Melissa Click was nearly universally excoriated last fall when she was caught on video blocking journalists from filming protests at The University of Missouri.
She hit back at critics this week in an interview in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the interview, she suggested that Mizzou’s Board of Curators fired her because of her race, according to Reason.com.
“This is all about racial politics,” she told The Chronicle, according to Reason. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”
The confrontation between Click and the reporter last fall took place amid racial tension that had been accelerating since September on the Columbia, Missouri, campus.
Several African-American students on campus had been targeted with hate speech, and students on campus called for then president Tim Wolfe’s resignation, according to the Columbia Missourian. Wolfe resigned in November.
In the video, Click suggested removing journalists by force.
“Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” she asked in the video. “I need some muscle over here.”
Those remarks went viral and ignited fury from critics, who noted that as a media professor, Click should understand that the First Amendment protects her right to protest as well as reporters’ rights to film on public property.