bumped as Wolfe’s driver continued moving the car through the crowd.
Butler went on to organize a hunger strike, with the intent of getting Wolfe to step down. He was supported by the student group Concerned Student 1950 – “named for the first year that the University of Missouri accepted black students.” (You can hear about the current thoughts of one of the first black students to attend University of Missouri in this New York Times piece.)
The Columbia Missourian paper published a copy of the list of Concerned Student 1950’s own demands from October, concerning what steps the University has to take to start mending this dire situation. Genius.com also has an annotated list of demands.
On Saturday, over thirty members of the Missouri Tigers football team refused to play until the University President stepped down. They had a game scheduled for this weekend. Protests continued through Monday with faculty walk outs, and later that evening, Tim Wolfe did step down. For video coverage, this clip from Colorlines gives a rough timeline of how the successive protests unfolded, as well as footage of the former University President engaging in a discussion about the meaning of systematic oppression with the student body.
After Tim Wolfe publicly stepped down, a flurry of threats against students of color precipitated on anonymous online forums such as Yik Yak. For a screenshot record of some of the threats, and relevant tweets on campus climate, Blavity has a comprehensive list.
In response to the feeling of a lack of safety for POC students, some professors have canceled classes, while a few others have been strung up on social media for callous responses regarding exam make-ups.
The New York Times provides details on the arrest of one student, who is suspected to have published multiple violent threats on the internet. Fusion has a piece, synthesized from student interviews, on “What it feels like to be black at Mizzou today.” It highlights the privilege of anyone who doesn’t feel physically threatened on the campus right now, and the importance of stepping away from that privilege in order to understand the full situation.
Images via Facebook and Blavity.