Several black students walk hand and hand amongst a crowd of white parade goers at the homecoming parade for the University of Missouri. They each step out of line one by one speaking into a megaphone to the now former university president Tim Wolfe about the incidents of racism and discrimination that they have encountered while attending the school. The students are a part of the organization Concerned Student 1950, which was named after the year the first African American graduate student was admitted to the university.
If you were reading about this situation in a book you would think that the time period was during the civil rights era not in the year 2015! I admit due to my busy schedule I haven’t been keeping up with the story as much as I should have but today I finally got a chance to read up on all that has been going on at the university. I was surprised to learn about a lot of the racial encounters that many of the black students faced so frequently on the campus such as being called a nigger or seeing racial acts of vandalism around the campus.
I’ve read comments where some people have actually said that the students should have just gone to an HBCU where incidents like this would not have taken place. I strongly disagree with statements like these. I actually attended a PWI and I enjoyed my college experience without encountering any type of discrimination or racism. Students should be able to attend the college of their choice whether it be an HBCU or a PWI.
I think what irks me the most about this situation are the insensitive comments made by people who have no idea what it feels like to be discriminated against or to have experienced racism. I read one comment where a guy said that blacks are always protesting about something. People are so quick to dismiss the race card when it doesn’t affect them specifically.
People born after 1992 are sometimes referred to as “the lost” or misguided generation but after seeing these students stand up for their rights I have no doubt in my mind that the future is in great hands.
It seems as though the worse of the campus situation is over. Arrests have been made for students who posted death threats to black students, and Mike Middleton has been appointed as interim UM System president since Tim Wolfe resigned from his position. Incidents like these go to show that we still have a long way to go regarding race relations in this country.