New Controversy Erupts At Mizzou At Orlando Vigil

The University of Missouri (MU) has been struggling in the aftermath of its Black Lives Matter protests, including the reported plunge in students and applications.  It appears that even a vigil for the dead in Orlando at Mizzou inevitably leads to a confrontation over race.  The conflict arose in a vigil held in front of Boone County Courthouse in Columbia, Missouri.  MU graduate Tiffany Melecio appeared and expressed discomfort over speaking before a group with so many white people.  When a gay couple objected to introducing divisive race issues,  MU Multicultural Center Coordinator Stephanie Hernandez Rivera defended the comments and denounced the gay couple objecting to the introduction of race into the vigil.

Melecio told the mostly-white audience that “I was really nervous to get up here, because there’s a lot of white people in the crowd.” When a couple people laughed, Melecio insisted “That wasn’t a joke.”  She then added that “I wish this many people came out to our racial demonstrations and our Black Lives Matter movement, . . . As much as it is awesome that there’s so many people here today, but it’s, like, who are you really here for?”

Melecio proceeded read off facts about prejudice against non-white LGBT people, which she said white people probably wouldn’t know, “because you’re white.”

The result brought a rebuke from Carl Brizendine, a gay man who was attending the vigil with his husband: “We are here to be uniting, not dividing, which is what you are doing now.” Brizendine’s husband is a history student at MU.

The objections to the comments led to the intervention of MU Multicultural Center Coordinator Rivera “I love you so much right now, for getting up here, when so often your voice is unshared and it doesn’t matter.  [Then addressing Brizendine] If you feel uncomfortable with the fact the people who are murdered are Latino people, that is a personal problem. You cannot be an ally to a single person, or a part of a person.”

The video has gone viral and triggered a debate about the importance of race rather than sexual orientation in the massacre.

What do you think?

53 thoughts on “New Controversy Erupts At Mizzou At Orlando Vigil”

  1. Steve,
    No relation. My pseudonym is the state flower. Forrest sounds like he was a neat person. The strength of the UofI journalism school may not have been as strong as Missou’s program.

    I am actually your arch nemesis. I am a Cyclone. 😉

    1. Prarie Rose: I didn’t know you were a Cyclone or that the Iowa state flower was the prairie rose. No worries about having spent time in Ames or being an arch nemesis. I was never into that cross-state rivalry. I will say that Iowa State has nothing on the the University of Iowa’s journalism program, and Iowa’s writers’ workshop is top-tiered. And until Iowa City’s own Dan McCarney became head coach at ISU, did the Cyclones ever beat Iowa in football? And just where did Dan Gable end up coaching, anyway? And who’d want to name their mascot a Cyclone? Oh, the humanity!

      Go Hawkeyes!

  2. who could possibly give a s#it about whether Tiffany is comfortable talking to white people?

  3. So Brizendine says we should be uniting, not dividing (basically all lives matter equally), and the response is, so you’re racist against Latinos?

    This is exactly the false logic on display on the extreme Left. We’ve been letting it slide, but now it’s happening against other minority groups. Is Brizendine not enough of a minority for his pleas to be heard? Perhaps we could travel to one of those last tribal remnants in the deep jungles, find the perhaps single gay person, and make him a dictator. He’d be the ultimate minority and his word would trump all. There would be no possibility of arguing with him.

    And once again a representative of a university silences someone’s opinion.

  4. “MU graduate Tiffany Melecio appeared and expressed discomfort over speaking before a group with so many white people.” Judging someone negatively based solely on the color of their skin is racist.

    Oh, the irony, of complaining about racism while exhibiting it yourself.

    Come on, guys at Mizzou. Please let’s be supportive about Orlando’s suffering. Let’s not be selfish and interject ourselves, and our own issues, in a forum where human decency demands we set our own agenda aside. This is a time to come together and hold hands, not divide.

  5. I’ll slip this in as a bonus. Rev. Al Sharpton’s rant “Time to off the Pigs”. “Get the Crackers”.

  6. Lisa N.

    I just want to address what you say about Obama. Obama frequently says stuff that is the opposite of his actions. He has declared war on more Islamic nations than Bush,often unlawfully removing their leaders from power. He regularly kills Muslims, to include young children and babies via drones and cluster bombs (to name only two ways). Muslims are on his terrorist watch list for being Muslim and he has kept many Muslims locked up without trial in Gitmo where they are being tortured. Muslims have difficulty crossing the Canadian border to see their families, They have been detained and interrogated. I could go on but these are all rather egregious actions.

    Never listen to the crap he says. Just look at what he does. He does’t favor Muslims. He is really quite murderous towards them.

  7. Melanie told the mostly-black audience that “I was really nervous to get up here, because there’s a lot of black people in the crowd.”

    Imagine that statement by a white person. If blacks want separate bathrooms, buses, schools. . . etc, I’m good with that.

    But don’t bitch about equality, you can’t have segregation and equality at the same time.

    It’s starting to sound like they think their race is above all others. A couple hundred years ago, whites felt that way too and look what it got them.

    These actions and attitudes by these black lives matter followers are going to have to get real. BLM was created based on a lie and everyone but liberal blacks accept the truth of that. You can’t force a lie down people’s throats.

    Baltimore state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby is finding that out. She’s losing her credibility because she took action over a lie.

    If blacks want whites to recognize racism, the Civil Rights Act passed by majority of Republicans, is the answer legally. However, the answer racially speaking is to shut down your own racist views and acts towards other races or you defeat your purpose.

