Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

In this week’s blog, I have decided to focus on the influence of peers on the current Mizzou climate following President Wolfe’s resignation followed by Chancellor Loftin’s resignation in effect at the end of the school year.

Prior to Wednesday:

I support the rights of all students to feel safe and protected in Mizzou. The events that have escalated were portrayed on innocent souls by individuals and/or groups of people. The silence that Wolfe has decided to instate in no means help the cause for a radical change on campus. Before coming to Mizzou, I understood I would be people from all around the nation and world. The school is known for its journalism program which is already inviting all nationalities and lifestyles. If a student comes to Mizzou without an open mind, that is when oppression comes into play. I feel as if it is a duty of Wolfe to make notice of the terrible racists acts happening on campus. No single person should feel ashamed or oppressed to go to school. Students are already paying thousands of dollars to get educated; therefore, there needs to a be a stand on what is appropriate/allowed in the campus and what is not. Clearly all types of oppression are not acceptable in society. Wolfe should have listened to the people and showed some kind of plan of reform for the campus; however, he lacked the ability to follow through with the demands of the students.

Some speculate that Wolfe only resigned because the university would lose thousands and thousands of dollars if the football team refused to practice or play. If that is what truly happened, I am disgusted and embarrassed to say I go to school at such an institution. Although football is a mass income for the school, there are more important things happening to innocent people. The world is built on money and run by money.

Why didn’t Wolfe take that opportunity to defy the laws and regulate a sufficient institution for all peoples? He chose to side with business, which most royalties do. This could be for family reasons or for his own benefit. He saw a way out that seemed like it could be viewed as his support for the student or, if we truly uncover the truth, it can be seen as a coward act by a man who is too afraid to stand for what’s right. Being the head of an institution limits the amount of freedom of speech; however, if he is in such a high placement, there should be no thoughts of discrimination to anyone. He was suppose to be trustworthy and the people’s person. Instead, he proved to be a follower.

The demands given by the students, in a sense, are a bit unreasonable. The increase in colored staff is not a decision for any executive member. It is the university’s priority to establish the most educated and exceptional staff members. There is no way of keeping a high status and education level when the establishment is forced to hire unequipped staff members. I am in no way trying to oppress anyone, but there is still a need for qualifications and if one member reaches those qualifications, they cannot be punished based on their skin color or lifestyle.

I support the movement, not the moment. I want to see change in behavior on campus, but it cannot be done through firing all of the executive board. Calling such attention to Wolfe created a campus wide climate that encourages unity – which is the ultimate goal. If little actions can be called out as unnecessary and the proper consequences imposed on the perpetrator, I believe we can solve the problem. There is still a long movement ahead, but as we unite closer, we become one step closer.

Post Wednesday:

It is no longer a matter of getting executives out of office, but the problem lies within people. From the recent catastrophic events, it has come to my attention that racism is just as much a threat in previous years as today. Although the percentage of racists have decreased, speaking from Civil War times, there is still a present and real threat for my friends.

Coming from a diverse hometown where racism was not present in any shape like Mizzou’s climate, I did not have the thought or creativity to even imagine such frightening people existing. I do not even have words to express my feelings. I feel as if everything is happening so fast: the protests, hunger strikes, actual abusive people. Being a freshman is the most stressful at this moment in time because I am still acclimating to how to live away from home, with people I don’t know, and taking on a new course of learning. I am worried for my friends and I wish this would all end; however, it is a movement, not a moment.

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