The state of Missouri has been a hotbed of racial tension lately. It all began with the riots in Ferguson and today, the national spotlight is on Mizzou and its president Tim Wolfe. Well, now former president, as of this morning.
This weekend, about 30 African-American members of the University of Missouri football team announced they will not participate in any football-related activities until Wolfe is out of a job. The group is united behind the #ConcernedStudent1950.
Incidentally, this was the year Mizzou first admitted a black student.
This progressive movement began as a way to stand behind a grad student named Jonathan Butler who is taking on a hunger strike until Wolfe seeks his meals elsewhere. From racial slurs in the classroom to alleged harassment campus wide, this has picked up steam ever since and now, has grabbed the attention of the powers that be.
Well, except Wolfe of course. However, thanks to his surprise announcement, Butler is headed for the first cafeteria he can find.
BREAKING: Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigns amid criticism of handling of racial issues. pic.twitter.com/ip7Dcfp4X5
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2015
In addition, there was a petition — only 677 votes away from its goal of 7,500 — that was posted at Change.org to remove Wolfe from office. To which, Wolfe asked his PR team to tackle:
Wolfe’s refusal to step down — saying in a statement Sunday he was “dedicated to ongoing dialogue — prompted two “outraged” graduate student organizations to call for a walk out to “stand in solidarity against systematic inequality.”
That statement sparked an on-campus discuss that further sullied Wolfe’s already bruised reputation, according to the Washington Post:
“I will give you an answer, and I’m sure it will be a wrong answer,” Wolfe said.
“You gonna Google it?” one of the students asked sarcastically.
“I will give you an answer, and I’m sure it will be a wrong answer,” Wolfe repeated. “Systematic oppression is when you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success ….”
He didn’t get any further. Stung by the suggestion that racial oppression was more imagined than real, the crowd erupted in anger and disbelief.
“Did you just blame us for systematic oppression, Tim Wolfe?” a student shouted angrily as Wolfe turned his back and walked away. “Did you just blame black students?”
What began as one student with a cause has become a student body with an axe to grind. Compound that with the football team threatening the pocketbooks of the boosters, and you have Tim Wolfe possibly looking for an unemployment line by the end of the week.
Thus proving the only color that really matters in America is green. Bye, Mr. Wolfe.
[FEATURED PHOTO: John Happel/Missourian]