News & Politics

Mizzou Race-Relations Committee Releases Series of Anti-Racism Videos to Educate ‘White People’

Students cheer while listening to members of the black student protest group Concerned Student 1950 speak following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The University of Missouri is either a glutton for punishment or is incapable of recognizing a PR nightmare when it sees one. After last fall’s racial protests led to a plunge in freshman enrollments and a massive budget deficit, Mizzou has decided to double down on the racial grievance-mongering that caused the backlash. MU’Faculty Council Committee on Race Relations is releasing a new video series this week that aims to educate white students and faculty about white supremacy and racism on campus, a Mizzou student newspaper, The Maneater, reported.

Via The Blaze:

Committee member Craig Roberts, a Mizzou plant sciences professor, said that the target audience of these videos will be white faculty, the lessons will be applicable for the while community as a whole.

Roberts explained in an email to the Maneater that white people, including himself, are not as likely to detect racism because they do not experience it first-hand, and white faculty often downplay the degree to which racism affects the community.

“White people tend to see racism in terms of lynching, physical abuse, bullying and other products of hate,” Roberts said. “Racism is more than the overt, blatant, extreme incidents.”

The committee, establish in May of 2015, consists of twelve members, including nine faculty, one staff member and two students.

One member, graduate student Jonathan Butler, garnered the attention of the national news media last year when he staged a hunger strike in an effort to get former UM System President Tim Wolfe to resign.

According to its website, the committee aims to help make Mizzou a “safe and welcoming place for everyone” by developing “tools and strategies to assist the faculty” in understanding and and working to correct “misunderstandings about race and ethnicity.”

Of course, no one would need these “tools” and strategies” if the rules didn’t keep changing. I am old enough to remember when a “colorblind society” was the ideal thing. Who could argue with Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where folks were not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character? Americans for decades tried to live by that ideal of judging all people — black, white, Asian, Hispanic — on an individual basis, instead of on a racial or ethnic basis. Now we’re told it it’s racist not to obsess over race. Not only are whites supposed to focus on the blackness of African Americans, we’re supposed to focus on our own whiteness — our tendency toward oppression, privilege and racism. Unsurprisingly, many whites refuse to go along with this toxic, self-hating program.

In the first of the five videos, Roberts “regretfully notes that around 1,500 of Mizzou’s two thousand full-time faculty members are white” (which amounts to 75%) and claims that racism is a “severe problem” for the school’s black minority.  What Roberts neglects to mention is the fact that non-whites are slightly over-represented in Mizzou’s faculty, as the latest data for Mizzou student enrollment based on race/ethnicity show 77% of students are white and 7% are black. The state of Missouri is 82% white and 11% black.

Mike Middleton, the  University of Missouri president, also makes an appearance in the videos. Last fall, it should be noted, Middleton worked as a political activist with the very protesters who forced out his predecessor. Although retired last August after teaching at the law school for 17 years, he worked closely with the black protesters as they staged “direct actions” that antagonized their fellow students. Last November, Middleton was featured prominently in a video called “Response to Skeptics”:

The video opens with Jonathan Butler — the lead activist — leveling political charge at people who don’t accept the black activists’ claim of “racial problems” at the campus, which is located only 120 miles from Ferguson, where the current protests and political campaign began in August 2014.

Then Middleton appears, to insist there is a race-relations problem because race-activists say there is a race-relations problem.

“How can anyone deny there’s a race relations issue on this campus? Are they not listening to the people who are saying their is? Are they calling all these people liars? That’s as bad as calling all of them racist? This is a problem because a huge part of our community agrees that it’s a problem.”

Now Middleton is comparing the current racial climate at Mizzou to what he experienced back in the 1960s, saying that “white supremacy that has permeated our culture” — which should do wonders for their tanking enrollment numbers.

The Race Relations Committee mission from Mizzou Video Production on Vimeo.