Opinion

It’s Time For A State Intervention In Mizzou

Scott Greer Contributor

Who would’ve ever thought the same people who want a university to crack down on free speech, would have no love for freedom of the press?

At the University of Missouri on Monday, anti-free speech protesters harassed and assaulted multiple journalists who were simply trying to take pictures of the demonstration. The worst offender in this war against the press was, ironically, a media studies professor named Melissa Click. After one reporter got through the human barricade surrounding the “no media safe space,” Click demanded that “some muscle” get rid of the intrepid cameraman. (RELATED: Meet The Sick Mizzou Media Professor Who Threatened A Reporter With MOB VIOLENCE [VIDEO])

The second worst offender was a Greek Life director who actively encouraged students to shove a photographer who was just trying to document the event for history. There were also plenty of students who were more than willing to show the muscle needed to intimidate anyone who was unwanted at the protest. (RELATED: Mizzou Director Of Greek Life Shoves Student Photographer During Mob Protest)

All of Monday’s activities followed the resignation of MU system president Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, after several black football players threatened to go on strike over racial incidents. Those incidents included the discovery of a poop swastika in a campus dormitory and allegations of verbal harassment of African-American student leaders. (RELATED: Brace Yourself For Racial Activism In College Football)

The protest movement has only been emboldened by the success of Wolfe and Loftin acceding to their demands, and now the protesters want more.

MU has officially descended into chaos, and things look like they might even get worse. Administrators are completely unable to govern, and any student who dares to criticize the protesters – or takes their photo – faces retribution.

The only force that can come in and restore order to this campus is the state legislature. Remember, MU is a college that is subsidized by the good taxpayers of Missouri. Do you think they’re happy with how their money is being spent right now at the state’s flagship university?

If Wolfe had stood firm, the problem could’ve been nipped in the bud. The hunger strike was not likely to last long and Mizzou already had a 4-5 game record. Football coach Gary Pinkel might’ve let his players miss one game, but it’s doubtful he would’ve let them sit out the whole season over a poop swastika — especially when the fecal Nazi symbol is turning out to be a hoax.

But now with the campus is under the thumb of left-wing activists who want police to hunt down anyone who makes a mean comment, it’s up to lawmakers to step in for the good of the student body and the constituents they represent. (RELATED: New Email At Mizzou Orders Students To Call The Police If They’re Offended)

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said as much in a Monday statement following the release of footage documenting protesters’ intimidation of reporters. (RELATED: Gov. Nixon Silent On Mizzou Faculty And Staff Bullying Of Press)

“Faculty and staff cannot be allowed to pick and choose which rights, viewpoints and freedoms they respect. I renew my call to restore law and order on campus, so the rights of all are protected. The University of Missouri is funded by taxpayers. It is imperative that it be a place where freedom is paramount and all voices are heard,” Kinder said.

“[O]ur universities cannot be run by individuals making demands or using extreme actions. The Board of Curators is in place to make informed decisions and govern, and they must be free to do so. Otherwise chaos ensues, and no student is served by that,” he continued in his statement.

Kinder would like an investigation into the matter and, if necessary, punishment handed down for infringing on the rights of students. Unfortunately, his superior is one of the most craven politicians in recent memory, and will only go along with a state intervention if intense pressure is brought down upon him.

Governor Jay Nixon proved he had zero testicular fortitude during last year’s chaos in Ferguson, and he’s already released a statement praising Wolfe’s resignation. But that doesn’t mean the legislature can’t browbeat him into submission.

What needs to happen is for the state legislature to threaten to defund the university system if it seeks to restrict free speech and give free rein to divisive racial activism. Lawmakers should intervene to make sure the new president and chancellor are chosen because of their competence and record — not because of their skin color or commitment to social justice.

The Tennessee state legislature, for example, was able to force its university system to drop an Orwellian “gender-neutral” language code when the government body threatened to cut funding for it in September. (RELATED: Lawmakers May Punish A University For Being Too Politically Correct)

When Mizzou is looking to steamroll over the Constitution, impose politically correct indoctrination, reward students based on race and hand over administrative positions to far-left agitators, a higher power needs to come in and restore sanity.

Schools like MU are not independent institutions. They are primarily funded by taxpayers, and there’s no reason the money of hard-working Missourians should go into the pocketbooks of people like Professor Click.

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