WASHINGTON, November 12, 2015 – “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed,” said Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. And student protestors and faculty at the University of Missouri fancy themselves virile despots in the chilling tradition of the mustachioed Uncle Joe.
A group calling itself Concerned Student 1950 was camping out – ala Occupy Wall Street – on Missouri College’s Carnahan Quadrangle in protest of alleged incidents of racism on campus.
As the demonstration was something of a news event, journalists descended on the camp to interview participants and photograph the turbulent scene.
There was just one problem: unlike most public malcontents in search of free publicity, journalists and news photographers were met with chants declaring, “No comment! No media, safe space,” The Daily Beast Reported.
As the Atlantic magazine noted, protest organizers explained, “
We ask for no media in the parameters so the place where people live, fellowship, and sleep can be protected from twisted insincere narratives… it’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.”
This despite the fact that the journalist getting the brunt of abuse is clearly Asian.
Protestors, for the most part, are unthinking mobs. As such, their leaders prefer that all media inquiries get channeled their way.
Members of the mob tend to be less polished in their public relation skills and considerably more honest than their dissembling community organizers.
It’s therefore impossible to preserve well-crafted and “insincere narratives” of protest leaders when a free press is milling about in search of the real story.
A YouTube video shows freelance photojournalist Tim Tai photographing the protest campsite when demonstrators rush him.
“You need to back off if you’re with the media,” screams a demonstrator, “You need to back up. Respect the students!”
As students form a wall to prevent Tai from entering what is a public, taxpayer-supported space, one yells, “The signs say, ‘No media past this point.’”
“I respect you,” says Tai, “and I do my job.”
A student who obviously passed a very forgiving entrance exam says, “You don’t have a right to take our photo.”
“I do have a right to take photos,” insists Tai, reminding the angry mob that he is entitled to “the same First Amendment right that protects you standing here.”
That’s when the mob stops standing and starts marching, pushing Tai and his First Amendment rights out of frame.
And this is where Assistant Professor Melissa Click, who is excruciatingly lily white by the way, comes into the picture… quite literally.
The videographer asks, “I’m media, can I talk to you?”
“No, you need to get out. You need to get out,” says Click.
“No, I don’t,” the cameraman insists.
Pointing to the distant horizon, the shrill Click becomes more insistent, “You need to get out.”
“I actually don’t,” says the cameraman in a calm, assured voice.
At that, Click turns and shouts to the mob, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here! I need some muscle over here!”
It is at this point that student grievances, real or imagined, lose their relevance. The so-called “safe place” bubble in which these silly children live is a figment of their overactive, adolescent imaginations.
And like children, they would rather not have their assumptions challenged by skeptical, outside observers (a.k.a., grownups).
I would not include University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe or Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin among the grownups. These moral eunuchs resigned their posts in response to protestor demands.
And most members of the media, like Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely, are more likely to write bogus stories perpetuating myths like campus “rape culture” than risk unsettling the perceived “truths” of these twisted campus tots.
Luckily, a viral video on social media popped their fragile, “safe place” bubble, exposing them as absurd, candy-ass Stalinists.