On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist anchored a discussion about the University of Missouri President Tom Wolfe’s resignation Monday. In light of growing student-led protests and the Mizzou football team threatening not to take the field this weekend, Scarborough cornered the key question of exactly why the President and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin have been forced out.
Scarborough angled that despite all of the intense media scrutiny surrounding the developments of the case, no one on the Morning Joe panel could effectively name what exactly Wolfe or Loftin did to be forced into resigning.
In light of the few isolated incidents of reported discrimination, Scarborough noted, “There’s no suggestion that this President and Chancellor turned a blind eye… In fact they have implemented and required where all incoming Missouri students [take a class] for diversity and inclusion. I’m not exactly sure.”
“Students have the right to protest, obviously,” he continued, saying, “I think what concerns me the most is the powerful of college sports… once the football team said they weren’t going to play Saturday, the hell with due process.”
The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson offered, “There are a lot of African-American students and other minorities who feel for whatever reason that the campus was not made to be a friendly, accepting, and supportive place.”
“But what are those reasons? What are the specifics? I’ve been reading since this photograph was taken, looking for specifics of systemic actions that have made students feel exclusive,” said Scarborough. The photograph that Scarborough referenced features the entire Mizzou football team locked arm-in-arm that was Tweeted from head coach Gary Pinkel.
“I don’t know what those specifics are,” admitted Robinson.
Scarborough interrupted to fire back, “Isn’t that troubling Gene, that you don’t know? A Pulitzer Prize winner? This guy is run out as President of the University because the football team said ‘we’re not gonna play’. And neither you nor I reading these articles know what he did to invoke this type of response. Is this a complete failure on the national media to report?”
Scarborough wouldn’t relent, asking again, “What was the fireable offense from this President specifically?”. MSNBC contributor and frequent Morning Joe guest Mike Barnicle discussed his own summation of the situation, inferring that Mizzou’s proximity to Ferguson, Missouri may have contributed to a “pressure cooker” that has built regarding racial discrimination over time.
Watch the above clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
[image via screengrab]
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