Missouri student files complaint against Melissa "Muscle" Click

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I absolutely cannot imagine that this game of ‘your apology fails to sufficiently unhurt my wounded feelings’ is going to go anywhere good; and it didn’t start in the best of places.

Even if we ignore the evidence issues of everyone who wasn’t on camera at the time coming to tell their sad stories of being muscled down by the scary media studies lady(some might be true; but every good outrage has its opportunists); there’s the simple fact that apology-grading is mostly an exercise in bullshit.

It’s occasionally useful in reminding people that callous public figures don’t actually give a fuck just because their flacks apologized to anyone who was offended; but beyond that it’s really only an exercise with potential meaning at an interpersonal level, not once something hits the public stage. Ooh, is your contrition contrite enough; or are my feelings too badly hurt? Who will win? Sound and fury, signifying nothing.


True, but on the other hand, a bullshit apology should be called out. We all know what it looks like. Brave the threat of being denounced as Thought Police and ridicule those who most need it.


Yeah, that “See Also” linked article just kinda made Adam Goldstein seem like a dick and Click more sympathetic. Her apology actually seemed pretty genuine to me, and was MUCH more of a Mea Culpa than most public apologies. His hyperbolic language about the scale of her offense actually made the actual event seem more tame by comparison. Was she wrong to push the student journalist, and try to block access? yes. Was photographing the camp going to be the journalistic expose of the century? not really. This wasn’t a world leader blocking the press from photographing the site of a mass grave. Schierbecker too kinda now just seems like he’s a little sore that Tim Tai is getting all the accidental hero status for this…


She already gave a fairly lengthy apology for her actions that day.

I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologies and to express regret over my actions. I regret the language and strategies I used, and sincerely apologize to the MU campus community, and journalists at large, for my behavior, and also for the way my actions have shifted attention away from the students’ campaign for justice.

It wasn’t even a weasly apology, it didn’t defend her actions.

Now the question is whether Click didn’t grovel enough to the student in person?

Keep up the reporting over the incident itself, but not on whether there was a sufficient enough apology.


Oh, I have no taste for insincere apologies (really, I don’t have much of a taste for them in general, I’ve always found the concept of ‘forgiveness’ to philosophically baffling; and most public apologies are from people where either the issue is minor, and the apology purely a formality, or the issue is major and it doesn’t matter how sorry they are, it’s time to get rid of them).

The issue here is that we saw one apology, which she made public(and we can analyze that one as we wish), it is also reported that she made one to the photographer in question; and now this student reports that one was made to him, as well.

However, we don’t actually know anything about any of the apologies except the public one. All we know is that the apologized-to ‘feels’ that the apology was insincere. Somebody’s feelings about an incident we have no other line of sight into is pretty close to less-than-zero information.

That is why I am so deeply pessimistic about this line of inquiry. We have already gained access to the public apology; and we have already had reports of the apology to the caught-on-tape guy. Now, it’s a question of how many not-caught-on-tape students decide that they were victimized; and each one’s subjective impression of whether the apology they received soothed all their feels or not.

Analysis of the apology we have access to is a valid line of inquiry; but a student saying that an apology(of which not even an outline is available) did not ‘feel’ sincere; is a vacuous globule of affect-laced non-information. An epistemic black hole.


Really, I found it to be particularly weaselly, esp. the first line:

Yesterday was an historic day at MU — full of emotion and confusion. I
have reviewed and reflected upon the video of me that is circulating,
and have written this statement to offer both apology and context for my

She’s setting herself up with an out in the very first line. Everything was so emotional and confusing that she forgot about the rights of others and that she really oughtn’t call out enforcers to molest others. Man, what a day. I hate it when that happens to me.

We don’t know the content of what she expressed to Schierbecker in her office or why he feels it was insufficient.

I think Schierbecker is right to go to the police. Tai should, as well. I’m no lawyer–but that won’t stop me from saying that what she may be considered assault and incitement of assault. (Wait, is the latter a thing? Sounds like it should be.) I would encourage any journalist–student or not–to do the same on principle.


Who are these bozos sending her threatening emails? If I were her, I would make them public.


