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Author Topic: Mizzou Protests  (Read 2307 times)
Conan71
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« on: November 10, 2015, 04:21:17 pm »

Ginnie Graham of the Tulsa World penned an interesting article on the protests at the U of M. 

No doubt there are probably some pinheads on campus who have made racial slurs and even some idiot who used feces to smear a swastika.  Does that really rise to the level of systemic racism or is there an over-reaction happening on campus?

Do most of the students really have a legitimate reason to create unrest or are they simply looking to experience their own civil disobedience moment?

Discuss:

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/columnists/ginniegraham/ginnie-graham-mizzou-professor-needs-to-be-fired-students-need/article_f0716bc6-85c8-588f-8a6d-ed95a7247e96.html

Quote
The recent University of Missouri protest that ended with a student journalist being pushed around and threatened with violence hits close to home. This infuriating episode should result in the firing of an assistant professor and possible charges of assault.

That reporter is Tim Tai, who was an intern for the Tulsa World last summer. Having worked with him for three months, I would describe him as good-natured, mild-mannered, talented and concerned about social justice. He and reporting intern Hannah Covington covered issues of food deserts and the dangers posed to people living near the Arkansas River levees.

Tim returned to Mizzou for his final year after a successful internship in Tulsa. He has been photographing the ongoing tension between the student group Concerned Student 1950 and the university president, who resigned Monday after the protest was joined by the football team. Racial tensions have been rising with legitimate concerns raised by students.

But these students don't seem to understand the First Amendment. Their behavior lost all meaning and weight of their protest.

Most appalling are the actions of assistant professor of mass media Melissa Click, who called for violence against those trying to document the event, and Janna Basler, staff member of the Greek Life office, who literally pushed her way into Tim to rant. She appears to shove him.

Click is the red-headed woman at the end of the video threatening the videographer. Basler is the blonde who refers to herself as "Concerned Student 1950" when asked her name and if she was an employee of the university.

The First Amendment covers the rights of free speech and public assembly. It also covers the right to a free press.

I understand there is a distrust of media, but respect goes both ways.

The university employees taking part of this mob mentality need to be held accountable.

A few thoughts:

The point of a protest is to get attention. If you don't want attention, don't be part of a public protest.

The group states it wanted privacy to discuss issues openly without the distortion of the media. Then move to a private place. The only other more obvious public space to have assembled would have been on the 50-yard line of the football field.

The group had no problem with media staking out the president on campus. Rules do not apply differently to different people.

It is not an exaggeration to say Click could have incited a riot with her words. Here is a transcript:

“You need to get out, you need to get out,” Click says. “You need to get out,” she continued before trying to grab his camera.

“I actually don’t,” the videographer says. (He is right, by the way.)

“Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here,” Click says.

Then, yelling to the assembled and agitated crowd: “I need some muscle over here!”

What was the goal here? What motivation other than physical harm was intended? Would she have stood by had a beating started?

Many were insisting Tim had no right to take photos then threatened to physically block him. Wrong on both parts. Eventually, he and the videographer were pushed and shoved because they would not leave this public space.

Who is the bully in this situation?

Because I cannot understand how a university instructor of media could react this way, it's natural to look up Click's expertise. Her biography shows a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in communications, with research on popular culture, particularly on texts and audiences "disdained in mainstream culture."

"Current research projects involve 50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children's television programs."

Of the published works listed, almost half are about the tween "Twilight" vampire romance and others about Lady Gaga, pop music and Martha Stewart.
She represents the things people disdain about higher education research.

Because Click fancies herself a civil rights mover and shaker, she needs to get her head out of poorly written erotica and teen fantasies and study media history and law. I'm pretty sure Mizzou has some courses she could audit.

No heralded civil rights leaders ever instructed a public attack on reporters. They understood the difference between public and private and peace and violence.

I'm thankful Tim was not subjected to "muscle" and roughed up. He shouldn't be fearful on his own campus. I'm also proud of the way he handled himself.

The University of Missouri has one of the most highly regarded journalism schools in the nation and home to the Investigative Reporters and Editors. Some of my favorite journalists and colleagues were educated at this institution.

