November 2015 may well prove a tipping point in the college campus descent into politically correct chaos.
Yesterday, I described the rise of emotionally incontinent, Maoist-style mobs at Yale, screeching at a professor who refused to apologise over… something to do with Halloween costumes. Now we learn that a football team at the University of Missouri has taken the unprecedented step of boycotting future games until their concerns about alleged campus racism are addressed, and the university president has resigned over his supposed “white privilege.” There’s even a hunger strike involved.
Unlike Yale, where outrage was generated over dressing-up boxes, students at the University of Missouri have alleged that more serious incidents took place. The African-American student government president claims that in September, he was on the receiving end of racial slurs from people driving a passing pick-up truck.
Other black students have also reported racial slurs, and, more recently, a “poop swastika” was found smeared across a campus bathroom. The swastika thing is just an allegation, of course — and anonymous swastikas on campus do have an unfortunate history of turning out to be hoaxes.
There have been a lot of campus hoaxes involving black students, of course – though for the sake of politeness you’re not supposed to say so. Normally it involves students who have been ginned up by race hustlers. The most notorious case involved fake rape allegations from Tawana Brawley. What’s remarkable about Missouri is that mere allegations have been enough to topple a college leader.
You see, when you start telling students that their feelings and their “lived experience” is more important than facts, it follows that they will consider their own aggravated sense of personal victimhood sufficient grounds for the resignation of college staff.
Some of the alleged racial incidents at Missouri occurred with multiple witnesses. The students at Missouri, in other words, may have legitimate concerns. Yet for unknown reasons they have opted for the same kind of frenzied, ideological distress-signalling seen at Yale. The campus radicals of the 1960s gave birth to these monsters; now the chickens are coming home to roost.
The chief black activist group on campus, Concerned Student 1950, published an extraordinary list of demands last month. Shrieking and demanding outrageously over-the-top responses to the slightest of perceived insults is the only life today’s college students know. While Yale is going Maoist, Missouri students are going full Black Panther. I’m surprised Jane Fonda hasn’t already shown up on campus.
Among the items on the list, which can be read in full here, was a demand for the (now-former) president, Tim Wolfe, to hold a public press conference to read out a “handwritten apology” to students, and publicly “acknowledge his white male privilege.” Now that he’s set a precedent for chickening out immediately in the face of thuggery, the campus social justice warriors everywhere will be emboldened to challenge their superiors.
There were also demands for more affirmative action. The group wants the university to pledge to increase black staff and faculty members to 10 per cent by 2017-18. They also want a greater focus on hiring “persons of color” at the school’s mental health and social justice centres. Because never mind who’s the best qualified to help: what matters is that nurse is a black woman.
Indoctrination is also on the agenda. The group demands that the University of Missouri “creates and enforces comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion curriculum throughout all campus departments and units, mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and administration.”
In other words, they want astrophysics students — who should be focusing on exploring and explaining the solar system — to be focused on the politics of racial grievance instead. Oh, and naturally, white people aren’t allowed to decide what’s on the agenda. The demanded curriculum “must be vetted, maintained, and overseen by a board comprised of students, staff, and faculty of color.”
The sheer racism inherent in such a list of demands on white people should be obvious to anyone of sound mind. Yet Tim Wolfe, who has just been browbeaten into a humiliating resignation, has said that the college is already working on a strategy that included “most of the items listed” by Concerned Student 1950.
I have to wonder, by the way, if these stunning and brave athletes would be quite so courageous if their scholarships were placed at risk by non-attendance at football games. Just a hunch, but I’m betting they didn’t get in solely for their SAT scores. Athletic dimwittery isn’t limited to any race, but it does take a special sort of idiot to sign up to destructive, selfish, Black Lives Matter-style grievance politics.
If a true conservative like criminology professor Mike Adams, whom I referred to in my last piece, had been in charge, I suspect we would have seen a less craven response and a less ultimately catastrophic capitulation to the forces of professional outrage-taking. Things will get worse before they get better, but at least now even college administrations are recognising the beast they have created.