In light of the recent protests going on at the University of Missouri, I figured it’d be a good idea to take a look at how some news sites and social media sites are handling the protests.
First, there’s the #MizzouHungerStrike hashtag, propagated throughout Twitter after graduate student and activist Jonathan Butler began a hunger strike in protest of President Tim Wolfe’s perceived apathy towards deteriorating race relations on campus. Of course, the hashtag polarized many forces on the internet, mostly right wing trolls whose Twitter histories are awash with fanaticism. Other variations include #ConcernedStudent1950 and #Mizzou, although the last one is generally used to refer to the entire university beyond this particular event.
You get the idea.
Then there’s the major news websites. In this case, I’ll just refer to two articles: one by the Huffington Post that helpfully explains why students are protesting, and another by The Washington Times about how the Mizzou protestors are apparently unhappy with how the media switched focus from what was going on in Missouri to what was going on in Paris.
According to the Huffington Post article, “What’s Going On with the Protests at the University of Missouri?”, Tim Wolfe was forced to step down when the black players on Mizzou’s football team refused to play for him. Personally, I think that says a lot about American sports culture where the players have so much power that they can actually force a university president to step down.
Then there’s the Washington Times article, which paints the protestors in a much different light. Most of the tweets reported focused on the perceived injustice of one event involving black Americans being overshadowed in some way by a terrorist attack in Paris.
Personally, I think the protestors are acting kind of stupid about the media switching its focus. If any of them had any ounce of awareness, they’d understand it was inevitable. I can understand their frustration, but unless they were rampaging through the streets, burning everything in their path, then they really won’t get the same amount of attention as they used to.