University of Missouri in racial turmoil over president

University of Missouri Football Team (Photo Source: Twitter-@MizzouLBC )
University of Missouri Football Team (Photo source: [email protected] )

This past weekend at least 30 members of the University of Missouri football team went on strike. The student-athletes are refusing to participate in any sports activities until university president Tim Wolfe resigns. The campus has been beset by a wave of racist behavior from students being called the N-word to neo-Nazi swastikas smeared in feces in a dorm full of Black students. During all of these incidents, the students have claimed that Wolfe has offered no remedies to the heated racial climate. The university is located 120 miles from Ferguson, Missouri, and many of the players are from that area. Most of the university’s’ old buildings were built using slave labor and Missouri has a long history in systematic racism. The school’s undergraduate population is 79 percent White and 8 percent Black. Missouri is approximately 83 percent White and 12 percent Black.

Now the teachers at the university are getting involved. It is expected today that many of the faculty will walk out in support of the students’ complaints against Wolfe and demand his resignation. Wolfe issued a statement  that claims that the school is in an ongoing diversity process and is addressing the students’ concerns. However, that is unacceptable to the group “Concerned Student 1950,” named after the year the school accepted its first black student. The group has eight demands that include:

  • A  handwritten letter from  University of Missouri president, Tim Wolfe, apologizing to the Concerned Student 1950 demonstrators,  that acknowledges his White male privilege, recognizes that systems of oppression exist, and  provides a verbal commitment to fulfilling Concerned Student 1950 demands
  • That the school hire more Black faculty and staff
  • That Tim Wolfe resigns immediately

Wolfe, 56, is a former software executive and holds an MBA. His ties to the university go back to when his father taught at the school. However, Wolfe has little to no experience in academia. The situation at the flagship university has grown so critical that the chairman of a Missouri House higher education committee, Republican Rep. Steven Cookson, said in a statement that Wolfe “can no longer effectively lead” and should resign. The University of Missouri is scheduled to play Brigham Young University this Saturday. If the team forfeits the game, the school could lose as much as $1 million.

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