When Timothy Wolfe, the former president of the University of Missouri system, said Monday that he would resign in the face of widespread student anger over the shattered state of race relations on the Columbia campus, he commented, “The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don’t doubt it for a second.”
That much is apparent, especially when video taken during a peaceful protest nearly turned violent when students attempted to derail a student photographer from taking pictures of the event. Here was that student, Tim Tai, attempting to cover the event in the face of much opposition.
In fact, one woman, who was identified as a mass media assistant professor named Melissa Click, said at the 6:21-mark of the video, “Hey who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”
The woman who tells cameraman he can’t be there & asks for “muscle” to remove him is Mizzou Assistant Professor of Mass Media @melissaclick— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) November 10, 2015
Click has since changed her Twitter account settings to private, but her desire to court the national media a few days ago soon was made public.
According to her faculty page, Click’s “research interests center on popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture. Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy.”
One reason the protesters might have been upset was that although the quad where they were protesting was a public space on the property of a public school, protesters had placed this sign on the lawn.
On social media on Monday night, Tai was praised for remaining calm in the face of hostility and for attempting to explain to the protesters that the same First Amendment right that allowed them to peacefully assemble also protected him as he covered the event.
Wow. Didn't mean to become part of the story. Just trying to do my job. Thanks everyone for the support.— Tim Tai (@nonorganical) November 10, 2015
Yet, it was clear that the protesters disagreed.
White, black, and all other ethnicities have been able to converse and build from fellowshipping at the camp site. That isn't for your story— ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950) November 10, 2015
Marginalized populations are not obligated to educate and converse about our experiences, but we did to make this campus more aware.— ConcernedStudent1950 (@CS_1950) November 10, 2015
And yet, somehow, despite the protesters’ wishes, the protests were covered by plenty of media and plenty of photos were taken.
Including these two from Tai.
Update 5:44pm CT, Nov. 10: The University of Missouri professor who appears in the video, Melissa Click, has issued a statement wherein she says she apologized to Tai.
Statement by Melissa Click, Assistant Professor of the Department of Communication, Regarding Carnahan Quad Protests pic.twitter.com/FJPUJUL5b3— MizzouAandS (@MizzouAandS) November 10, 2015
Screengrab via Mark Schierbecker/YouTube