Melissa Click: I Was Fired Because I’m White

Blake Neff | Reporter

Fired University of Missouri (MU) professor Melissa Click is back, and now she’s claiming that sinister forces took away her job to send a warning to black people.

“This is all about racial politics,” Click says in a lengthy and sympathetic profile in The Chronicle of Higher Education. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”

Click won national attention in November 2015, when a video was published of her accosting a student journalist attempting to videotape public protests on MU’s campus. Click grabbed at the student’s camera, claimed he didn’t have the right to be there (he did), and then called for “muscle” to help forcibly remove him.

The video quickly went viral and directed a huge amount of negative attention towards Click. Republican lawmakers in Missouri quickly began pressuring MU to fire her or else risk a loss in funding. Click was suspended in January after being indicted for misdemeanor assault, and was then fired after a meeting of the board of curators in February.

After laying low for a couple months, Click has resurfaced to claim that her firing was the product of a sinister racial agenda. According to the Chronicle, her belief is that state lawmakers and MU officials wanted to “send a message” that they wouldn’t accept “black people standing up to white people.”

Click also complains that she was a scapegoat. She wasn’t the protests’ leader, and in her telling her behavior was also unremarkable.

“I wasn’t in charge,” she says. “[But] when it got out of control … I was the one held accountable.” The profile doesn’t dwell on the critical fact that Click, unlike any other protesters, appeared in a video that instantly went viral and captured all of her bad behavior in full view.

Overall, the Chronicle’s write-up is very sympathetic, portraying Click as an academic pioneer (she was the first student to minor in gender studies at James Madison University!), an innovative researcher (she wrote about Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey), and a mom trying to raise three children in a dual-academic household. It also says she lives in fear to this day, leaving her home each day “bracing for confrontation” in case she runs into a person opposed to her past behavior. (RELATED: The 9 Most Baffling Parts Of Melissa Click’s Absurd Résumé)

“Two young men she passed near the campus asked her if she needed some muscle. She considered it a threat,” the article says, never noting that Click’s own call for “muscle” when attacking a reporter might have been even more of a threat.

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