Conservative talk radio host Chris Plante has definitely received his “fifteen minutes of shame” in my book after making controversial comments about his position on the University of Missouri’s president Tim Wolfe’s resignation. To say the least, Plante was appalled by the fact that the University’s 7 % African-American student population could “cry” loud enough about racial injustice on the campus to have the University address their concerns.
In a written letter to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, the undergraduate student government acknowledges the University’s failure to address what they believed to be an ongoing racist campaign, which not only created a “tumultuous campus climate,” but also compromised the “mental health, academic quality, and physical safety of” black students. Some of these transgressions included, “racial slurs hurled at black students and feces smeared into the shape of a swastika on a wall in a residence hall.” Furthermore, the letter mentions that Tim Wolfe, “has not only enabled a culture of racism since the start of his tenure in 2012, but blatantly ignored and disrespected the concerns of students.”
Plante and his supporters’ completely marginalized the students’ hostile experiences and even suggested that they were exaggerated. After listening to Plante’s baseless comments, one might have been under the impression that an isolated racial injustice towards a single black student occurred at the University, which was blown completely out of proportion, resulting in Wolfe’s resignation. However, in reality African-American students had been protesting for weeks prior to the football team, coach, white teammates, and graduate students deciding to join the cause. During that period, the students’ “pleas” to the board of curators were “ignored.” Furthermore, it wasn’t until after some students on the football team warned that they wouldn’t play any games until Wolfe resigned, did the University actually take action.
Do people actually believe that the University suddenly possessed some form of compassion for the African-American student body, and therefore, genuinely decided that it was in their best interest that Wolfe resign from his presidential seat? It’s very conspicuous that the threat of losing one million dollars for each game not played was the catalyst for the school board’s prompt decision. It had nothing to do with justice, fairness, or support to the African-American students.
As a matter of fact, had the students remained silent, and simply dealt with the hostile and racist campus environment, nothing would have changed. Wolfe would still be president, the majority black football team would continue to generate millions of dollars for the University, and in return the system would show their “gratitude” by “silently” informing black students that their challenges aren’t important because they aren’t the majority.
Plante had the temerity to add that “America is on the path of ruins” because—in so many words—minorities have found a way to be heard. He even proposed that students “prank” the University by claiming a false injustice to spark attention, in hope of ultimately proving that students (or minority students) have too much unwarranted power to “ruin livelihoods.”
As this guy’s asinine comments continued to burn my ears, all I could do is ask myself, “Is this man actually minimizing the seriousness of an inescapable racist environment?” But on the other hand, Plante’s ultra conservative views in general makes his “racist status” questionable. In my opinion, knowing that might explain his inability to understand why the small percentage of blacks were “crying” about racial injustice on campus when the majority of whites didn’t feel threatened.
Considering some of the elite positions that Plante has maintained, you’d think that he’d be smart enough to recognize that black students weren’t suggesting that Wolfe was the direct “reason” behind the racial hostility on the campus, but he chose to do nothing about it despite being in a position where he was able to. His lack of reaction suggests that the University condones racism.
Based on Plante’s comments, black people’s standard of living on campus and overall University experience is irrelevant. Black students are the majority so why should it matter if their lives are impacted by racism and inequality? Because they are people trying to earn their education, and not fight a racial war with bigots.
The only thing that Plante wants the American people to do is, “Look at what has become of this country,” after black students “decapitated” the student board’s head by demanding justice. However, what Plante should be demanding of the country is to challenge the University to explain why students had to go as far as to boycott in order to have their voices heard? That is the real issue. No student—black, white, or other—should be subjected to racism of any sort, especially on a college campus, and have nothing done to resolve it.
Candidly speaking, Plante and his supporters are really “infuriated” by the fact that the football team’s decision to boycott only proves that although black lives might NOT matter to the masses, money does. And these young men may have revealed the “secret” to forcing mainstream society to address racial disparities in America…by hitting “his” pocket.
There, I said it!
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