Many are just as shocked at Click's behavior and wish her gone. I hope they get their wish.
***
UPDATE - Since I wrote this piece, the Concerned Students 1950 have changed their tune.

The group took down the "No Media" sign and put up a new one with the phrase "Teachable Moment."
It states the media has a First Amendment right to be in the campsite, which is public. That the media is an important part of telling the stories experienced by Mizzou students.

"Let's welcome and thank them."

It's refreshing to see this quick change, but it doesn't exempt the faculty from facing disciplinary action. They should have guided these students better.
The dean of the Missouri School of Journalism released a statement Tuesday commending Tim for the way he handled the confrontation.

Dean David Kurpius also clarified that Click is a not a faculty member in the journalism school. She is on the staff of the department of communication. However, she holds a courtesy appointment with the journalism school, which has taken immediate action to review her appointment.

Ginnie Graham 918-581-8376
ginnie.graham@tulsaworld.com
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 04:24:38 pm »

There were a lot of issues and some really boneheaded PR moves by the school.

Here's a good overview of the whole situation, not just what bubbled up in the national media:
http://www.themaneater.com/special-sections/mu-fall-2015/

That professor needs to be gone right with the chancellor and president. 

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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 05:49:00 pm »

They didn't even really know what they were protesting....The whole thing was a bucking joke.....
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2015, 08:24:06 am »

They didn't even really know what they were protesting....The whole thing was a bucking joke.....

Now there is an ignorant statement. The group that organized the protest starting a month or so ago was very articulate and knew exactly what they were upset about. When their concerns didn't even warrant a response they felt slighted and doubled down, with a written and well articulated list of demands. Eventually that list came to include the resignation of University officials. Then they set out to build support by organizing marches, setting up a tent city, a member did a public hunger strike, and they lobbied influential members of the football team for support.

And they won. They had a goal, set out to obtain it, and did so in a nonviolent way. That is not accomplished by people who don't know what they are protesting or people that are "a bucking joke." You are grossly underestimating these kids. (the original group is Concerned Students 1950)

That said. . . many of the protesters that joined in are off base, and the original group also gets things wrong.

People being bigoted on campus and the University not responding in a manner that you deem fit is not "systematic oppression." Apartheid in South Africa, Jim Crow in the American South, Jews in Nazi Germany... this is systematic oppression. Getting extra admission points and special scholarships in order to attempt to increase diversity  at a flagship state college is the opposite of systematic oppression. Im sure racial hostility exists, and I understand why they felt slighted with their concerns - but don't just jump into hyperbole.

Also...

Free Speech is a double edged sword. You have a right to set up your tent city and protest. Others have a right to counter protest or, GASP!, to take pictures of you. The notion that your speech is more important than other peoples speech is utter crap.

"You are infringing on their rights to be alone."  What the hell does that mean? You don't have the right to be alone while engaging in a public protest in public space. That's just stupid.  "Typical White media that doesn't understand the importance of respecting black spaces."  First of all, the reporter was Asian. Second, it isn't a black space, it isn't a white space - it is a public space.

The way they bullied this student reporter is wrong, the way he handled himself is professional:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/us/university-missouri-protesters-block-journalists-press-freedom.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/2015/11/10/455532242/analysis-at-the-university-of-missouri-an-unlearned-free-speech-lesson



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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2015, 10:17:27 am »

There were a lot of issues and some really boneheaded PR moves by the school.

Here's a good overview of the whole situation, not just what bubbled up in the national media:
http://www.themaneater.com/special-sections/mu-fall-2015/

That professor needs to be gone right with the chancellor and president. 

It will be the viral video of Tim Tai standing his ground that will be what most people will remember.

Tai is also on the staff of the Tulsa World, BTW:
http://www.tulsaworld.com/staff/timtai

and if you havent seen the video
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-missouri-protest-camp-20151109-story.html

The school of journalism cant cut their ties with Professor Click fast enough.  She's still on staff (in her role of pop culture reviewer) but she just got her first big lesson in news reporting.
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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 07:01:58 am »

Now there is an ignorant statement. The group that organized the protest starting a month or so ago was very articulate and knew exactly what they were upset about. When their concerns didn't even warrant a response they felt slighted and doubled down, with a written and well articulated list of demands. Eventually that list came to include the resignation of University officials. Then they set out to build support by organizing marches, setting up a tent city, a member did a public hunger strike, and they lobbied influential members of the football team for support.

