COLUMBIA, Mo. – The black student activist group that demanded and received the resignation of University of Missouri leaders is now blocking white journalists from covering public meetings.
Concerned Student 1950, Mizzou’s black student group, hosted a “Concerned Town Hall” at the public university’s A.P. Green Chapel last week, and organizers purged all reporters from the building before the meeting began.
“If there are any reporters in here, can you please exit?” an organizer told attendees, according to The College Fix. “That was my nice warning.”
A white male reporter with The Columbia Tribune complied, as did two other white female reporters in the room, white student journalist Mark Schierbecker told the news site.
“We will definitely respect your privacy,” The Columbia Tribune reporter told Concerned Student 1950 officials. “Just curious, um … why are you guys asking us to leave?”
“Um, just because I asked you to. We want to discuss some things,” an organizer responded, according to Schierbecker.
“Sure, OK, that’s totally fine,” the reporter replied.
But it wasn’t “totally fine” with Schierbecker, who previously recorded black student protests on campus, including a confrontation with white assistant professor of communications Melissa Click in which she slaps at Schierbecker’s camera and calls for “some muscle” to prevent journalists from covering the chaos.
Click was later suspended, and is now under investigation by the university system’s governing board after a second video surfaced Monday showing Click cursing at police officers during an October protest, the Associated Press reports.
Yet despite Schierbecker’s run-ins with Click and black protesters, he stood his ground at the recent Concerned Student 1950 meeting.
“This is considered a limited public forum,” Schierbecker said. “It’s open to the public, and especially to students of the university. I am here on assignment for a story and it is my personal preference to stay.”
At least one of the group’s members then reportedly blamed Schierbecker’s stubbornness on his skin color.
“Cuz this is once again, like, white people being privileged,” an organizer told the student journalist.
Schierbecker attempted to come to a compromise, and offered to stow his camera during the meeting, but Concerned Student 1950 wasn’t having it, and refused to provide a clear reason why the group was ejecting white journalists, according to The College Fix.
“You don’t give him any explanation because, like, that’s not necessary,” one member said.
The episode eventually convinced Concerned Student 1950 to close down the meeting and move it to a private location, the news site reports.
Numerous commenters online, of course, pointed out the irony of a group of black students plotting for equality by banning white journalists from covering their meeting.
“They don’t have the privilege of holding private meetings in semi-public places,” Byrd Westbrook posted. “And segregation used to be considered racist by blacks.”
“They are not racist or discriminatory,” Gary Frederick wrote of Concerned Student 1950. “Racism or discrimination against whites is ‘reverse discrimination’ … totally different lmao.”
“They are all a joke,” Steve Craven added. “These people don’t want peace, they just want to do what they want because their great, great, great grandparents were slaves. Get over yourselves, you’re a joke.”