BY PETER N. KIRSTEIN
Melissa Click, who called for “some muscle” to thwart student academic freedom to film an on-campus anti-racism protest at the University of Missouri, is now on the faculty of Gonzaga University. According to the Chicago Tribune, Professor Click has a one-year appointment in the undergraduate communication studies department. She is listed on their website at the Roman Catholic institution in Spokane, Washington.
The AAUP censured Mizzou in June for the absence of a faculty hearing prior to the board of curator’s dismissal action last February. What I have found most bizarre about Dr Click’s abusive verbal tongue lashing of a student videographer, was her attempt to suppress media coverage of a civil rights demonstration demanding better treatment of African-American students. Having been involved in many protests, here and abroad, I can’t recall a purported supporter of a protest action attempting to suppress press coverage: student or otherwise. Indeed student protests at Mizzou, because they were widely covered, led to the resignations of both the president and chancellor.
Public protest has a goal(s). Its means are to garner wider dissemination to enhance support of the ends sought. That is the purpose of protest: to seek remedy through change by attracting a wider public to the cause. Melissa Click appropriately apologized for her bad behaviour, and hopefully will be a more effective change agent at the Jesuit institution.
It is nice to see an academician, who was entangled in a national controversy that led to dismissal, find safe haven on a campus that has the courage to give a professor a second chance. Anybody want to step up and hire Steven Salaita or Norman Finkelstein?