Dear Melissa Click: Your Apology Is Bulls***

Columns in front of University of Missouri building in Columbia, Missouri, USA
Columns in front of University of Missouri building in Columbia, Missouri, USA

The Mizzou professor caught on camera trying to stop student journalists from reporting in a public space issued an apology for her actions, and it's a wholly self-serving, insincere joke that only underscores how little she thinks she did wrong.

Here, line by line, I'd like to walk her through it. So, Professor Click, this is for you. The sentences from your apology are blockquoted; why it's all bullshit is explained underneath each sentence.

Yesterday was an historic day at MU--full of emotion and confusion.

Were you confused about whether you were still in the U.S.? No? Then this is bullshit.

And if you can't manage to respect basic civil rights when you get a little bit emotional, then you sure as heck shouldn't be working on a college campus. You may not know this, but occasionally, college students can be dramatic. Like, super dramatic. So again, bullshit.

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 actions.

The fact that you think context would make your actions less horrifying implies that you think assaulting a student and trying to incite a mob to violence against him would, with the right context, be a reasonable course of action.

It wouldn't. That's bullshit.

I have reached out to the journalists involved to offer my sincere apologizes and to express regret over my actions.

Oh, so you should get pass because you had the good sense to threaten students far more reasonable than you are? Bullshit.

I'm glad you've gotten half forgiveness from the people you've directly harmed. But your apology is so obviously insincere that I have no confidence you won't do it again. At best, you're sorry the camera was running.

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.

So assaulting a student photographer is a "strategy" and you're sorry you didn't say nicer things while you did it? Bullshit. Your problem wasn't that you used the wrong language or you used the wrong technique; your problem was that your understanding of civil rights was selfish and hollow.

You shouldn't have been trying to stop reporters at all. That's not about "language" or "technique," that's about knowing right from wrong and your basic legal obligations as a state employee. And that you don't know that already is bullshit.

My actions were shaped by exasperation with a few spirited reporters.

Grow up. Most of us manage to make it through the day without having an emotional hissy fit that causes us to try to incite a mob. Even if your goal itself wasn't entirely illegal (that is, to stop people from exercising their First Amendment rights), forcing someone to stop taking video by putting your hands on him is not "exasperation," it's "assault."

From this experience I have learned a lot about humanity and humility.

Oh, humanity and humility? Great. Did you also learn not to violate civil rights of students? No? Just humanity and humility? Bullshit.

When I apologized to Tim Tai in a phone call this afternoon, he accepted my apology.

So? We should put you back in a classroom to wait until you get "exasperated" or have another "emotional and confusing" day? Bullshit. I dunno how many get-out-of-civil-rights-violations free cards you got when you showed up at Mizzou, but if you read the fine print, it only works if you aren't on camera when you do it.

But hey, couldn't expect you to know that. It's not like you're some kind of mass media professor. Oh, wait.

I believe he is doing a difficult job, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with him.

Well, y'know, you had two opportunities to speak with him. You just used the first one to have a hissy fit-fueled power play that turned you into a national disgrace. You're the reason he has a difficult job. So, y'know, bullshit.

His dignity also speaks well to the Journalism program at MU.

On the other hand, the fact that you had a courtesy appointment there... suggests bullshit.

Again, I wish to express my sincere apology for my actions on Carnahan Quad yesterday.

Again, bullshit.

If Mizzou doesn't fire you, it will have earned the reputation it now has in the newsrooms of America.