Solidarity with Mizzou

On November 9th, 2015, the President of the University of Missouri, Tim Wolfe resigned from his position.[1] A series of racial incidents on campus that weren’t recognized led African American students to peacefully protest around the United States. The effects of this racial hostility affect the ability for African American students to complete college. The University of Washington, along with hundreds of universities, stood in solidarity with the African American students at Mizzou. We protested through libraries, administrative buildings, and the streets so that the voices of African American students could be heard.

 

African Americans on the Mizzou campus have faced an abundant amount of racism since 1950, when the first African American students were admitted. These racial events seem all too familiar on the Missouri campus. More recently, a local club distributed wristbands that read “Hands up, pants up”. This was in response to the “hands up, don’t shoot” movement created for Mike Brown.[2] In addition, a white male got on a stage during a drama class and yelled the ‘n’ word. Whilst protests continued on campus, the KKK reportedly threatened the lives of African Americans. These issues weren’t acknowledged, nor recognized by President Tim Wolfe. Acts of resistance by blacks came about on the campus. During a homecoming parade, protestors lined up in front of the presidents vehicle to voice there opinion. He reportedly laughed in the faces of black students. Also, African Americans on the Mizzou football team announced they would not be playing in any games until Wolfe resigned.

 

African Americans have a long history of protest. In 1964, the civil rights act was passed. What did this entail? This meant that segregation in public places discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color or religion ended.[3] This occurred because of the success of the civil rights movement. Although the civil rights act meant that America would actually be free, there were still issues at predominantly white colleges. For example, Linda Warren was an African American student at the University of Memphis. During a summer quarter, she roomed with an openly racist white woman. Linda did not pay much attention to her but one afternoon, the white woman began an altercation with African Americans. The residential advisor did not take any further action and nothing was done about it.

 

On November 12th, 2015, I, Gosay Mohammed stood in solidarity with the University of Missouri. In the image attached, shot by photographer Betinna Hansen, I walked through Allen library with a sign that reads “Black Students Matter #ConcernedStudent1950.” This protest meant a lot to me. As an African American student at the University of Washington, I have faced adversity. From times that I have been suspected of cheating on exams because I did so well to not being able to find a partner in class because I was the only African American present. It is hard to explain but when you can visibly see all the colored students on campus come together with the common goal of eliminating the racism in these college institutions. I understand the struggle of unrecognized minority students not only at the University of Missouri, but also throughout the nation.

 

At the University of Washington campus we chanted, “Being black is not a crime”, “Black lives matter”, “Black students matter.” Betinna Hansen, the photographer of this image recognizes the struggle of African American students. It is unfortunate that African Americans are told to receive a college education but when we get into these Universities, we’re constantly told that we got into these schools because we are black. Then once we start schools, we already aren’t comfortable because the majority of students are Caucasian and it isn’t fair that students at Mizzou were threatened by the Ku Klux Klan, other white students and even put in situations that were often life threatening. “It isn’t fair that I have to be here fighting for basic rights that everyone should have, I should be studying for my midterm next week.” (Palca, University of Washington student, November 12,2015). The significance in actions taken like these are priceless. They can never lose value or significance because a race is pleading for basic rights. This isn’t something that we enjoy doing; this is something that we have to do.

 

African Americans have a long history of oppression, which led to protests. The University of Missouri, an institution built on the backs of African Americans began as a white institution in 1839. In 1865, Missouri created the separate but equal law under Jim Crow. This law legalized segregation throughout universities. [4]Although some can argue that the civil rights act protected African Americans against discrimination, the sad truth is that it didn’t. Through the 1900’s, African Americans were deprived of basic rights. In 1938, Lionel Gaines, a student at the University of Missouri did not get accepted into the law school because he was black. He took it up to the Supreme Court and the judge ruled that University would either allow him into the Law school or build another black law school. A few months later, he left his apartment to pick up post stamps and he was never seen again.[5] This event caused the students of the University of Missouri to protest.

 

 

In conclusion, racial hostility effects the ability to finish a college education. Although times may have changed, people haven’t. Racism is still well and alive. Protests like these show how powerful black voices can be are. These racist institutions have made it difficult for African Americans to focus on their studies. People fail to realize how hard our ancestors have fought for us to live a life of equality. Racist events that occur cannot be taken lightly. In efforts to try to get institutes such as the University of Missouri under control, resistance by the students, faculty and community members hope to seek equality between all people.

 

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/university-of-missouri-racism-protests-history/).

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/university-of-missouri-racism-protests-history

 

[3] http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-act

[4]https://www.youtube.com/missouri-students-protest-homecoming

[5] https://www.jbhe.com/chronology/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works cited

 

History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

 

Altan, Susan. “A Timeline of the University of Missouri Protests – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

 

Journals, Black. “Key Events in Black Higher Education.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education RSS. N.p., 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

 

Shapiro, Emily. “Tim Wolfe Resigns.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/university-of-missouri-racism-protests-history/).

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/11/us/university-of-missouri-racism-protests-history

 

[3] http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-act

 

[4] https://www.youtube.com/missouri-students-protest-homecoming

[5] https://www.jbhe.com/chronology/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activists and student minority groups at the University of Washington march while chanting through aisles of studying students at the Suzzalo and Allen Libraries on campus in Seattle in solidarity with the students at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Thursday November 12, 2015. The Seattle students and community chanted "Black Lives Matter" and "Black Students Matter" after a series of racial incidents caused top administration at Mizzou to resign earlier in the week. They started in Red Square and marched through several buildings, including Suzzalo, Allen and Odegaard Libraries and ended up marching down 15th Avenue Northeast and having their final speeches in the intersection of Northeast 45th Street during rush hour. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

3 thoughts on “Solidarity with Mizzou

  1. I am part of MEChA de UW and also attended this demonstration. It is always mind blowing to me that we are in 2015 and in reality we have not done much progress since segregation. We still have so much racism in this country through, gentrification, police brutality, healthcare, prison to school pipeline system, and so many other examples. Even though this happened to Black students in Mizzou, it is not an isolated event. It happens everyday at UW campus as you know, I have gone to many protests and I am always surprised about the level of racial slurs people shout back. I should not be surprised though because it will continue to happen if there is no solidarity between different racial groups in order to demand a more inclusive space for Black students and other students of color. I believe is solidarity is key and right now as a campus we need to demand that Black students feel safe in a place that is suppose to protect them.

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  2. 1. The title clearly states the blog will be about Mizzou and the incident that happened. I think the title could have been a bit more creative to help draw people into reading the blog.
    2. The visual is a picture of the author in the demonstration. It was a good representation of the topic especially because the author related to their blog.
    3. I would like to know a bit more about how involved Mizzou was in the slave trade or a bit more about its history.
    4. The author does a perfect job in relating to the cultural object because they talk about their own experiences as Black student.
    5. I think this one of the better blogs that I have read and my only critique is adding a couple more pictures into the blog.

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  3. 1. It is a great title. I can know the cultural artifact from the title immediately.
    2. Yes, the picture represents cultural artifact very well.
    3. The author explained everything. Also, there are lots of citations in his blog which is great.
    4. The author connects the cultural artifact to the course material in a good way.Especially, he used example of UW which make me feel involved.
    5. It is a great blog! Very interesting and I enjoy it.

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