University of Missouri Police Ask Students to Report ‘Hurtful Speech’
In an email that was flagged by several Missouri-based journalists, the MUPD asked “individuals who witness incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech or actions” to call the department’s general phone line “to continue to ensure that the University of Missouri campus remains safe.” They suggest that students provide a detailed description of the offender, their location or license plate number, and even to take a picture if possible.
In the email, MUPD readily admits that hurtful or hateful speech is not against the law. But, they write, “if the individuals identified are students, MU’s Office of Student Conduct can take disciplinary action.”
In a statement to Mediaite, the MUPD confirmed that the email was real. When asked about the potential First Amendment implications, a spokesman responded simply, “We are simply asking them to report what they feel is hurtful and/or hateful speech.”
He added that the police did not consider the hateful speech “a criminal matter.” However, “We also work for the University and uphold the Universities Rules and Regulations.”
The email comes one day after University President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned under pressure from students and faculty alike for what they considered a lackluster response to racial incidents. The same day, protesters and members of the media clashed, with protesters declaring a “no media safe space.” Source:
MESSAGE TO ALL Mizzou Students: You disgust me. You people are incapable of free thought or acceptance of new ideas. You people are the problem. If I were able, I would ship all of you to N. Korea so you could experience what happens to a society where free speech is stifled. You all are vile and disgusting and I wish you didn’t exist. Offended yet? Call the cops you jackasses.
I bet the campus police are thrilled to have to deal with those types of calls.
Campus Police: “Campus Police, what’s your problem?”
Student: “Someone just called me a dodo head”
Campus Police: “No problem, we’re sending SWAT now”
Hello 911 whats your emergency ?
Someone just hurt my feelings and they took my shoes and pushed me down the stair my feeling are very very hurt
Clash between media and ConcernedStudent1950 (full) by Mark Schierbecker
“Watch the video — shot by another student — I was surprised that not one student stepped up to defend him. Not one.”
Freedom of Speech is the right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship.
Freedom of the Press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through mediums including various electronic media and published materials. While such freedom mostly implies the absence of interference from an overreaching state, its preservation may be sought through constitutional or other legal protections.
University of Missouri student protesters’ missteps part of their college education
By Mary Schmich
Some days I hate the media too.
The worst of the breed can be inaccurate, lazy, rude and downright duplicitous. But the best of the breed, which I think is the larger group, do what they can to tell fair and accurate stories that deserve to be told, and they try to respect the people involved when respect is warranted.
On Monday, Tim Tai showed that he belongs to the best of the breed.
You may have seen the video online. A sunny day at the University of Missouri. Tai, holding his camera, faces a phalanx of protesters. On a freelance assignment for ESPN, he’s trying to photograph a student encampment on the campus quad.
Protesters block him, push him, tell him he has no right, some crying, “Hey hey ho ho, reporters have got to go.”
Sweat trickles down his face but he never loses his cool.
He says, more than once, always politely, that he has a job to do.
“The First Amendment protects your right to be here and mine,” he says, clearly frustrated but still calm.
The school’s Director of Greek Life, who tells him to back off, gets right up in his face. “They have an education to get,” she says, “and a life to live.”
She was right about one thing. The students at the University of Missouri do have an education to get, and their encounter with Tai, who happens to also be a student there, is part of it.
In the past few months, the students, along with many adults, have been learning about — to use the words of the protest leaders — “the raw, painful and often silenced history of racism and discrimination on the University of Missouri’s campus.”
They’re learning to stand up for the rights of themselves and others. They’re learning that protests can lead to change.
And they’re learning something else: that their freedom of speech and their right to assemble can’t be detached from freedom of the press. All three are guaranteed by the First Amendment.
The words I quoted about the university’s history of racism are from a list of demands published by Concerned Student 1950, a group of campus activists.
In the document, they explain that the “1950” in the name signifies the year the first black student was admitted to the school:
“Concerned Student 1950, thus, represents every Black student admitted to the University of Missouri since then and their sentiments regarding race-related affairs affecting their lives at a predominantly white institution. Not only do our white peers sit in silence in the face of our oppression but also our administrators who perpetuate that oppression through their inaction.”
And here’s the next sentence:
“The Black experience on Mizzou’s campus is cornered in offices and rarely attended to until it reaches media.”
Do you want to expose injustice? Make change? Even in a Facebook age, it’s hard to do without telling your story to the world through the mass media.
Telling the story: That’s all Tim Tai was trying to do. He felt it was his responsibility.
It was also his right.
I have to concede that if Tai had been among the worst of the media breed — arrogant, insulting — I might have been more sympathetic to the people blocking him.
But his unfailing calm fortified the fact that you can’t stage a public protest as if it were a private party.
As I watched the video — shot by another student — I was surprised that not one student stepped up to defend him. Not one.
Some of the protesters in the video, frankly, looked confused. Others shot the scene with their smartphones, unopposed by the people pressing in on Tai.
I hope they all watched the video later and reflected on how they looked as they converged mob-like on another student, one who treated them respectfully and wanted only to take photos of their public protest.
But all protests have their muddled moments and education is often a series of mistakes that lead to an aha moment.
By Tuesday afternoon, the “No Media” signs on the quad had come down. A flier with the title “TEACHABLE MOMENT” began to circulate. It said:
1. Media has 1st amendment right to occupy campsite
2. The media is important to tell our story and experiences at Mizzou to the world
3. Let’s welcome and thank them!
Lesson learned? Let’s hope so.
And though some people see the argument over the protesters’ “No Media” policy as a sideshow that deflects from their larger cause, I see it as one piece of the larger education that they’re getting and sharing with the rest of us.