President Tim Wolfe resigned from his position at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) on Monday, November 9. He has taken full responsibility for his inaction to protect the 6% of African American students that have called out to him about addressing racial issues on campus. Like most guilty parties, instead of taking action, Wolfe resigned.
The Concerned Student 1950 group, a name coined after Mizzou admitted African American students in 1950, banded together upon learning fellow student Jonathan Butler embarked on a hunger strike to gain the attention and action of Wolfe. The strike began after a swastika was drawn on a campus wall with human fecal matter. Aside from the swastika, there have been other issues on campus negatively affecting the African American population of Mizzou. Because of the inaction of school legislators and leaders, Butler would not end the strike until after Wolfe’s resignation.
Tensions were so high on campus that Mizzou’s black football players and a couple of coaches held their own strike. They vowed to not play or practice until Wolfe resigned stating,
“We see what’s happening here. We felt stupid saying and doing nothing while all this was going on around us. We want to be leaders on this because it affects us too.”
The Legion of Black Collegians et al have drafted a list of demands which includes the hiring of more minorities, a letter of apology from Wolfe and his resignation so that a new president with a culturally diverse background can take his place, and a call for more racial awareness on campus.
Critics of these demands and protests have complained about Wolfe buckling under the pressures of bullying and politically correctness. However, inaction is compliance. Affirmative action was set into place in 1954 for the benefit of African Americans in the education system and in 1965 for the workplace. Here we are in 2015, and there are still racial tensions and first hand experiences on predominantly white college campuses.
What these critics have failed to realize is that the systemic oppression–which was described by Wolfe as “…systematic oppression is because you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success”–set into place had to be combatted by equality laws. That same systemic oppression allows them to ride the highs of entitlement of their ancestors and since their empathetic sensors have been removed, apathetic and borderline racist/blatant racist comments and opinions ensue. These same apathetic critics will ignore these facts and blame the victims because of aforementioned entitlement. Unfortunately, Tim Wolfe has proven inept in his position and quit. Hopefully his successor can bring about real change to the campus of Mizzou.