Seven Lessons from the University of Missouri Debacle

Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

With the President of the University of Missouri stepping down from his position for the grave sin of being a white person, the left’s internal purge continues.

We’ve already seen transgenderism warring with feminism, and transgenderism cleansing old-style feminists from the ranks of the initiated; we’ve seen the hard-core anti-Israel doves in the Democratic Party marginalize the few pro-Israel votes left; we’ve seen the pro-abortion movement run out of town on a rail any remnant blue dog Democrats.

Now, the racial radicals are coming for their ideological grandparents.

Here are seven lessons from this debacle.

The Revolution Must Have Its Blood. America’s colleges have not seen a conservative in generations. Since the radicals took over the universities in the 1960s, obliterating any sense of pride in Western civilization and replacing basic education with murky multiculturalism, universities have been hotspots for radical leftism. That doesn’t matter: when the left wants social change, they start by bucking the establishment at the universities. That’s why the left will label its own campuses hotbeds of rape, racism, sexism, and transphobia – the implication being, of course, that if these tolerant and diverse oases are hellish pits, the rest of America must be exponentially worse. Whether they’re dragging mattresses around Columbia alleging rape or accusing frat houses at University of Virginia of group rape, the goal is always the same: the status quo must be abolished on the road to Utopia.

The System Can Be Blamed For Every Individual Slight. Because campuses are not, by and large, secretive generators of racism, it’s getting harder and harder to spot inciting incidents for the left. So they simply latch onto anything remotely questionable, whether or not there’s evidence to back the claim. One random white student yelling the n-word at Mizzou is awful, of course, but that’s not representative of the tens of thousands of students at Mizzou, let alone the administration. After all, the student who alleged the slur was the student government president – an actual representative of the student body. But never mind that: any individual offense is now grounds for indicting the system. Because, as The Lonely Island says, you can’t trust the system.

Leftists Are Cowards. Tim Wolfe caved at every turn regarding supposed systemic discrimination at the university. He began by apologizing to the ConcernedStudent1950 group after they shut down the university’s homecoming parade to surround his car and threaten him. “I am sorry, and my apology is long overdue,” he mewled. “My behavior seemed like I did not care. That was not my intention.” He took full blame for the incident, although he did nothing but ask police to remove the students from the parade route.

When a student began a hunger strike, he met with the student and said:

His voice for social justice is important and powerful. He is being heard and I am listening. I am thankful for the leadership provided by him and the other student leaders in raising awareness of racism, injustice, and intolerance…. Racism does exist at our university and it is unacceptable. It is a long-standing, systemic problem which daily affects our family of students, faculty and staff. I am sorry this is the case.

On Friday night, he made the booboo of stating, “Systematic oppression is because you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success.” This offended students who insist that everything in the world is someone else’s fault, even as they take taxpayer-funded educations.

On Sunday, Wolfe said he’d stay.

Today, he’s gone. He said, “It is clear to all of us that change is needed, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns.”

Wolfe could have stood tall. He didn’t. That’s because leftists understand that they must be sacrificed on the pagan altar of the New.

Republicans Are Cowards. It’s not just Democrats embracing the suck. Senator Roy Blunt tweeted, “Racism has no place in our society,” and then added that he hoped “that the students, faculty, campus leadership and the University of Missouri System will have an open and meaningful dialogue that will become an example for the MU System campuses, the state and country.” Republican Rep. Caleb Jones of Columbia stated, “The lack of leadership Mizzou has been dealing with for months has finally reached the point of becoming a national embarrassment. It’s time for a change in leadership and start the healing process.” Rep. Steve Cookson (R-Poplar Bluff) joined Jones in calling for Wolfe’s ouster. Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder said he wanted student concerns to be heard, but added tepidly, “our universities cannot be run by individuals’ making demands or using extreme actions.”

This is why Republicans lose. Republicans who fail to label a shakedown a shakedown shouldn’t be expected to stand up against the brutal narrative barrage from the left.

“White Privilege” Means Getting Fired For Being White. Wolfe did nothing to provoke his ouster. As noted, he never stopped apologizing at any point or saying that all of his detractors were right. That didn’t mean that the ConcernedStudent1950 group had no excuse to dump him: his skin color was enough.

They demanded that Wolfe write “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.” Other demands included a curriculum “vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff, and faculty of color,” a new president selected by a “collective of students, staff, and faculty of diverse backgrounds [read: racial minorities],” and an increase in “the percentage of black faculty and staff campus-wide to 10%.” Racism is alive and well, and living on the left.

College Athletes Wield Too Much Clout. The Mizzou protest movement got its biggest boost when 30 black members of the football team joined up with the ConcernedStudent1950 movement. Gary Pinkel, the white coach who makes $3.1 million, avoided charges of “white privilege” by joining the protest, too (for the record, he earns approximately six times Wolfe’s salary). College athletes are treated like royalty: recruited with sex, given free tuition, slobbered over by donors. On average, they don’t have any of the intellectual credentials for scholarships, but they get them anyway. Then they turn around and generate national attention because we want to watch them smash heads with BYU on Saturday.

That’s asinine. As I’ve written elsewhere, there is no case for taxpayer-funded collegiate sports. If you want to watch sports, pay for it yourself. Mooching off the taxpayer dime because you can tackle another dude is not an intellectual credential. Former Mizzou linebacker Luke Lambert rightly ripped the student athletes, stating, “Playing football at the University of Missouri is a privilege, a privilege a lot (of) individuals would take from you, if you are willing to give it up. Are you truly following through with the message sent to the public or will you still collect the monthly scholarship check to enjoy that night out, eat in the free dining hall, earn the free degree and enjoy the free gear handed to you during your tenure at the University of Missouri?”

The Left Will Politicize Everything, Including Sports. There is a reason ESPN has lost ratings over the past few years: they never stop politicizing sports. Sports has become one of the few refuges for the apolitical in our society. But the left won’t leave well enough alone. They think institutionally, and sports represent an important cultural institution. Sports Illustrated has become a litany of leftist sob stories. Naturally, talk radio today spent time talking up the bravery of these idiot football players, just as it talked up the heroism of Jason Collins and Michael Sam and the stoicism of Miami Heat players wearing T-shirts for Michael Brown. Odd that the leftist media never suggest that Cowboys players stage a walkout to get the team to drop Greg Hardy.

We’ve now officially reached the point in American life where mass offense is no longer necessary to generate major institutional change. That means that the squeakiest wheels will always get the grease – so long as those squeaky wheels fit into the left’s preconceived notions of victimhood.

Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News, Editor-in-Chief of, and The New York Times bestselling author, most recently, of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.


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