In a Thursday op-ed for The Washington Post, fired University of Missouri professor Melissa Click defends herself from the criticism and scrutiny she received after harassing and calling for student “muscle” to block journalists during a campus protest.
Click readily admits that what she did was wrong. But she argues that she was making a snap decision and that few have “earnestly asked whether my protected right to speak out as a US citizen requires that I must be perfect while doing so.”
“I do not understand the widespread impulse to shame those whose best intentions unfortunately result in imperfect actions,” she said. “What would our world be like if no one ever took a chance? What if everyone played it safe?”
“I believe this situation raises broader cultural, ethical, and legal questions about how surveillance and social media significantly impact the terrain of public engagement,” she continues. “Whose interests are served when our drive to combat societal imperfections is defeated by fears of having our individual imperfections exposed?”
Her conclusion: “I don’t want to live in a world where citizens are too afraid of public scorn to take a chance. Do you?”
[Image via screengrab]
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