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Mizzou’s President, Chancellor Resign — But It Won’t Be “Enough”

Mizzou’s President, Chancellor Resign — But It Won’t Be “Enough”

The further closing of the American mind

As a result of protests that included a hunger strike by a graduate student and the pressure of a threatened boycott by members of the football team, President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin of the University of Missouri announced their resignations yesterday. The protests occurred after a series of alleged racial incidents at the university.

Here’s a quick summary of the events leading up to their departures:

The protests began after the student government president, who is black, said in September that people in a passing pickup truck shouted racial slurs at him. In early October, members of a black student organization said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student.

Frustrations flared again during a homecoming parade, when black protesters blocked Wolfe’s car, and he did not get out and talk to them. They were removed by police. Also, a swastika drawn in feces was found recently in a dormitory bathroom.

The university did take some steps to ease tensions. At Loftin’s request, the school announced plans to offer diversity training to all new students starting in January, as well as faculty and staff.

But the protesters were not that easily satisfied.

This was their reaction to the diversity training announcement:

The move was welcomed by some students. But activists were more skeptical, calling the move a “knee-jerk” reaction to improve the school’s image.

On October 20, the protesters issued a set of eight demands, the first two of which were as follows:

I. We demand that the University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe, writes a handwritten apology to the Concerned Student 1-­9-­5-0 demonstrators and holds a press conference in the Mizzou Student Center reading the letter. In the letter and at the press conference, Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white male privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exist, and provide a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1-9-5-­0 demands. We want Tim Wolfe to admit to his gross negligence, allowing his driver to hit one of the demonstrators, consenting to the physical violence of bystanders, and lastly refusing to intervene when Columbia Police Department used excessive force with demonstrators.

II. We demand the immediate removal of Tim Wolfe as UM system president. After his removal a new amendment to UM system policies must be established to have all future UM system president and Chancellor positions be selected by a collective of students, staff, and faculty of diverse backgrounds.

So even if the president were to comply with the public confession and self-flagellation in the first demand, it was deemed insufficient and his dismissal was still called for in the second. President Wolfe later countered that many of the student demands were included in a “systemwide diversity and inclusion strategy” that would be issued in April. This wasn’t enough, either.

And what of the alleged racist incidents themselves?

Every one of them might have occurred exactly as described, although there’s no way to know for sure at this point. But none of these perpetrators has ever been identified, and it’s not even clear whether the perpetrators would have been students at the university, or how one would locate them. And, if the situation is anything like what has occurred at several other universities, the possibility that hoaxes are involved cannot be ruled out. Oberlin is one such example:

…Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller News Foundation broke the story that a number of supposed racial incidents at Oberlin College in Ohio this spring [2013] were, in fact, a hoax. Oberlin certainly took the incidents seriously, even canceling classes on March 5 to convene a “day of solidarity.” However, Oberlin city police reports obtained by Ross made it clear that at least some of the material that had Oberlin up in arms, including a large swastika banner that was hung in the science center under cover of night, was in fact done by one or two Oberlin students as a “joke/troll to get an overreaction, in the context of the racist crap that has been going on on campus.”…

Oberlin is not the only campus that has suffered in recent times from hate incident hoaxes. New examples seem to pop up every year, sometimes more than once.

But let’s assume that the incidents at University of Missouri occurred exactly as described by the victims.

The question remains: what would be the proper remedy? Unless a campus reacts as Oberlin did to its hoax incident—cancelling classes to convene a “day of solidarity” and the like—is the response deemed insufficient? After all, there is no way to completely eliminate racism at a place such as a large university, even though Chancellor Loftin had declared recently that even one bias incident was too many.

If the University of Missouri is a place where anti-black racism is alleged to have repeatedly occurred, it’s also a place where student body president Payton Head (described in the school newspaper as “an activist for social change since he stepped foot on MU”) is black, as is the current student body vice-president. It was Head who lodged the original complaint on Facebook about the men in the back of a pickup truck screaming the N-word repeatedly at him.

That Facebook post, written on September 12, is well worth reading in its entirety. It contains a list of grievances that touches on nearly every group commonly claiming victimization, and a call for action. In it, Head chides: “If your simple existence is not a political statement, I’m really going to need for you to check your privilege.”

