The efforts to organize against white supremacy at the University of Missouri, and most other campuses (as well as everywhere else off campus) has been going on for quite some time. In fact, you can find the problems being protested at the U of Missouri on virtually every major college campus. We know this is the case at Yale, where there is an active movement happening against white supremacy currently. There are similar protests taking place at other institutions as well. And, the struggles extend beyond white supremacy to include challenges against patriarchy, rape culture, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. If you look at each of these cases, you will see active organizing taking place by active organizations. This is the piece the capitalist media conveniently leaves out. At the U of Missouri, there is a student organization called Concerned Students; 1950. That group has been at least one of the groups galvanizing the consciousness of the students to stand up against the racist practices taking place on campus and those practices didn't just start this week. Months ago, the African student body president of the school was confronted and physically threatened for simply being an African walking on campus. These types of events happen regularly at college campuses and everywhere else on a regular basis. The recent capitalist holiday known as Halloween has become a symbol of disrespect with ignorant European students dressing in black-face and parading around campuses showing their stupidity, either completely ignorant , arrogant, or both, about the fact these caricatures represent a history of painful oppression for African people just as their buffoonish display of Indigenous outfitting causes the same pain for Indigenous students. When students of color attempt to challenge these people on this, the reactions are the same violent, intolerant responses that Europeans have expertly and consistently demonstrated for the last 500+ years. Concerned Students 1950, tired of the administration's lack of concern for their physical and psychological safety on campus, has been actively organizing for some time against these terrorist conditions. A tent city has been up on campus for weeks where protesters have centered their activities. One student named Johnathan Butler engaged in a week long hunger strike. As is always the case, although African men - the football team - are the ones credited with taking action, it was African women like student Danielle Walker who have been helping to coordinate the protests for weeks. These student activists held rallies, passed out literature, and talked to students, seeking to heighten their consciousness to support these protests. It was this type of work that reached and inspired the football players to take their bold stance and I can easily guess that the activists targeted the players because they knew the impact you are seeing would result if they could get the players to take a bold position. As a former athlete, you can't convince me that the average college athlete is usually tuned in to campus activism and you certainly won't be able to argue that three dozen players agreed to risk losing their scholarships based on a spontaneous act. No, this was classic organizing work taking place to move these players to the point where they agreed to do what they did.
The reason it's important that you know that is because the capitalist media, always seeking to shape our thinking, always training journalists that the way to get hired is to adapt to that corporate thinking model, will forever be telling you that these types of things "spring" or "pop" up because they want you to dismiss the day to day work that's required to generate the type of response you see coming from the University's football team. Make no mistake about it, nothing is ever spontaneous. Organization decides everything. Also, if they get you to skip over the organizing piece, you will think what the football team did, or the president resigning, is the objective and there is now some reason to "feel proud and celebrate." Remember, the problem is institutionalized white supremacy. That hasn't changed. Nothing has happened from the power structures to address that problem on that campus, any other campus, any other community, or any other place in the world. It's important to keep that analysis front and center at all times because if you do, you will know the work is far from over. Today, with the president gone, the football team went back to practice. If you aren't careful, the capitalist media will convince you the problem is over, but if you listen to the students like Danielle Walker and Johnathan Butler, they are telling you the struggle is just beginning, AFTER the action by the football team. They are saying that because they are savvy enough to realize the next president can be just as bad if not worse (as is often the case) if we don't keep the pressure up and now that the administration knows how serious the current players are, don't put it past them to use this time while you are celebrating to recruit some players who they can entice not to get involved in political activities to replace anyone who stands up the next time action is required.
So, don't be so easily lulled to sleep by the capitalist media. They are owned by the capitalist class. Their job is to promote white supremacy because white supremacy is profitable. It's been profitable since it was created to justify slavery and colonialism and it continues to be profitable while it justifies continued capitalist exploitation. The capitalist media is simply the propaganda wing of the capitalist system. That's CNN, MSNBC FOX, CNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, BET, CIA, and every privately owned, profit making media outlet. Their job is to keep you dis-organized because they know if you are dis-organized you cannot possibly develop the capacity to seize power from them. Capitalists define power as controlling land and resources. Control those and you control the world. Since Africans, the people their empire was built and is maintained on top of, are the most likely segment of the world to rise up to overthrow the capitalist class, they make their mission about two things as it relates to us; control us physically and psychologically. So, if you really want to celebrate what's happening at the University of Missouri don't just do a status update expressing your joy. Join an organization if you aren't in one or make the one you are in stronger. If everyone were to do that, I can easily predict that very soon, we can be accomplishing real progress and having real and ongoing celebrations.