COLUMBIA — MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin reacted angrily Monday to another reported incident of racial hatred on campus.

The MU Police Department is working to identify a man who reportedly used a racial slur in Traditions Plaza during a Legion of Black Collegians rehearsal for a Homecoming performance called "Mis-Educated."

Loftin tweeted about the incident that took place late Sunday night. 

"Last night Traditions Plaza — built to celebrate our oneness — was a venue for racism and hate. LBC Homecoming Court was targeted," Loftin said in a tweet.

The chancellor tweeted again, stating that the Police Department had identified a suspect thanks to "prompt reporting and response."

An angry Loftin posted a video message on his website Monday afternoon.

"It's happened again. Just last night, on Traditions Plaza. Hate and racism were alive and well at Mizzou," Loftin said.

"It's enough. Let's stop this. Let's end hatred and racism at Mizzou. We're part of the same family. You don't hate your family."

MU Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer clarified earlier Monday that police are still trying to identify the person who made the comment. If the person is found to be an MU student, he would be subject to a disciplinary hearing. Weimer said it didn't appear any actual crime was committed.

In a letter shared on the Legion of Black Collegians' Twitter account on Monday afternoon, Naomi Collier, president of Mizzou's NAACP chapter and member of the legion's activities committee, offered a detailed account of the events Sunday night.

Collier noted that the legion is "the only black student government in the United States." Members were rehearsing for the performance when the man entered Traditions Plaza while talking on his cellphone.

When he disrupted the rehearsal, the "young man" was politely asked to leave but refused, Collier's letter said.  

After being asked repeatedly to leave, the man stumbled off the stage, at which point he referenced the legion members using a racial slur as he continued talking on his phone.

"There was a silence that fell over us all, almost in disbelief that this racial slur in particular was used in our vicinity," Collier wrote.

Collier voiced concern with the lack of immediate action taken by a safety officer who was present at the rehearsal. She "chose to walk at a moderate speed" toward the perpetrator rather than run after him, Collier wrote.

The safety officer called MU Police to the scene, the letter said, adding that the MU officer took a detailed report.

"Just as our white peers, we have earned our place at the University of Missouri, paying tuition to further our education at the institution that we love," Collier said. "We feel that under no circumstances should we be made to feel as though we don't belong."

MU students, alumni and students from other universities showed their support on Twitter, retweeting the letter and using the hashtag #StandWithLBC.

"The symbolism of this incident occurring on a space meant to be built on the 'traditions' of OUR University speaks volumes to where we stand today," the statement said. "It is essential for this institution to begin to facilitate spaces of healing for all students."

MU Alternative Breaks, the Jewish Student Organization, the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association, Mizzou's Asian American Association, Mizzou RAMS, MizzouThon and Mizzou Homecoming were among the organizations that reached out in support of the Legion of Black Collegians via Twitter.

The legion tweeted “We must support one another” late Monday morning, with a flier calling for students to go to Jesse Hall on Tuesday for a study hall in support of black lives at MU.

"Take a stand against administrators who seek to silence our voices and refuse to protect our identities," the flier said. #BLMStudyHall will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday on the first floor of Jesse Hall.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

  • I am an education reporter for the Missourian for fall 2015. I am studying magazine journalism and minoring in psychology. You can reach me at mcm99d@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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