It took only two months after that for Wolfe’s presidency to unravel. Here are some subsequent events that led to the denouement:

A meeting between Wolfe and protesters on Oct. 27 did not resolve the issues. On Nov. 3, Wolfe said that racism on campus is unacceptable and that he would work to combat it; protesters were not satisfied and began a boycott of student services on campus. On Nov. 6, he apologized for his reaction during the homecoming parade…

Members of Concerned Student 1950 confronted Wolfe at an event last week and asked him if he knew what “systematic oppression” is. He responded that “systematic oppression is because you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success,” further angering protesters who felt he had just blamed black students for the problem.

There were earlier grievances about Wolfe, too, among them protesters’ dissatisfaction with Wolfe’s reaction (or non-reaction) to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri:

…[T]he Missouri Students Association, which represents the school’s undergraduates, formally called for Wolfe’s removal. In a letter, it decried the administration’s silence after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, a black man, by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., and charged that Wolfe had “enabled a system of racism” on the Columbia campus and had failed the students.

There are other Ferguson connections. For example, in an interview with hunger-striking grad student Jonathan Butler, he said that he had cut his activist teeth on the Brown incident protests:

But when you talk about most recently on campus, in terms of protesting and mobilizing communities, that really came from my experience organizing during Ferguson, after the murder of Mike Brown. Because the University of Missouri is only two hours away from Ferguson, and being able to have that experience…

…[I]t’s a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. But in another sense, this is really unique to campus just because of the example that we got from some of those who were organizing in Ferguson. There are three queer black women, who used their knowledge from Ferguson organizing in creating an organization called MU for Mike Brown. And from that, that’s really where a lot of what has been going on on campus has been morphed from.

Now that the activists have gotten the desired resignations, will there be more incidents and more demands? And how will those demands be satisfied? Keep in mind that this is only the current manifestation of a trend that’s been going on since the late 1960s at universities across the country. In his 1989 book The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom described one of the seminal battles in the struggle. It occurred at Cornell in 1969, and I described it in an earlier post at Legal Insurrection:

Bloom was a professor at Cornell at the time, and black activist students and their supporters violently disrupted the campus in order to force the powers that be to accede to their demands. That uprising and others were successful, and Bloom later described the situation as one in which students discovered that “pompous teachers who catechized them about academic freedom could, with a little shove, be made into dancing bears.”

It is easy to see how the uprising at Cornell and the administration’s capitulation to it set the stage for the acceleration of several trends that are in full flower today: the general leftward drift of the universities, the hegemony of PC thought, the increasing fragmentation of the campus into special interest groups divided along racial and ethnic lines, and the politicization of the university as a whole. Bloom reminds us that the roots of these movements go back much further and deeper than most people realize.

President Wolfe became a dancing bear. But he wasn’t dancing fast enough or to the right tune, and so he had to go.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]


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Close the school. This semester is declared over. No grades will; be given. No credit will be given for courses taken. Go home and try again. We will decide whether next semester will be had. We will decide which students will be readmitted.

But they don’t have the balls to do that. They let the lunatics run the asylum.

    snopercod in reply to Mannie. | November 10, 2015 at 9:17 am

    …or at least cancel the football program and terminate the scholarships.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Mannie. | November 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    When Reagan was governor, he did a variation on that. Within a day or so after the Kent State shootings, he closed every state university (both the UCs and the CSUs) and the state colleges for about 10 days, just to let things calm down. I was young and leftist at the time, and as much as I despised him I felt it was a highly sensible move.

Makes me feel ashamed to be a college graduate.

Bitterlyclinging | November 10, 2015 at 9:08 am

“The facts don’t matter. Its the narrative that counts!” DC’s diagonally parking challenged Democratic Delegate to the House of Representatives, Eleanor Holmes Norton.
Mike Brown’s THC metabolite level in his urine was in the area of 180 nanograms/ml, and he allegedly started imbibing his THC with Dorian at 7:30AM. THC has a four day half life in the body, implying an elimination rate that is exceedingly slow, meaning the doses imbibed had to be huge.
Brown was likely so wacked out when he was charging officer Darren Wilson that he was imagining himself to be Superman with Wilson’s bullets merely bouncing off of him, at least until the eyeshot.

This is a case of the inmates running the asylum.
And playing a supporting role are wacky progressive so called professors.

“Check your privilege” is coming to a town near you very soon!

I ran across something this morning in my ramblings that said the “drunken white student” was effectively in hiding, and facing expulsion from the university.

I’ve tried to find it again, and failed…

Just FYI.

