God damnit. I swore I was done with Melissa Click. I made a promise to all of you that it was the last you’d hear about her. But come on, how can I pass this one up? I mean are you reading what I’m reading??
Last fall, as Melissa Click yelled and pointed her way into infamy, she quickly became a caricature of a radical faculty member who represented everything conservative lawmakers and pundits hate about academe, right down to her research on Twilight.
But while the video of her screaming at a student went viral, turning her into the Melissa Click, the confrontation on a quad during a protest here last year really wasn’t that remarkable, in her mind. The assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri was just doing what other professors and administrators were doing there, too, she says. So why did she lose her job?
She has one idea. Under pressure from state legislators, she says, Missouri’s Board of Curators fired her to send a message that the university and the state wouldn’t tolerate black people standing up to white people. “This is all about racial politics,” she says. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”
“I’m not a superhero,” Ms. Click says. “I wasn’t in charge.” But she’s taken the fall. “When it got out of control,” she says, “I was the one held accountable.”
“I believed at some point, somebody would care about the truth of what I was doing.”
The media subjected her to withering public scrutiny, she says, making her recognizable wherever she goes. “Batshit Crazy Professor Loses Temper With Student” was the wrong headline, she says. The real story, if you ask her, was “Favorite Professor Fights to Support Black Students on Campus in Dangerous Situation.”
“I do not understand the widespread impulse to shame those whose best intentions unfortunately result in imperfect actions,” she wrote in The Washington Post last month. “What would our world be like if no one ever took a chance?”
The firing of Melissa Click was a message sent loud and clear to black people all over the globe.
A white woman…
Who was fired for calling muscle over to beat up an Asian student reporter…
It’s an interesting take. Feels like one of those takes that you might not fully understand at face value – how does a white woman assaulting an Asian student send a message to African Americans? – but once you let it sink in for a little bit maybe it hits you. I don’t know, I’m still waiting, just trying to give the benefit of the doubt.
There’s also an alternate theory being floated:
I think I get it now. Melissa Click is crazy. Like the literal dictionary definition. It all makes sense.