During student demonstrations at the University of Missouri last fall, former UM professor Melissa Click became infamous for calling in some “muscle” when confronted by an inquisitive college newspaper reporter about the protests that effectively shut down the institution for days.
A video captured the moments in which Click demanded in October 2015 that the cub reporter should leave a public space on campus, and then called in a large male to extract the reporter. Click was ultimately fired from her position on campus.
After Missouri’s Board of Curators fired Click, she protested that her dismissal was but a message from state legislators that the state does not tolerate black citizens standing up to white people. “This is all about racial politics,” she says. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”
According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Click began moving out of her office in the dark in February so that she would not encounter anyone.
Her incident with police was caught on an officer’s body camera.
“Am I going to be one of those people who stands and watches another brutal moment against black people, or am I going to step in and make sure they’re safe?” Click said she asked herself before stepping between the police officer and a protester.
“Black people love me,” Click has been quoted as saying to a journalist. Click has complained that media have treated her poorly. If she were to write a headline about the incident, the former communications professor said it would have been “Favorite Professor Fights to Support Black Students on Campus in Dangerous Situation.”
“I believed at some point, somebody would care about the truth of what I was doing,” Click said. “I am a woman who made some mistakes trying to do what she thought was right.”