And they won. They had a goal, set out to obtain it, and did so in a nonviolent way. That is not accomplished by people who don't know what they are protesting or people that are "a bucking joke." You are grossly underestimating these kids. (the original group is Concerned Students 1950)

That said. . . many of the protesters that joined in are off base, and the original group also gets things wrong.

People being bigoted on campus and the University not responding in a manner that you deem fit is not "systematic oppression." Apartheid in South Africa, Jim Crow in the American South, Jews in Nazi Germany... this is systematic oppression. Getting extra admission points and special scholarships in order to attempt to increase diversity  at a flagship state college is the opposite of systematic oppression. Im sure racial hostility exists, and I understand why they felt slighted with their concerns - but don't just jump into hyperbole.

Also...

Free Speech is a double edged sword. You have a right to set up your tent city and protest. Others have a right to counter protest or, GASP!, to take pictures of you. The notion that your speech is more important than other peoples speech is utter crap.

"You are infringing on their rights to be alone."  What the hell does that mean? You don't have the right to be alone while engaging in a public protest in public space. That's just stupid.  "Typical White media that doesn't understand the importance of respecting black spaces."  First of all, the reporter was Asian. Second, it isn't a black space, it isn't a white space - it is a public space.

The way they bullied this student reporter is wrong, the way he handled himself is professional:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/us/university-missouri-protesters-block-journalists-press-freedom.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/2015/11/10/455532242/analysis-at-the-university-of-missouri-an-unlearned-free-speech-lesson





Horse smile....This deal is looking more ignorant the more the facts come out......
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 08:30:01 am »

Horse smile....This deal is looking more ignorant the more the facts come out......

Another brilliant contribution! Thank you for coherently stating your position and engaging in intellectual dialogue. You have really caused me to think.
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Conan71
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 03:05:10 pm »

So utilizing CNN’s timeline, here’s what we’ve learned:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/09/us/missouri-protest-timeline/

-Unknown students spread cotton balls outside the campus black culture center in 2010. Wouldn’t a campus white culture center be seen as exclusionary, racist, and possibly provocative?  Seems like a double standard is at play here.  University denounces the acts.

-Michael Brown is shot in Ferguson by a white cop.  What that has to do with racism on campus at U of M or why it would ultimately lead to asking school officials to resign is puzzling to me.

-“People riding in the back of a pickup” allegedly scream racial slurs at Payton Head, president of the Student Government.  It’s never revealed if he could identify them as students or not, but homogenizes the incident as an anti-gay, anti-transgender, racist environment at the school which makes him “not feel included here”.  

Not included?  A simple look at the http://msa.missouri.edu/branches/executive/ web page shows the president, vice president, two directors, and an assistant director are black.  According to the page, the president and VP are voted in by the undergraduate student body then others are selected for the cabinet by the president and VP.  The fact that the student body elected a black president and vice president doesn’t really seem like the university, as a whole, is stuck in the 1950’s deep south.

-A few days later the chancellor issues a statement deploring "recent incidents of bias and discrimination." He calls them "totally unacceptable.”

-A week later:  "Students protest, saying university officials had done nothing to address to Head's concerns.”  What else was the chancellor supposed to do about some unidentified rednecks screaming racial slurs from the bed of a pickup?

-Another week goes by, there’s a rally or protest with chants of "White silence is violence, no justice no peace,”  What sort of justice were people looking for?  Could we be just a little less non-specific?

-A few days later a lone "drunken white student disrupts an African American student group, the Legion of Black Collegians, preparing for homecoming activities and uses a racial slur when they asked him to leave.”  That should be simple enough to solve.  ID the student asshat and kick him out of the university.  Short of being sent to disrupt their meeting by top brass at the school, this incident does not make them complicit.  Again, we have the title of another racially-identified group which sounds exclusionary.

