I’m here at Mizzou and I am exhausted.
This week our lives were threatened through social media. In fear of our safety, some students had to leave campus. We pay money to be here, lots of it, like everyone else. Why should we feel threatened and uncomfortable continuously?
Mizzou’s Football team made the news when they decided to support the Concerned Student 1950 movement on campus and go on strike. They wanted to support a movement that was fighting the racist system and institution that we face at Mizzou. Even when a grad student went on a hunger strike, not eating for a week, media outlets around the country had no interest.
Now that the hunger strike is over and the football team has agreed to play its next game, you would think there would be less tension. It’s the complete opposite. We’ve had to start a buddy and group system when on campus. We don’t want any black students, especially women, walking on campus alone because harassment has become too normal.
To be honest, I feel like I’m decades in the past. Students are getting called niggers more than they are called their names. Our one and only Black Culture Center is being threatened regularly and nothing is being done about it. Just last night the ‘Black’ in the Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center sign was spray painted so it just read “Culture Center.”
We see threats saying that every black person will be shot tomorrow and have to decide if going to class is worth our lives. This is happening while also dealing with professors who send emails saying they will administer exams no matter what and that we “shouldn’t be cowards.” On top of that, Mizzou as an institution, only put together a tweet telling students to not start rumors and that they have no credible threats. As if the screenshots of threats we have sent them do not matter or are to be played with.
Students heard gunshots in their apartment complexes and saw with their own eyes trucks with confederate flags on the streets they use every day. Being only 7% of the entire population here doesn’t make it easier for us either.
About 10 people stayed at my house Tuesday night because I live off campus. They needed somewhere safe to be, they didn’t feel safe on the campus they pay thousands to live on. Mizzou said nothing about this. Students tweeted about being blocked in parking lots by white students laughing at them. Mizzou did nothing. When groups of girls came to Twitter to express how they ran from one side of campus to the other because they were scared, Mizzou said nothing. Mizzou didn’t even cancel classes because of the threats.
I regret making the decision to come here. I’m tired of the “should’ve gone to an HBCU” comments. We are being taken as a joke because of our situation. Many factors go into choosing where you go to college. We had to make decisions that worked best for our situation financially and academically.
We ask the black community to stand with us in this time of need, we are one. Support us and love us in the best way you know how. We stand with Howard University and every other university affected by this situation. We thank you for your support and concern.
TSR Intern: Jalen M! @jalenmosby on IG