In this day and age, discrimination against different races should not be something we still have to deal with. We should know by now that it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but rather what is on the inside.
Apparently, the University of Missouri still isn’t on board with that.
There have been problems on the campus for a long time, but only recently has something been done about it. Protests and strikes have broken out, and for good reason.
Black students have received threats, felt unwelcome and discriminated against for too long. So they did what they thought they had to do. The football team threatened not to play, and students, now members of a group they call Concerned Student 1950, camped out on the quad.
It was then, however, that the focus was pulled away from the real issue at hand and put on the media. A young reporter, Tim Tai, was trying to do his job and take pictures for ESPN to show what was happening on the campus.
His job was important and the assignment totally justified. Tai simply wanted to document what was going on, but some students and one professor in particular did not want him to do his job. They pushed him and blocked him and told him he needed to leave. This professor, Melissa Click, told Tai he had no right to be there.
The most amazing thing about all of this? Click is a communication professor.
She should have known that Tai had every right to be there, on public property, documenting something important. She should have known that Tai was doing his job.
She should have encouraged him, and pushed others out of his way. Instead, once he finally broke through the crowd, she called for “some muscle” to have Tai removed from the premises.
Click grabbed his camera and yelled at him to get out, to which he responded that he did not have to leave because he was on public property.
Controversies over media coverage are an ongoing thing all over the country, and it’s usually the reporters who don’t know what they’re doing who give the rest of us a bad rep.
Now we know where those bad reporters are coming from. They are taught by professors like Click, who don’t support the most basic rights of reporters. Our job is simply to try to capture what is happening in the world around us and present it to the public.
Fortunately for everyone, Click apologized and resigned. If there aren’t professors who know what they’re doing when they teach the students, more and more of this will continue to happen. Click thought she was helping the black students, but she was just creating more of a stir.
There should never be a time when a respectful, kind man trying to make a living is shoved and screamed at, just as there should never be a time when black people are discriminated against in this country.
At least we’re one step closer with Click’s resignation.