Jonathan L Butler, a graduate student at the University of Missouri has gained nationwide attention after starting a one-man hunger strike against his schools president, Tim Wolfe. Racial tension has been going on at the University for months now and students say the president hasn’t taken any significant charge, so until he steps down, Butler who started the strike on Monday, Nov. 2 , will continue his strike even if it means losing his life.
The racial tension , Bulter noted, really began when teenager, Micheal Brown was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, MO and the University of Missouri, being only two hours away, did nothing to address it , “I think [it] was a huge mistake on their part and contributed to the current cultural environment that we have.”
The University of Missouri, also known as Mizzou , has a history of rasicm. When the university was first founded in 1839, the state was a slave state and the university participated in slave labor.
Today many years later, although no longer a slave state , black Missourians still experience racism.
In one such case, a young man named, Payton Head, the Missouri Students Association president was continuously called the n word as he walked home.
In another incident, students a part of the Legion of Black Collegians at Mizzou, were rehearsing for a play when one white male called them all the n word.
According to the university the student was found and removed from the school, however this did not make students feel any safer.
Then two weeks after the schools homecoming, where black student protesters were also present, someone used their own feces to draw a swastika in a brand new residence hall. The schools response for such a disgusting act saying “It was some vandalism that was discovered several days ago in a residence hall in a restroom,” was the last straw for Butler, and when he formally began his hunger strike.
Butler is not alone in this fight however . Along with student protesters camping out in the heart of the university, players of the schools football team have joined the protest by boycotting all football related activities until the schools president steps down.
– Information from this article comes from the Washington Post