The world now knows why University of Missouri activists needed “muscle” to remove inquisitive reporters from their “safe space” on Monday: Their leaders love to run with unsubstantiated rumors.
Concerned Student 1950, which helped bring down the university system’s president Timothy Wolfe, has not fared well since its protest victory. Media professor Melissa Click has resigned her courtesy appointment after threatening school photographers, Student Body President Payton Head had to apologize for a false Ku Klux Klan sighting and there appears to be no evidence a “feces swastika” was smeared in a campus dormitory bathroom.
The group’s name, Concerned Student 1950, stands for the year the university enrolled its first black student.
“I’m sorry about the misinformation that I have shared through social media. In a state of alarm, I was concerned for all students of the University of Missouri and wanted to ensure that everyone was safe. I received and shared information from multiple incorrect sources, which I deeply regret,” Head wrote on Facebook Tuesday. He told students earlier in the day to stay away from windows as he worked with police and the National Guard to deal with a KKK sighting.
The false emergency wasn’t exposed before the Twitter hashtag #PrayForMizzzou gained traction.
“Again, please be safe. Call 911, travel in groups, and please try to stay indoors,” Concerned Student 1950 tweeted Tuesday.
“Seriously the #SJW #PrayForMizzou people are reporting gunshots, crime and a giant KKK meeting on campus. But zero pics or vids [sic],” conservative commentator Stephen Crowder tweeted Monday in regard to ongoing rumors.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh apologized to his listeners for not predicting such fabrications.
“Look at all of the made-up – totally made-up – stories that not a shred of it is true on college campus,” Limbaugh said. “Honestly, folks, I am a little embarrassed that I did not voice my suspicions that this wasn’t real. I just didn’t have the confidence to do it, I will admit it. This is a great lesson on how seductive standard, everyday media reporting is. Look, I’m not alone. Everybody bought into it.”
In “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson – a true black leader whom many affectionately call “the other Jesse” – shows how the civil rights establishment has made a lucrative career out of keeping racial strife alive in America.
Limbaugh then pointed out how the movement, which uses “white privilege” as one of its primary drivers, is led by graduate student whose father is a multi-millionaire.
Jonathan Butler went on a week-long hunger strike until Wolfe resigned. His protest was trumpeted by the university’s football team, which vowed not to play until Wolfe stepped down.
“Butler’s father is Eric L. Butler, executive vice president for sales and marketing for the Union Pacific Railroad. His 2014 compensation was $8.4 million, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Perhaps the most egregious claim by students at the University of Missouri involves a story of a swastika made out of human waste. The symbol was allegedly written in a dormitory bathroom Oct. 24. Reporting by the Federalist on Monday indicates there is no evidence such an event ever happened.
Billy Donley, president of Mizzou’s Residence Halls Association, said he did not witness the event. Instead, he read about it “via a flyer posted on the walls,” the website reported.
Donaley would not speak to the Federalist for its story, but two other RHA staffers did. Neither of them said they witnessed the swastika made of human waste. One staffer did not know of any photographic evidence of the alleged incident.
The website also called the University of Missouri Police Department, which investigated claim. Again, no evidence was provided.
Concerned Student 1950 also failed to provided photographic or documentary evidence of the swastika.
The only swastika image the Federalist was able to find related to activists’ claims was traced back to a Reddit thread from November 2014 – over one year prior to the alleged UM incident.
“Did the incident happen as reported, or did two university administrators resign over protests that were sparked by a hoax? And if the incident did happen as reported, a proposition for which no publicly available evidence currently exists, how did university administrators and law enforcement authorities confirm that the vandalism was driven by racial animosity, as opposed to being promulgated as a public relations stunt meant to tar the university for failing to provide an environment free of racist invective?” reporter Sean Davis asked.
The website has requested any and all records relating to the alleged vandalism in accordance with Missouri’s broad public records laws.