An alarming trend is taking place in America. For years, right wing extremists have driven the Republican Party further to the right than ever before. In response, it seems, there is a similar movement happening on the other side of the aisle. Activists on the political left are attempting to hijack the Democratic Party, which has remained largely moderate in the face of right wing extremism.
American colleges and universities have become breeding grounds for these radicals and have been subject to intense scrutiny by influential leaders and commentators, liberal and conservative alike.
While this unrest has been brewing on campuses for years, it reached a collective boiling point in October and November. The most shocking incidents took place at the University of Missouri, Yale University, and Dartmouth College, with countless other institutions seeing protests of their own.
At the University of Missouri, also known as “Mizzou,” protests over racial discrimination caused Tim Wolfe, the president of the university, to resign on November 9. The protests were led by a student-run activist group called Concerned Student 1950.
Wolfe’s decision came after Jonathan Butler, a student and member of Concerned Student 1950, announced that he would begin a hunger strike until the group’s demands were addressed. Butler was highly critical of Wolfe’s leadership, saying that Wolfe “had ample opportunity to create policies and reform that could shift the culture of Mizzou in a positive direction but in each scenario he failed to do so.”
A shocking video surfaced from the protests, where activists attempted to create a “media-free zone” on the university campus, which is classified under Missouri law as public property. In the video, Tim Tai, a student who was freelancing for ESPN, can be seen trying to photograph the protests. Protesters surrounded Tai, verbally and physically harassing him for trying to do his job.
Tai had an irrefutable first amendment right to be photographing the protest, but was instead met with resistance from a protester who can be heard saying, “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!” That protester, as it turned out, was a professor of mass media at the University of Missouri.
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