Black Missouri State Students Tormented By Racist White Students During Protest
A group of African-American students who organized a protest in support of black civil rights during the Missouri State University homecoming festivities say their actions were met with racist backlash from fellow white students.
“The first comment that was made was ‘Go back to Ferguson. Go back to St. Louis.’”
On the afternoon of Oct. 18, as Missouri State students got ready to cheer on the football team against South Dakota University and tailgaters partied in BearFest Village, 35 protesters had a different plan for homecoming.
Homecoming Blackout, as the protest was called, was not about Ferguson. It was not about Michael Brown. It was not about Vonderrit Myers. “It was a protest about black rights. It was a bigger scope of things. It wasn’t another Ferguson protest,” said Jakal Burrell-El, one of the protesters.
The format of the protest was simple. Protesters marched, some wore masks and some carried signs with statements such as “Don’t Shoot,” “Stop Killing Us” and “Black Lives Matter.”
These signs were the only way that the otherwise silent protesters communicated with the crowd at BearFest Village.
“We did not utter a word,” said Riana Clark, another protester who was at the event. “I stepped on the shoes of the girl in front of me at least 20 times, and I didn’t even utter an ‘I’m sorry.’ None of us spoke.”
The BearFest Village attendees, however, were not as silent.
Jakobi Connor, a protester, read a list of quotes he’d written down that he’d heard during the protest:
“F**k you all. We do shoot. This is so stupid. This is supposed to be a happy day. You’re ret**ded. This is ret**ded. Get the f**k out of here.
In addition to verbal backlash, several protestors also claimed to have had physical confrontations with tailgaters that later turned racist as well.
Some tailgaters went as far as physical confrontation with protesters, according to Dorrean Cunningham.
“Not too long after the protest ended at 1 p.m., I was going back to my room,” Cunningham said. “I live in Freddy, and I was called out (by) my name several times, being bumped, pushed, being called a ni***r, telling me to go back to St. Louis where I belong, I do not belong on this campus, this campus does not belong to black students so take your ni***r ass back to where you came from.
“We heard several people say ‘I don’t care about ni***rs. They’re just n****rs.’”
Kudos to these students for continuing to stand and peacefully protest for what is right despite being blatantly disrespected and threatened. Hopefully the administration will address the clear issue of racism on this campus.