Despite its complex web of allegiances and rivals, the dynamic that doomed Missouri system president Tim Wolfe and school chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was quite simple: It was the workers versus the owners, the little versus the big, the invisible versus the invincible.
The power of the Missouri football team provided the fulcrum, because money ultimately forced the action. But so much of the uprising was rooted in the frustration of minority students facing years of entrenched racism.
It all stemmed from a movement addressing major offenses that were deemed too trivial by an administration whose only response had been to advise that the slapped get tougher, have thicker skin, get over it.
First, there are no owners of universities, unless, since Missouri is a state school, one thinks that the owners are the tax-payers. But the president is no more of an owner than the board which appoints him, and no more of an owner than the faculty or the students. They all "own" the university if we want to call it that. Second, it's not true that the administration's only response had been to advise that the "slapped get tougher." It has been reported that the president met with students personally. As well, it has been reported that one of the drunken students who made the racial slurs was removed from campus until campus disciplinary proceedings run their course. Third, the reported evidence of "entrenched racism" consisted of a nut who scrawled feces (!) and a couple jerks who spat racial epithets at a school with over 35,000 students. Are we to think that the student body, professors, and administration at large are by and large racists? Fourth, though the football team no doubt provided the final muscle to upend the president from his presidency, the power of the football team is overrated. It is only the action of the football team in combination with the progressive radicals that provided the impetus. As David French writes,
If you think football players are suddenly all-powerful, imagine a counter-factual — like a “strike” by a few players in solidarity with an athlete wrongfully convicted by a campus sex assault tribunal, or a stand in solidarity with a team chaplain under fire for allegedly offending the LGBT community. Would ESPN fawn all over them, celebrating their courage? Would faculty and radical students extol them as heroes? Would a university president and chancellor step down within 48 hours in response to an athletic cry for religious liberty? Student-athletes can’t even figure out a way to be fairly compensated for the billions in revenue they bring to college athletics. Powerful? Only when weaponized by the campus Left. The story at Mizzou is the same old story we’ve reading and watching since the Sixties. Radicals rule.Read French's other devastating critique. Excerpt:
Closeted campus conservatives are worse than useless. Indeed, their very timidity contributes to the narrative that there is something shameful about their beliefs. To read anonymous letters from professors who are afraid to “out” themselves in a hostile campus culture is to read the sad dispatches of people too pitiful for their profession. Do something else, anything else, than merely sit and watch while the revolutionaries shred the Constitution, reject our culture, and assert their own will to power.The true shame is that it doesn’t even require actual courage to defeat the university Left, just a tiny bit of will — a small measure of staying power. No one is shooting at trustees. No one is beheading professors. There’s no guillotine in the quad. Instead, campus “leaders” tremble before hashtags and weep at the notion of losing a football team so inept that it couldn’t score a touchdownthrough most of the month of October. Let them strike. With an offense that inept, the SEC won’t even notice.These are the times that try men’s souls? No. These are the times of men without chests. The Left has the will to power. University leaders have no will at all. They have earned nothing but contempt.