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The funny thing about witch hunts — as in real, historical, “The water rejects her! SHE IS THE DEVIL’S HANDMAIDEN!” witch hunts is that they never actually killed any witches. Unsurprisingly, metaphorical witch hunts have roughly the same success rate. And like their namesake, someone also unjustly burns.
Enter Mizzou Delta Upsilon, charged by the mob to be racists. The evidence? Someone said they were racists. The verdict? Racists. The sentence? Death hasn’t been made available (yet) so I assume some sort of Game of Thrones style shame-walk down Rollins?
The story that lead to this thoroughly argued and reasonable verdict (lol jk), if you aren’t aware, is as follows: sometime shortly before 4:00 AM the morning of Tuesday, September 27th, members of the Mizzou Legion of Black Collegians were walking back from an event when they were called “n****rs” by a drunk white female student who was with a small group of other purportedly (let’s be honest, probably) drunk white students. (That, by the way, definitely happened. And is shitty. And that girl is a hateful idiot. And she deserves a non-naked walk of shame. I will go to it, with a bushel of rotten cabbages in tow.)
Justifiably upset, the LBC students flagged down a police officer and pointed him toward the offending group, which was walking down Tiger Avenue toward Rollins Street. Right in front of the DU house, which for the first time ever regretted its location (they have a great spot). The police officer caught up to the group of white students in front of the DU house. The LBC students, now joined by several friends they had called, purportedly because they felt unsafe, caught up to the officer and the white students, and began loudly yelling at the white students. The officer described the LBC students as “extremely upset” at this point in the police report. Which, considering the things that get me steamed (slow internet while I’m uploading a video, traffic, Favor delivering my tacos cold, Donald Trump using NATO as a toilet for his verbal diarrhea) it seems more than fair that the LBC students were upset.
Inside the fraternity house, DU members heard some sort of loud, crazy ruckus outside and, naturally, either went outside or leaned out of their windows to check it out. They had literally no idea what had just happened. They had no clue as to the gravity of the situation unfolding in front of them. As far as they knew, it was a drunk fight, maybe a drunk girl fight. (And nobody, not even a house full of minority LGBT activists, let alone fraternity guys, isn’t coming outside to watch that if it’s happening practically on their lawn.)
Upon seeing what looked like some drunk people pissed off at each other — a common occurrence at a state school, especially in Greek Town — the DU members decided to treat the situation with the amount of seriousness they believed it deserved, which, in the case of 99% of drunk fights, is absolutely none. Again, this is because they had no idea what had actually happened in the lead up to this.
When the DU members came out to watch, were seen to be varying levels of amused by the situation (of which they were uninformed), and were possibly providing some commentary, some or most of the LBC students became upset with DU and turned their comments toward the fraternity members. One DU student in particular turned his speaker to face out his window and started playing some Future. The LBC students took this as specifically disrespectful to their race. Comments continued from both sides. One officer described it as “contentious but controlled” in his report. Some LBC students walked onto DU property, and up to their porch, to confront the members who were outside the house. Eventually the police — there were now multiple officers on the scene — intervened and de-escalated the situation as best they could. One LBC student claimed later that an officer used “excessive verbal force” and had his hand on his holstered weapon while speaking to them.
Eventually a DU exec member (possibly the president) and an LBC member had a calm, reasoned conversation and agreed to speak more at a later time. There were also DU exec members outside attempting to get their guys back in the house once they realized what the situation actually was.
Throughout the entire police report, not a single MUPD officer reported hearing any Delta Upsilon members shout any racial slurs at any LBC students, though they do report that there was shouting. Several Delta Upsilon members also stated that no one from their house had used a racial slur.
From there the groups dispersed and the situation ended. Then, I assume, after laying in bed sleepless until sunrise, the Delta Upsilon exec board members briefly discussed the pros and cons of group suicide before foolishly placing their faith in the truth and starting their days.
