While it may be foolhardy to assume anything related to this week’s protests and upheaval at the University of Missouri is an absolute truth, here is one assumption: many people of diverse backgrounds yearn to combat racism. They begin by finding a bedrock of consensus on some issue related to this problem. They begin with common ground. And so it was ironic—and yet indicative of what a bizarre week it has been in Columbia, Missouri—that common ground was ground zero for the divisiveness. Carnahan Quadrangle, a common area on the UM campus on Monday afternoon became the staging ground for a skirmish between two estimable goals: racial equality and free speech. Only hours earlier University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe had tendered his resignation in the wake of a student’s hunger strike and the football team’s pledge to cease all football-related activities until he stepped down. “Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation,” Wolfe said during his resignation speech. “We have to respect each other enough to stop yelling at each other, and start listening. And quit intimidating each other…” Wolfe’s resignation was still making its way through the small intestine of Monday’s news cycle when another mouthful… Read full this story
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