Call it adding insult onto injury. A flier saying “Hitler rules” was found in Gateway Hall at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
MU police are investigating it as yet another anti-Semitic incident in campus. In October police reported that someone had used feces to draw a swastika on the restroom wall in Gateway Hall.
That residence hall seems to be at the center of anti-Semitic hate. But the university itself has made headlines nationwide for racial unrest.
Black students had reported instances of racism, which is not a new thing in that part of Missouri known as Little Dixie. Graduate student Jonathan Butler started a hunger strike last semester after university officials were unresponsive to the problems, seeking the resignation of top university officials.
The college football team joined the chorus, threatening not to play until Butler’s demands were met. The president of the university system and the MU chancellor resigned.
Interim appointments followed along with more headlines.
Melissa Click, an assistant communications professor at MU who called for “some muscle” to remove a student reporter from a protest on the campus, was under fire for her involvement, and then she was fired last week. Now the American Association of University Professors is outraged, urging that she be reinstated.
If that’s not enough, donations are down and so is enrollment. The Missouri legislature also is threatening to cut funding to the university because some lawmakers are upset over the handling of the blowups.
But MU is part of America, and the presidential contest — particularly involving the Republican candidates — clearly has shown that bigotry is a big American problem. People with their votes on Super Tuesday have cast ballots for bigotry.
MU can return calm to campus and students’ normal fretting over finals through thorough investigations and substantive action on the racial and anti-Semitic incidents. That could help lead the U.S. out of the dark forest of hate, which has confounded America for centuries.
It may be a long shot, but to borrow from an old saw, these problems are definitely opportunities in work clothes.