Protesters with Concerned Student 1950, an activist group at the University of Missouri, threatened and shoved an Asian-American reporter in a clash with media. Ironically, the bullying of the minority journalist came amid vocal protests about the university’s mistreatment of minorities.
In the video (see below), a mob of angry students surround Tim Tai, an MU journalism student who was on assignment for ESPN.
The group harassed, verbally abused, and physically blocked Tai from taking photos on a public area of the campus in Columbia, Missouri, saying media were unwelcome.
Just days earlier, the Mizzou protesters had aggressively courted media coverage in a bid to pressure and publicly embarrass university administrators.
It’s unclear why the protesters targeted Tai when there were other members of the media milling around behind him.
As Tai tried to take pictures, the students surrounded him and chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho! Reporters have got to go!”
The mob, who claimed to be part of Concerned Student 1950, demanded that Tai leave. Tim responded by saying he was merely trying to do his job.
“I’m documenting this for a national news organization,” said Tai. “The First Amendment protects your right to be here — and mine. I have a job to do.”
In response, one angry student yelled out, “We don’t care about your job!”
Melissa Click, an assistant communications professor, even tried to incite mob violence to suppress Mizzou student reporters’ freedom of the press.
“I need some muscle over here!” Click yelled (see photo below).
The video ends with students surrounding Tai and shoving him back several yards.
Concerned Student 1950 later defended its bullying of Tim Tai on Twitter, saying students are entitled to a “safe space” on campus.
The group also condemned “white media” for not respecting “black spaces” after vehemently insisting it was protesting the poor treatment of all minorities and marginalized groups — not just blacks. For the record, Tim Tai is not white; he’s Asian.
Interestingly, Concerned Student 1950 did not complain about the media when two of its reps were later interviewed on CNN by anchor Anderson Cooper. One of those reps was the university’s student-body president, who is black.
Protesters don’t seem to realize that had it not been for the widespread media coverage they received for the past few days, they would not have had the leverage to oust Tim Wolfe, the University of Missouri president whom they blame for campus racism.
Meanwhile, bullied student reporter Tim Tai said he had nothing against the protesters and insisted he never wanted to become part of the story.
Ironically, Concerned Student 1950 had been protesting the poor treatment of ALL minorities and “all marginalized groups” after a series of racially charged incidents on campus where white students had called some black students the N-word.
On Nov. 9, Tim Wolfe resigned as president after being slammed for not responding adequately to the racist incidents. One Mizzou grad student even went on a hunger strike, and vowed to starve himself to death if Wolfe didn’t resign or get fired. The student stayed on the hunger strike for 7 days (incidentally, humans can survive for 3 straight weeks without eating).
But the real turning point came when the University of Missouri football team refused to play unless Wolfe was ousted. If the football team forfeited a game scheduled for Nov. 14, it would have been fined $1 million.
Among the list of demands Concerned Student 1950 sought included an admission by Tim Wolfe of his “white male privilege” and the hiring of more black faculty at the university (whose student-body president is black).
Meanwhile, many white students and professors — as well as all the white members of the Mizzou football team — have joined in on the protests and vocally voiced their support to end racism on campus.
“Tim Wolfe must acknowledge his white male privilege, recognize that systems of oppression exist.”