One of the things I found fascinating about the semi-literate blubberings of the “students” was their imposition of super-responsibility on President Wolfe, as though he could control all things. Which Alinsky rule or rules would that fit?

legacyrepublican | November 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

The protests began after the student government president, who is black, said in September that people in a passing pickup truck shouted racial slurs at him.

Did the student government president consider the possibility the people in the pickup truck just might have been singing along to gangsta rap music and didn’t even see him?

This reminds me of the 1968-1975 turmoil that I witnessed. This is about totalitarian control. Appeasement is seen as weakness by thugs who will now require total surrender.

Bill Ayers is smiling as is O.

That guy I listen to, on the radio, said the UM president probably just got tired of the BS, and decided it was easier to just get out.

The libs have created their little cesspools of PC higher learning, now they can swim in’em.

    TX-rifraph in reply to rinardman. | November 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

    The libs want the taxpayers to pay for the pool, however. The taxpayer funds need to stop immediately.

    Char Char Binks in reply to rinardman. | November 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    I felt bad for Wolfe, but really, despite how admirable his administrative ability, and personal qualities may be, he’s part of the system that created this mess. I hope the whole university, goes up in flames, and all others like it. We don’t need them anymore.

DINORightMarie | November 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

These leftist profs and administrators created this Frankenstein, with help from socialist/leftist Democrats and the MSM.

Now, as always, the question is: can they re-capture this beast – the monster they created, or is it going to have to be destroyed (metaphorically, of course)?

buckeyeminuteman | November 10, 2015 at 10:12 am

Good on you Tim Wolfe. You just proved to crybabies everywhere that if you whine loud enough you’ll always get what you want.

New idea for an instant graham thing: #whinersgonnawhine

I go into a murderous rage when I hear the term “check your white male privilege.” I feel like I need a trigger warning, or I can’t be held accountable for the mayhem and bloodshed that I may be forced to engage in. Perhaps a safe room showing a Smurfs marathon.

The World is Not Enough to satisfy the deranged Frankenstein mob.

The little bit of satisfaction I get from all of this is that administrators such as Wolfe are all good, reasonable, and accommodating liberals. And their philosophy of: “if I grovel for them, everything will be alright” ain’t working.

Wolfe and his peers produced this chaos. Happy to see them eat one of their own.

There is a whole other story about UM that is being ignored. It is far worse than the small amount of ugly name calling that this story describes. It involves black on white violence around the campus. It involves the knock out games and several robberies and it has received almost no attention in the media. One student had his face beaten so bad he had to have extensive reconstruction surgery. I read about it over at PJ Media. It’s pretty ugly. Here’s the link:

Do most of these athletes, Black, White, or some other shade, are there for their athletic prowess, not their academic acumen? Do most of the African-American students realize that they have lower admissions standards, and most of them are there to fill a quota? Do many of the White parents realize that if they send their children there the children will be exposed to this rot? Don’t forget the Black-on-White violent crime off of campus. Let’s hear it for online education and certification.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Milwaukee. | November 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    And on the sixth day, the king of liberalism manipulated the word “privilege” to justify this shortcoming and all of his denizens proclaimed that this was good. Army, go forth and blame everyone but yourself!

Don’t even think of suspending any football players. Where are we going to get our next generation of physicists and engineers?

    Barry in reply to Anchovy. | November 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    “Where are we going to get our next generation of physicists and engineers?”

    Not to worry little fish, we have lots of SJW’s for that.

    Char Char Binks in reply to Anchovy. | November 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Probably from the communications department. After all, Prof. Click is an expert on “Fifty Shades of Grey” and Lady Gaga.

One guy went on a hunger strike and apparently the President had the audacity to not force food into his mouth.

I mean he just let the guy starve!

I wonder how many of the protesters on campus actually attend the school – paying tuition fees.

There have been stories over the years wherein dormitories at big universities are frequently invaded by “guests” (boyfriends of female students) involved in illegal and illicit activities.

Concur with a comment above about closing the school and screening students for re-admission. Perhaps colleges need to start psychological / social screening, which is no different from how some employers work today.

We were called “slackers”: professors complained we weren’t activists or too compliant. Most of us were focused on paying the high tuition by working multiple jobs. I suspect most angry protests are really about tuition costs, but get deflected towards other issues.

Maybe the financial aid packages should be pared of loans that may never be repaid. Students need to understand that the exorbitant costs of the school is their responsibility, which requires working and staying out of mischief to pay for it.

At 4 wins and 5 losses, haven’t some of the players already been on strike? Or is that the best they can do?