I imagine something like this:

"Dear Melissa Click,

Intimidation has no legitimate use in public discourse; using force, or threats of force, can only redound to the discredit of whatever point of view you are trying to advance.

If you don’t understand this, I will shove your head in a steam engine.

Yours Truly,
I. Ron Eblind"


This entire thing is what is wrong with going down the road of being overly sensitive about everything. She’s a twit. End of story. And while her and the others keeping this kid out are in fact wrong…He wasn’t assaulted. All of it…all of them need to be boiled in their own pudding.


From what I hear, it’s rape and death threats.

I hate to be a concern troll, but for the sake of keeping the focus squarely on racism at Missou the photographer and whoever recorded Click need to calm down. The student filing the complaint especially seems to be putting his own need to be a part of the story ahead of people who are getting actual racist filth (and worse) thrown at them on a constant basis.

If you’ve been assaulted you wouldn’t ask the assaulter to give you an apology first before going to authorities, so I think people are right to be skeptical of his motives.


I suspected whatever rotgut the misogynistic rageholics might be drinking wouldn’t be drawn from the upper shelves, but for reasons of good taste, my parody only goes so far as ‘steam engine’.

If the photographer had approached Click, shoved her and then called for “muscle” to move her away so he could film, do you think it would be OK for the police to charge him?


Is that exactly the same thing that happened though? I’m not trying to defend her actions, but the backlash has been vitriolic and deeply gendered. I think something in the heat of the moment, either way, where no one actually go physically hurt, might not need to be escalated to the level of calling the police and filing charges. She lost her appointment at the journalism school and she apologized.

But it’s his legal right to bring her up on charges, I suppose.


Unfortunately, I think the misogynistic rageholes are much more prevalent than we like to imagine.


Well, technically, the protests occurring on campus are because of events where no one got physically hurt. It is about attitudes and respect, and how one person makes another person feel. But the name of the game is escalation, largely based on rumors and allegations.

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No, it’s about structures. Go read @Supercrisp in the other thread about this and what it’s like for students on HBCU campuses, which are specifically supposed to function as a safe space for African American youths. The verbal assaults are part of the social and physical assaults on black Americans, which are continuous in our history. It’s never stopped.

ETA - also King (among many others) addressed the psychological effects of segregation, and much of his thoughts still apply to day:

Also, read people like DuBois and Baldwin on this aspect of racism (DuBois on Double Consciousness, etc)… or read the invisibile man by Ellison.


Your rhetoric does not offer clarity, it further distorts and exaggerates the situation.

Here is what happened, as I understand it:
Tai went against the wishes of the protesters and closely approached their camp, because he felt he had a right to. Nobody really wanted to talk to him. Click got angry that he was so close, and called for protesters to force Tai out. Tai refused to leave, and a crowd of protesters got in front of him, blocked his way, and gradually pushed him back.

Nobody got hurt, nobody’s privacy was violated, nobody was deprived of any important news or information, nobody’s legal rights were violated, and no crimes were committed (would-be internet lawyers notwithstanding). There’s really nothing remarkable about what actually happened at all.

What’s remarkable are the principles involved, the philosophies represented in these actions. It’s clear that you have some strong feelings about some of the relevant principles, and I want to encourage you to just come out and voice those directly, rather than trying to spin and characterize what actually happened.

Because what actually happened is pretty unimportant, it’s obvious the reason it’s being blogged and discussed is that it evokes a particular narrative about the Liberal And Academic Yet Ironically Orwellian Thought Police Who Have Used Political Correctness To Promote Intolerance.

If y’all want to talk about that, let’s. If we want to argue about who touched who how hard, and the legal definition of assault, I think that’s avoiding the point of why we’re interested in the story in the first place.


The student filing the complaint especially seems to be putting his own
need to be a part of the story ahead of people who are getting actual
racist filth (and worse) thrown at them on a constant basis.

No. This is your Star Trek moment. This is the point where Picard reminds us that we don’t cast out the fundamental rights we hold dear when it is inconvenient.

By Crom, yes, racism at Missou is a critically important issue. A human issue. All the more reason not to trample the rights of others in the process.