This week I consumed pretty much the same things as usual. The only thing I find worth talking about right now are the protests occurring on college campuses around the country. I’m going to try to keep this from becoming a rant.
The first thing I’d like to say is that I am not a racist, and I realize that oppression exists in this country/world. There never was and never will be an excuse for racism, and those who continue to practice their racist ways do not deserve a place in society.
I am not a racist. I am a realist.
There is a time for protest, and there’s a way to do it correctly. But what some of these kids are doing around the country is simply unbelievable. Let’s start with the University of Missouri- better known as Mizzou. When the protests first started, I looked to gather as much information about what may have caused it. I found that the root of the main issue stemmed from Mizzou’s president, Tim Wolfe, who was deemed to not have taken significant enough action after a racial incident.
Like I said earlier, there is no excuse for racism. If there’s proof that the incident occurred, then that person should be dealt with accordingly. But the protestors, collectively known as Concerned Student 1950, decided to make the incident more about Wolfe than the incident itself.
CS1950 claimed that Wolfe did not handle the situation appropriately. They also stated that Wolfe has not done a good enough job of dealing with the structural racism that exists on college campuses around the country. Those are legitimate gripes, and if a student feels strongly enough about these issues, then they have every right to protest.
But then I saw CS1950’s list of demands. Highlights of which include Wolfe acknowledging his “white male privilege” and Wolfe’s resignation as president of Mizzou. Are you kidding me?
I was legitimately amazed at the audacity of these students. Who do they think they are? The president of a school, which you decided to go to, does not owe you his resignation. That’s his fucking livelihood. That’s his job. You don’t get to stomp your feet and say, “Hey you! You didn’t react exactly how we want, so we’re going to protest until you admit you’re a racist and quit.”
No students in the world should hold that power over a president. Especially a president who acknowledged earlier incidents, just not the way CS1950 wanted him to.
As CS1950 is very quick to point out, Mizzou has a long history of racial incidents. I think that’s horrible. An academic institution of Mizzou’s caliber should not be a breeding ground for racism- and I don’t know all the details- but if it is, then that’s a damn shame. But if it’s racial history is so bad, why would you go there? If it’s going to affect you in any way, why would you choose to attend that school? Please do not get my point confused with victim blaming. I’m trying to say that if you can go to Mizzou, there’s a great chance you can attend a comparable school, surely there is one you would feel more comfortable at. I know if I was considering a school with a questionable history- a school that I might not feel safe at- I would absolutely cross it off my list. But that’s just me being rational.
There’s so much more to say about this topic, so I’ll try to keep the rest concise.
- Hunger strike kid, Jonathan Butler. Could you imagine if people demanded he acknowledge his privilege of growing up in an extremely wealthy family. He can choose to “suffer” and strike all he wants. He will never know the true suffering faced by some of his peers.
- Professor Melissa Click, who called for “muscle” when a student reporter tried to film protestors. I thought ethical journalism had a place at Mizzou. I thought the protestors wanted media attention. Perhaps I thought wrong.
- Tim Wolfe resigned because the football team refused to play until he quit. Football teams for programs like Mizzou are businesses. When games are not played, millions of dollars are lost. Once the threat of not playing was made, Wolfe knew he must either resign or risk the university millions of dollars. Which is worse? It’s also worth noting that the head football coach of Mizzou makes about 10 times more than Wolfe did per year.
I’m not really sure how to wrap this up, and I am aware that this is my most opinionated post. But to me, this is me being realistic. Am I biased because of my skin color/gender/economic standing? That’s not for me to decide. There are rational human beings of all races/genders/social classes in this world. Surely those rational human beings can understand my points.