Many white folks just do not see the biases in our society that minorities see. Survey after survey reflect this lack of vision. We see that dichotomy again in the situation involving the University of Missouri football team. The team is threatening to “strike” a game not because the University President has been racist or because he said racist things. No, they are threatening because he is not hearing them. he refused to speak with the dissenting group when they surrounded his car at a Homecoming game. Apparently, in the days after the Homecoming parade, he made no effort to listen to their views. See CBS news report.
The fuss started when the student body president, an African-American young man was hurled the n-word a few times by white students he did not know. Later, a black graduate student started a huger strike – until the University President leaves. The football players skipped practice this past weekend. The head coach later sent a tweet indicating the entire team stands behind the dissenting members. Now, some faculty groups have indicated their support for the student group known as Concerned Students 1950. The name reflects the year the first black student was allowed at Missouri.
I do not know the beleaguered President, Tim Wolf. But, I know a great many white guys who have no concept that African-Americans suffer discrimination. My Facebook friends include many folks who hold different political views than I. Recently, one of my white FB friends commented about that young Dallas Moslem boy who left the US after he was treated like a criminal for making a homemade clock. My FB friend was not sympathetic. “What did he expect?” commented my friend.
It is easy to say such things when you are not the middle schooler arrested because you made a clock. It is also easy for Tim Wolfe to ignore concerns that in his mind are simply not real. When I was in the Army, we could not acquire a target until it was “on our radar.” That is, the target had to be within our area of vision before we could even hope to engage. It appears that racism just is not on Tim Wolfe’s radar….