    Blacks have to shut this down or you will set race attitudes back. It’s so very selfish of Melecio to make it about blacks and not about the deaths of 50 Americans who died because of some radical Islamic terrorist who learned hate through his religion.

    How about some indignation & objections over the hate Islam teaches in the Quran towards gays, women and all anti shariah believers. It’s so hypocritical of democrats/liberal’s to denounce, criticize, actively remove God from everything and publicly blast Christians as Obama does, while defending Islam.

    Obama’s quotes on Islam v his quotes on Christians.

    1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

    2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

    3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

    4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

    5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

    6. “Islam has always been part of America”

    7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

    8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

    9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

    10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

    11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

    12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

    13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

    14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

    15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

    16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

    17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

    18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

    19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

    20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

    Now, let’s compare those quotes to what Obama has said about Christianity:

    1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

    2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

    3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

    4. “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrant make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”

    5. “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”

    6. From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”

    7. Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

    8. “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”

    9. “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”

    10. “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”

    11. “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”

    12. “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”

    13. “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

    14. On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”

    15. “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    16. “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”

    17. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

    18. “We have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”

    19. “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra— (applause) — as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)”

    20. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

    I don’t think that Obama is a closet Muslim, although he could be. He simply espouses theological universal-ism, or the idea that all religions have truth in them and somehow all end up in the same place when it comes to eternity.

    The problem is that truth, by its very nature, is exclusive. All religions make exclusive claims, that’s not something that’s unique to Christianity. As Tim Keller put it, “All claims are exclusive. The Gospel is an exclusive truth but it’s the most inclusive exclusive truth in the world.”

    Obama’s idea of pluralism is an interesting one. He praises Islam for being so “tolerant” and criticizes Christianity for not being accommodating enough to Muslims. He also says that we must not “slander the prophet of Islam.” Yet there is no mention of violent, oppressive shariah law, nor is there any mention of the slaughter of Christians in the Middle East at the hands of Muslims. (crickets. . . crickets)

    Obama lauds Islam’s great history yet goes after conservative Christians who want to practice their faith in the public square. Whether it’s Hobby Lobby or Catholic organizations and charities being discriminated against by Obamacare, Obama has shown little tolerance for those groups when it comes to their free exercise of religion or even freedom of speech. This isn’t true pluralism, it’s pluralism on his terms, and it’s disgusting and hypocritical.

  8. Some of this stuff has just reached the point of absurdity. Imagine if a Gay person said they felt uncomfortable speaking to “so many” straight people? Or a white person saying they felt uncomfortable speaking to “so many” name your minority Asians, Aboriginal people of Australia, etc… People need to put on their big boy and girl pants and realize they have to deal with everyone and do so equally. You don’t get special exemptions because of past wrongs when you are talking to a group of people.

  9. Stop the madness! “What are you really here for?” That is a slap in the face of everyone attending. People wouldn’t be there unless they had a good will towards others. She also assumed that white people couldn’t possibly know certain things because they are white. That is a really ignorant attitude. We all have different experiences in life but we have the capacity for knowledge and empathy. She seemed to be without empathy for others. The Coordinator seemed to be the one breaking people into parts. It was very sad to see this.

  10. Steve,
    UofI is decidedly liberal, too. Was there another reason your friends chose Missou?

    1. Prairie Rose: You’re not any relation to Forrest, are you?

      Why he chose to attend Mizzou is a mystery. My guess is that college two miles from our high school wasn’t as appealing as college in another state. Forrest Rose was a bass player and journalism student, who stayed in Columbia and wrote for the local paper and played bluegrass until he passed away at age 48 in 2005. There’s a park there named after him adjacent to what used to be Mojo’s, a music venue which is now named Rose Music Hall in his honor. Very talented guy in high school, and he had a great sense of humor.

  11. Those whites were not there for the riots at Fergesun, etc. either. However, on a side note, it appears this issue (the Orlando shooting) may drive gays to Trump. Trump was right when he said that Obama was madder at him than the shooter.

  12. I think that this was very sadly misplaced sarcasm: “where were you whites when yet another unarmed black kid was shot dead by a police officer? I did not see you”.

  13. Missou’s a cultural oasis in a desert of tribalism. Academically, it’s a good but decidedly liberal institution. I had several friends from high school in Iowa City who went there rather than attend the University of Iowa on the other side of town.

    I agree that a vigil shouldn’t have turned into a presentation for anyone’s social issues. A rather serious faux pas – it’s counterintuitive to divide while trying to unite – and the speaker should have known better. The Black Lives Matter/Latino comments were out of line.

    But, Steve, you don’t know what I’m going through! Pitiful and pitiless.

  14. Tiffany just transfer to a H B C U if your that uncomfortable around White Folks. It should be obvious to you why there’s a crowd, they relate more to the Gay issue than to the race issue.For Gods’ Sakes your in the Mid West a great deal of these folks are Jews, they are not interested in your Black problems no matter what it is. However, it seems that a lot of them are pro The Gay Agenda.

  15. bettykath, how are her comments “true”?

    It’s standard SJW victim-speak, telling everyone else their grievances aren’t as important as her grievances so shut up.

  16. The folks at Mizzou have lost their minds and the state legislators look to be abandoning it in the form of decreased funding.

    Too bad Columbia’s not closer to the Missouri River whereby the rest of the state could jigsaw out the U and wash it away into the Mississippi and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.

  17. After her first line all the “White” people should have walked away and had thier own vigil. I’ll bet a dollar to a donut she is on a free ride at MU courtesy of the the dreaded “White” people.

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