Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Mighty Blow for Social Justice! (Satire Ahead)

Ferguson's 6'5" 290 lb Michael Brown delivers social justice to a clerk.
What a country!

Let us all extend a heartfelt "thanks" to the mostly black students, university administrators, much of the Mizzou faculty (including football coach Gary Pinkel), MU's board of Curators, Governor Jay Nixon, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, and the entire national and local "journalism" establishment. Thanks to their combined efforts, White racism (there is no other kind) at the University of Missouri has been dealt a devastating defeat. CNN went so far as to link the coup which ousted the University President and Chancellor to last year's Ferguson violence and the "Black Lives Matter" movement. That link is clearly warranted.

The current crisis began in September, when the incredibly courageous Student Government President Payton Head took to Facebook to complain about bigotry and anti-homosexual and anti-transgender attitudes at the school after unidentified people riding in the back of a pickup truck (who may or may not have been students) allegedly screamed racial slurs at him.

Head, who was unaccountably elected as Student Government President by the Mizzou student body (which is 80% white and therefore, by definition, racist), explained his action in a statement which was quickly brought to national attention by an attentive and sympathetic press. "For those of you who wonder why I'm always talking about the importance of inclusion and respect, it's because I've experienced moments like this multiple times at THIS university, making me not feel included here," he wrote.

In fact, it is hard to imagine the pain and fear that MU's racist environment inflicted on minority students. Some of these racist actions are hard to imagine. For example, in 2010, five years prior to Payton Head's terrifying experience, vicious white bigots deliberately scattered cotton balls outside the Black Culture Center, an act of micro-aggression clearly calculated to intimidate. Then, in October a drunken white student allegedly disrupted the Legion of Black Collegians, an African-American student group, while the group prepped for homecoming and used a racial slur when he was asked to leave. Exactly how a drunk white guy managed to escape unscathed is unexplained. Also left unexplained is how an organization that calls itself "the Legion of Black Collegians" escapes being tagged as racist. How long would "the Legion of White Collegians" last at MU?

Graduate student Jonathan Butler felt so strongly about what was happening on campus that he stopped eating. Early last week, he launched a hunger strike, vowing to keep it up until Wolfe stepped down. After Wolfe's announcement, Butler ended his strike and tweeted, "More change is to come!! #TheStruggleContinues."

L'Damian Washington, a former wide receiver on the football team, said that he was happy the team was able to add leverage to Butler's hunger strike and that the protest wasn't just about Missouri or being black. It was about discrimination in all forms everywhere, he said. "Only a minority knows what it feels like to be a minority on campus," he said.

If Washington's point was that Mizzou's football and basketball team members have been singled out for special attention in the past, he is absolutely correct. Perhaps the football team's unselfish willingness to go on strike for the cause is an attempt to make amends. According to ESPN's Outside the Lines report, the University of Missouri had 63 criminal cases involving 46 athletes (almost all of whom were black) during the five-year time period from 2009 through 2014. Twelve athletes were involved in more than one incident, Outside the Lines found, and Missouri had the second-highest number of allegations of sexual assault, violence against women, and harassment. If you cannot understand how serial rape and criminal assault attacks pale in comparison to deliberate cotton ball distribution and name calling, you are self-evidently a candidate for mandatory re-education.

I do want to express my sincere thanks to the administration, faculty and the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri.  Your abject moral cowardice has given me back at least three hours per weekend, From now on, instead of watching Mizzou football, I'll be doing something more constructive with my time.  I hope everyone who values truth and honor will join me by staying as far away as possible from Arrowhead Stadium this Saturday.

Frank Brady


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