Not a word of what has been uttered about the alleged racially-charged atmosphere at the University of Missouri would be admissable in court. It’s all hearsay, without a shred of physical evidence — not even the infamous “poop swastika” can be verified — zero supporting witnesses, and not a single identified perpetrator.
Does it mean none of it happened? Of course not. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So: Every last charge might be true. But if that’s the case, in an era in which even the most spontaneous acts are preserved by ubiquitous cell phone cameras, the claimants have failed, miserably and inexcusably, the simple task of preserving anything resembling proof.
Instead, activists have built a movement built on bluster and outrage, with the media going along as useful tools ... right up until the moment they weren’t.
CNN, for instance, has put together a helpful, if skillfully slanted, time line. Note, particularly, the description of the shooting death of “unarmed black teenager” Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a skeletal account that skips exculpatory witness accounts assigning Brown the aggressor’s role.
Note, also, the absence of named perpetrators.
Nonetheless, hoping to assuage the fury — and, tellingly, make sure the football team shows up for its date with BYU in Kansas City Saturday — the university system president and a top chancellor have resigned.
But having gotten this far on assertions unsupported by, you know, provable facts, activists organized under the Concerned Student 1950 banner want — you guessed it — more. “Shared governance” of the university is among their demands, and Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, and university system board chair and reliable Democratic donor Donald Cupps seem eager to acquiesce.
Hey, Missouri. The other 49 states called. They want you to turn in your state slogan.
Clearly, Missouri is no longer the “Show-Me State.” The bastion of institutionalized skepticism has become the “We’re Gullible State.”
And now we know this: The entire wretched episode seems to have stemmed from self-proclaimed “liberation activist” and famed faster Jonathan Butler — child of privilege — “being robbed of [his] health insurance.”
He blamed the university, apparently seeing the remnants of the horrid Missouri Compromise in its decision. But Mizzou was simply carrying out the expressed instructions of the Affordable Care Act, which — included among the provisions that famously couldn’t be seen until it was passed — ordered graduate assistants off the rolls of a university’s insured.
After all, the ACA’s excruciating accounting scheme relies on squeezing the young and healthy into the exchanges, where they overpay for coverage to subsidize the older and sicker.
So, yes, the bloom of Butler’s discontent is rooted in the ruthless scheming that underpins Obamacare. Ah, sweet coincidence. Another case, notes the Wall Street Journal, “of progressives eating their own.”
UPDATE: It took a Freedom of Information Act request by the Daily Caller, and the provider was not the campus police department that investigated, but Mizzou’s custodian of records, but a report confirming the existence of the “poop swastika” has surfaced.
According to the strategically redacted document, the infamous vandalism was observed by a university policeman and two members of the dorm staff (names blacked out). The name of a third person, listed as “victim,” also is redacted.
No other official action has emerged in connection with the episode, leaving obvious important questions unresolved: Who was the perpetrator? What was the motivation?
Perhaps this was the venomous act of a genuinely racist culprit — much like the pale-skinned creeps (subsequently arrested) who sent a chills through the troubled campus with threats of violence issued on social media Wednesday — but the history of such pranks suggests it is no less likely to have been an inside job by one of Mizzou’s social justice warriors attempting to crank up the heat on (since-resigned) President Tim Wolfe and his lieutenants.
As we say in the news business, the story is developing.