At 10:34 AM that morning, the Mizzou Legion of Black Collegians released a statement on Twitter, claiming the DU members had called the LBC students “Mizzou PC, cunts, bitches, and n****rs” while the confrontation with the actual offenders unfolded in front of DU. Below is that statement:
A statement from the Legion with regard to yesterday evening and the early hours of this morning. pic.twitter.com/TkoggBKSGP
— LBC (@MizzouLBC) September 28, 2016
Then, things went… pretty much exactly as they usually go.
A protest erupted at the student center in the early afternoon, practically every Greek related entity on campus issued some sort of statement, the LBC hosted a closed meeting about the incident for students of color, DU exec members were booking plane tickets to Venezuela, and, of course, the media took the LBC statement handoff and ran wild with it like I assume Leonard Fournette is going to this Saturday (just kidding, we got this, see you in Baton Rouge). Finally, DU nationals suspended the Mizzou chapter.
All of this before any member of Delta Upsilon made a statement, or any official report was made public. And the most absurd part is, the focus had now basically left the person(s) who actually verbally attacked the LBC members — the person(s) who actually deserved derision — in favor of the juicier story: “RACIST FRAT!”
Again, nowhere in the police report does it say the DU members used racial slurs. And some officers even go out of their way to say that they did not hear any whatsoever. The closest the police come to confirming DU said anything racist was basically, “I don’t know one way or the other.” Which is not exactly something you’d be reassured by if the question was, say, “Is this poisonous? Will I die if I eat this?”
There was, however, some racist language confirmed by the MUPD in the reports. Specifically from the LBC. One officer reported hearing the LBC members shout the following at DU:
– Fucking rednecks
– Fucking crackers
To be fair, though, that’s pretty soft. Those are level 1 racial insults and the DU members were no doubt armed with at least level 5 privilege shields. Well, the white ones anyway, because I guess several LBC members also took issue with a black DU member who was outside, calling him an “Uncle Tom” and a “sellout” according to one officer’s report. I mean, that’s the pot calling the kettle not black enough right there.
One LBC member was quoted in the report as saying to a police officer, “If you don’t get it together, I will set this school on fire. Do you understand me?” Which, if I’m being honest, threatening arson if you don’t get your way is sort of a TFM.
And there was also these two gems, which I’m just going to screengrab from the report, because they’re wonderful. First a statement from the DU who pointed his speaker outside.
All this makes me want to do is read overly procedural police reports from rap concerts.
“In a second level bathroom at the Kanye West show the suspect was heavily intoxicated and running around wildly, claiming that he and a Ms. Taylor Swift may still have a chance to engage in intercourse. It was later explained to me that this was a lyric from one of Mr. West’s rap songs in which he claims to be responsible for Ms. Swift’s fame, and believes that the career boost he provided Ms. Swift may one day lead to a sexual relationship of indeterminate time and frequency between the two.”
And this, from an LBC member.
I don’t think the LBC kids realize how well they might actually get along with frat guys. That’s a stone cold TFM right there.
You can read the full police report below, but that’s the (long, unnecessarily commentated) summary.
But now, I need to say this (and really, I should’ve begun with it, because it’s more important): what happened to these LBC students was abhorrent. The people who accosted them were Greek. Hopefully, were is the key word there. And the only thing I feel more than anger at these Greeks who needlessly and cowardly attacked the LBC members is sympathy for the LBC members themselves. This is not okay. Even putting aside the morality of it all, what the fuck is even the point of saying and doing this shit? There is none. Its stupidity is only exceeded by its hatefulness, and the former is a giant fucking mountain to hurdle. Cui Bono? FUCKING NO ONE. To any white Mizzou kid out there who thinks last year’s protests hurt the school: this bullshit hurts it too. Anyone complicit in this is as responsible for Mizzou’s recent setbacks as anyone else you’d like to blame. That point is beyond debate for me. For God’s sake, just get drunk and have fun guys. It’s not hard, especially the substance abuse part. And on behalf of Mizzou Greeks, I do apologize to the LBC kids who were accosted by that small group before all this other crap happened.
Someone did something very wrong, but it wasn’t Mizzou Delta Upsilon. Let the facts come out before you make a judgment. Stop the witch hunts. They end up hurting both sides. They end up hurting everyone. And so does the hate. Stop that shit too.
Full MUPD police report below: