If you haven’t kept up with what’s been happening on American college campuses recently, here’s a quick recap: A bunch of children who’ve never known a world without the Internet have suddenly realized that life doesn’t have a “block” button, and they don’t like it one bit.
This past week, some football players at the University of Missouri were upset about racism on campus, so they said they weren’t going to play ball. Literally. They
went on a hunger strike and refused to play football until they got what they wanted.* This threat, and the media attention it drew, forced the university’s president to resign.
And that, in turn, led to this scene yesterday on the university’s campus:
Most people have focused on the woman at the end of this video, who screams, “I need some muscle over here!” She’s trying to get rid of a student reporter in a public place, in front of cameras, which is pretty great because she’s a journalism professor.
But I’m more interested in how this angry mob treated the photographer, an Asian-American student. His name is Tim Tai, and he was just trying to do his job. He explained himself well, not that he should’ve had to: He was in a public place, and he was recording the event for posterity. He was exercising his First Amendment rights in the United States of America. He had as much right to be there as anybody else.
And yet he was swarmed and jostled and screamed at and taunted and threatened by a fascist mob. He was disrespected by angry, hostile people who tried to erase his lived experience. His feelings were utterly disregarded, and he was cruelly triggered again and again. His tormentors tried to shame him for being who he is.
Those football players are at least partially right. Mizzou is indeed racist. But the racism is directed at Asian-Americans.
And unlike the “poop swastika” — which these football players have cited as a racist incident, and which may or may not have been authentic racism, if it ever even existed, and there’s no evidence it did — we can all see the irrefutable proof of this racism.
Freedom of speech… unless you’re Asian? Shame on the University of Missouri. And if you support what you just saw with your own eyes, shame on you.
Mizzou just sent out a campus-wide email encouraging students to call the police if someone says something hurtful to them.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) November 10, 2015
Has there ever been an email aimed more at kindergarteners than this? If anyone says anything mean, call the police! pic.twitter.com/iWY9pYYW5A
— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) November 10, 2015
*Correction: The football players didn’t go on a hunger strike. A trust-fund kid did.