Which makes sense, come to think of it. Who’s more in tune with the zeitgeist at Mizzou, Click or this guy?
Dr. Dale Brigham, considered one of the most beloved professors at the University of Missouri, has been forced to resign after initially refusing to cancel an exam for students who claimed to feel “unsafe.”
“If you don’t feel safe coming to class, then don’t come to class,” Dr. Brigham told his students. “I will be there, and there will be an exam administered in our class,” he continued, imploring his students to stand up to the bullies on campus. “If you give into bullies, they win. The only way bullies are defeated is by standing up to them.”…
Under intense pressure, Dr. Brigham has both cancelled the exam and resigned from the university, according to screenshots posted online of an email from Dr. Brigham to his students.
“The exam is cancelled. Our students will be able to take the exam at an alternate date with no loss of points,” Dr. Brigham told students. “No one will have to come to class today. And, I am resigning my position.”
He doesn’t say he was forced to resign. The vibe I get here is that a bunch of students complained, an administrator leaned on him to reschedule the exam, and then Brigham resigned in disgust at having been forced to bow to student demands after urging them to toughen up. If he’d been asked to resign, he could have done that, refused to reschedule the exam, and then left it for the administrator to send around an e-mail about the make-up date. I think he resigned in protest, and I think he wanted his students to understand that by making a point of announcing it in the e-mail. But we’ll see. He’s bound to give an interview to someone soon thanks to the attention this story is getting online.
Was it fair of him to tell black students to toughen up under the circumstances? On the one hand, an arrest has been made for threats against the campus made on the Yik Yak social messaging service. Someone on Yik Yak posted that he was going to “shoot every black person I see”; it’s not clear if the suspect who was arrested made that threat or a different one, but the fact that a threat was made isn’t a figment of students’ imagination.
On the other hand, a lot of the racism that’s supposedly occurred at Mizzou lately does appear to be flights of SJW fancy. Sean Davis at the Federalist is on day two of his project to debunk the suspicious claims of a swastika (made of feces) being left on the wall of a dormitory bathroom. Only one person seems to have seen it; no evidence whatsoever has been offered to prove that it happened. Meanwhile, the student body president posted a Facebook message last night claiming that the KKK — the honest to goodness Klan — had been “confirmed to be sighted on campus.” A few hours later he apologized for the “misinformation,” which he said was based on reports from “multiple incorrect sources.” Over at FoxSports.com, Clay Travis (a self-identified Democrat) has examined various claims about the alleged racial intimidation happening at Mizzou lately and found that none of them really hold up. Much of it is pure hysteria. In which case, why have two top administrators and a professor resigned?
The important thing is not whether something is happening or not, it is that I am a victim and my struggle must be acknowledged.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) November 11, 2015
And yet, accusations keep flying:
Other students of color took to social media to express their fears. Several described harrowing experiences on campus Tuesday night, although their accounts could not be independently confirmed, and they did not respond to interview requests from The Post.
Several videos posted to Twitter appeared to show a white man walking around Speaker’s Circle, screaming about race and the Ku Klux Klan. Whatever their intentions or authenticity, they upset a number of students.
Bradley J. Rayford, a St. Louis-based photographer in town to cover the protests, wrote on Twitter that he had seen white men in a truck yell the N-word at students. It’s unclear if it was the same truck as described by the female student.
I don’t know how to untangle how much of that is actually happening, how much is simple misunderstanding, and how much is due to a Salem-style fear of racist witches on campus right now. Brigham’s critics would answer that simply, though: What does it matter? Follow the last link and you’ll see that a lot of black Mizzou students do appear to be genuinely fearful of violence right now. It was, supposedly, unfair of Brigham to penalize them for not being willing to take a risk. He should have canceled class and postponed the exam until … when, exactly? Until the fear has passed, however long that takes? The whole point of campus “safe space” awareness, I thought, was that the space is never really safe enough. Brigham’s attitude was that it’s as safe as it’s going to be and that a show of courage is the best answer to attempts at intimidation. That might have flown in the 1960s. You’ve got the wrong decade, pal.
Exit question: Why would he urge students to stand up to bullies if he wasn’t willing to do so himself? He could have stood on principle instead of resigning.
Update: Maybe this is why Brigham resigned. Where’s his safe space?