-Finally, four days after the latest incident, Chancellor Loftin issues the following policy on diversity and inclusion training to be presented to every incoming student in the spring semester and every faculty and staff member as soon as possible http://chancellor.missouri.edu/news/diversity-and-inclusion-training/

-Jonathan Butler, the hunger striker, rebuffs this effort as “too little” and rambles off into incidents dating to the 1960’s and as far back as the 1930’s then goes on a tirade about a hypothetical “hundreds if not thousands” of aggrieved students who don’t have a social standing on the campus like the president of the student association. http://www.themaneater.com/stories/2015/10/14/dear-chancellor-loftin-it-isnt-enough/

-Next we know the university president, Tim Wolfe’s car is surrounded during homecoming festivities and demonstrators are pissed off he won’t get out of his car and acknowledge them and answer their concerns- during a parade.  Let me just say, I don’t think I would have exited my car either.  Perhaps approaching him in this way during a parade wasn’t exactly the best way to try and get your point across.

-Concerned Student 1950 issues a list of demands, among them, they demand that President Wolfe “...must acknowledge his white male privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exist, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1­9­5­0 demands.”

The demands go on to demand hiring quotas for black staff and faculty.  They ask for additional mental health professionals “particularly those of color” for counseling.

“We demand that the University of Missouri creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff, and administration. This curriculum must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff, and faculty of color.”

What’s wrong with oversight from the Asian, Muslim, LGBT, Native American, and other minorities?  Their demands are starting to sound a bit exclusionary and indifferent to other campus minorities.

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/columbiatribune.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/45/345ad844-9f05-5479-9b64-e4b362b4e155/563fd24f5a949.pdf.pdf

Personally, I would have had trouble reading much further after being asked to publicly acknowledge my “white male privilege”.

Aside from all these demands being met, how does a 35,000 student university’s administration and its faculty prevent racial epithets from being uttered by ignorant and indifferent individuals who may or may not be students on the campus?  It’s impossible.  Note, that in none of these alleged racist  incidents on campus was there ever any threat of physical violence documented.

How about we learn to accept there are small-minded people out there who say stupid things, but it is a small percentage of people who still possess such ignorance and insensitivity.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called a “fag” or “friendly fellow” while riding my bike.  I’ve been buzzed by drivers indifferent to my safety (and my wife’s and friends).  Do I fall to pieces and think someone not involved in other’s ignorant actions should be held accountable for those people?  Should I organize a protest to have Dewey Bartlet (sic) ousted as mayor because he won’t acquiesce to a list of demands identifying him as anti-cyclist and indifferent to cyclist’s safety?  Should I demand that 10% of the city's unelected staff should be cyclists just so there’s better understanding of the plight of cyclists at City Hall?  Should the city add a czar of cycling to make me feel better?

Okay, I realize I engaged in a bit of over-the-top hyperbole, but at what point will people just learn to shut out the ignorant and uninformed?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:54:06 pm by Conan71 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 03:16:31 pm »



Okay, I realize I engaged in a bit of over-the-top hyperbole, but at what point will people just learn to shut out the ignorant and uninformed?

700 club still gets lots of contributions.  That's been 49 years...so it might be a while.
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Conan71
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 03:20:54 pm »

700 club still gets lots of contributions.  That's been 49 years...so it might be a while.

Good one!
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2015, 11:07:55 am »

Hey...If you don't like what someone says or they hurt your feelers just demand they be fired....And if its a media talking point chances are your wishes will come true......

p.s....Lions and $hit......
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2015, 12:07:04 pm »

Hey...If you don't like what someone says or they hurt your feelers just demand they be fired....And if its a media talking point chances are your wishes will come true......

p.s....Lions and $hit......

Ah, so you've been walked to the door by HR before?
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 05:54:56 pm »

Ah, so you've been walked to the door by HR before?


Are you out of yarn again....Huh
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Ed W
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2015, 08:25:02 pm »

Why does our culture claim to revere the loners who fight the system - at least so far as our movies and television are concerned - yet when some have the temerity to challenge the privileged and powerful, the loudest voices belong to authoritarians demanding the protesters simply shut up?
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