Mizzou Protests, Threats Bring Racism Further Into Light

Molly Liu and Maya Durham

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Since early October, racial tensions and violence at the University of Missouri, or Mizzou, have intensified.

Incidents include verbal and physical attacks against black students, as well as threats through social media and vandalism of university property. These occurrences have resulted in protests from the student body, more notably those of graduate student Jonathan Butler, who went on a hunger strike, and of the university’s football team. Both protests occurred in hopes of Mizzou president Tim Wolfe resigning; protestors allege that Wolfe refused to publicly respond to students’ concerns about the climate of racism on campus.

“Something needs to be done and something needs to be said about social injustice,” Mizzou student Chelsea Haynes said.

Unsatisfied with the Mizzou administration’s handling of the racism issue, various student activist groups have taken actions in attempt to create a change. One prominent group is called Concerned Student 1950. The group is named after the year that Mizzou started admitting black students to the university. Their actions have included demands for president Wolfe’s resignation and apology, as well as heightened racial awareness and inclusiveness from campus administration. Shortly after the protests began, Wolfe announced his official resignation.

Despite Wolfe’s departure, tensions continued; matters only became worse on Tuesday, November 10, when an anonymous threat was posted on the social media app Yik Yak detailing plans of a school shooting. These threats struck fear in black students, some of whom left campus.

“[Black students] had a lot of threats against us on campus. Other people have received a lot of threats as well, especially on the night of [Tuesday, November 10th], when it first broke news,” Haynes said. “I actually had to go off campus [that day], because I was so scared as to what was happening.”

Regardless of the current events at Mizzou, Haynes claims that they have not swayed her opinions about the school.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Haynes said. “Mizzou is still a great university to go to, and I still love it.”