Black Protestors Win as U. of Missouri President Resigns

Black student protesters and their allies got the scalp they were looking for at the University of Missouri—the university president, Tim Wolfe, resigned today after criticism for not responding strongly enough to reports of racial incidents on or near campus.

Wolf had issued a few benign “let us listen to one another” comments, while the protesters wanted something like a show-trial confession: an acknowledgement of “white male privilege” and an admission of “systemic oppression” of blacks and other “marginalized people.” Blaming himself, Wolfe said he took full responsibility for the reaction that has occurred.”

Wolfe was confronted outside a fundraising event in Kansas City Friday night by protesters who asked him to define systemic oppression. According to video of the encounter posted on Twitter, Wolfe responded that the students may not like his answer, before saying, “Systematic oppression is because you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success ….” That angered the protesters. One asked, “Did you just blame us for systematic oppression, Tim Wolfe?” as the president walked away.

In resigning, Wolfe again earnestly called for dialogue: “I ask everybody from students, faculty, staff, my friends to use my resignation to heal and to start talking again,” he said. “To make the changes necessary. And let’s focus on changing what we can change today and in the future, not on what we can’t change about what happened in the past.”

The incidents that sparked the protests were slurs shouted from a passing pickup truck in September, slurs from an apparently drunken white student in October, and a swastika drawn in feces in a dorm bathroom. Apparently no investigation has taken place to help determine who drew the swastika and why. In another incident yesterday, two trucks flying Confederate flags drove past a group of the protesters.

Calls for classes to be canceled today and tomorrow, played a role in the college drama, as did a hunger strike by one black student. But the most important pressure came when the university football team –blacks, whites and the white coach–backed the protests and threatened not to play Saturday’s game against Brigham Young if Wolfe wasn’t fired. In big time football schools, that is a no-brainer — the cancellation of one game outweighs the loss of a college president and maybe most of the faculty as well.

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6 thoughts on “Black Protestors Win as U. of Missouri President Resigns

  1. This reminds me of two other cases:

    1. Lawrence Summers, former president of Harvard
    2. Sir Tim Hunt, professor at University College London’s Faculty of Life Sciences

    Both were pressured into resignation in the name of social justice.

  2. If someone draws a symbol with feces, they are expressing disgust at (and not praising) the culture that the symbol represents. If someone had made a Hakenkreuz with feces in Nazi Germany, he would probably have been instantly executed. The only person who would object to a fecal Hakenkreuz would be a Nazi sympathizer.

  3. Sadly, the actual perps (the slur-yelling student, the person making poop swastikas) go unpunished, while the “innocent” get fired. I wasn’t there and I didn’t see what happened, true, but who can honestly say if Wolfe “didn’t do enough?” And how can Wolfe be directly responsible for the actions of those for whom he has no knowledge nor control?

    The racism is terrible, and no rational person wishes it existed. But firing a strawman who seemingly played no actual, affirmative part in the bad behavior solves nothing. After this scalping, who will want to take this position on, knowing they will apparently get tarred-and-feathered no matter what they do?

  4. This will spread until somebody puts his or her foot down. Somewhere there must be a University president with a “set” who is willing to stand up to this type of bullying. Because “groups” on every campus in the country will be looking for the opportunity to take offense at something and to issue ridiculous manifestos.

    It will take a modern-day S. I. Hayakawa, who in the late 1960s stood up to the bullying tactics of the Black Panthers that had succeeded in so many other places.

  5. Beyond being tone-deaf, it is difficult to see what President Wolfe actively did wrong. I am not sure that this incident sends a good message to other campuses.

    1. You are far too kind.
      Not only does this not “send a good message to other campuses”, it sends a horrible message…and not just to other campuses. What we see at Missouri and what we will probably also see at Yale, et al. is craven capitulation, cowardice, and a complete inability to grasp anything resembling reality. The message is surrender — the inmates are running the asylum.

      Wolfe did nothing wrong (save betray, as you note, a tone-deaf general level of incompetence) … but he failed absolutely to immediately and completely swallow and accept the twisted narrative presented by those who would crucify him: that the University of Missouri is a rabid pit of racist oppression. The fact that this is the furthest thing from truth is irrelevant — it was the ‘newspeak’ world, sprung full-blown from the fevered imaginations of the perpetually offended.

      2 insults and 1 bathroom scrawl on a campus of 50,000 is nothing; is less than a microscopic nit and is evidence only that there are idiots in the world (as there will ever be). Not only is it meaningless it is also (at least in 2/3 instances) completely unconnected to the University. But none of that matters.

      What matters is the tantrum — the pre-adolescent indulgence in shouting, and foot-stomping, and breath-holding (matched, this time, by an ostentatious ‘hunger strike’ for ‘justice’). And from this tantrum, as with most such displays, a set of irrational demands: not a pony, nor a trip to Disneyland — just the humiliation and firing of Wolfe and his confederates… and more money & power moving to those with the loudest voices.

      That Missouri immediately jumped (while asking, “How High??”)…that they provided the requested human sacrifices…and that they’ve already moved to spend $$’s they don’t have in blind acquiescence to these demands is not just an un-good message, it is a pathetic testament to the fact that Higher Education, Truth & Justice have no real place on the list of University priorities.

      We can only hope that another ‘hunger strike’ is begun to combat such idiocy… thank goodness the football team will be ready with another $1M threat. We’re gonna need the traction.

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