Allow me to preface this by saying that just because someone is wealthy – or in this case, EXTREMELY wealthy – it does not mean he or she cannot be a victim of racism.
But isolated acts of racism in no way mean that the entire Missouri system refuses to allow African Americans equal opportunity. That is the biggest fallacy with the demands made by Concerned Students 1-9-5-0.
Here’s the full list, which demands the removal of University President Tim Wolfe, a spoken public apology and acknowledgement of white male privilege from Wolfe, an increase in black faculty and staff to 10 percent by the 2017-2018 school year, and several other broad requests for “inclusionary” programs.
— Matt Moreno (@TheMattMoreno) November 9, 2015
There are individual racists at Mizzou. No doubt. And it’s terrible that some students had to endure racial harassment because of those individuals.
But the problem with these demands are that they imply the very structure of the university is conspiring against them. It’s not. Like the racist cop who murders an unarmed black man, the incidents of racism at Mizzou are indicative of a problem with individual people, not the university or those in charge of it.
Jonathan Butler, the poster boy of Concerned Students 1-9-5-0 who vowed to starve himself until those demands were met, is proof of this fact.
Butler comes from a family worth $20 million.
That’s right. Butler, the person who demanded that Wolfe step down from his position and admit his white privilege, is the son of railroad tycoon Eric L. Butler, who makes $8.4 million annually (Wolfe makes about $300,000 annually).
From St. Louis Post Dispatch:
He is a member of a prominent Omaha family. The newspaper says that Butler’s father is Eric L. Butler, executive vice president for sales and marketing for the Union Pacific Railroad. His 2014 compensation was $8.4 million, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Butler, you can’t claim to be the victim of a system’s privilege when you are more privileged than the entire system. You are a living, breathing example that the university’s systemic racism (not the individual acts of racism) are non-existent.
You used childish, bullying tactics to force Wolfe into exile. You claimed you never wanted to be the center of attention as you spoke to a morning news anchor about your self-inflicted “struggle,” front and center, surrounded by supporters.
Worst of all, the entire university is now in danger – both white and black students have been targeted by online threats – because you wanted to play Ghandi with your friends..
[via St. Louis Post Dispatch]
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