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Tampa student solidarity with African American students at University of Missouri

By Jack Ling

Tampa students stand with African American students at Univ. of Missouri

Tampa, FL – Over 100 University of South Florida (USF) students and faculty members gathered on the steps of the Martin Luther King Plaza, Nov. 12, linking arms and holding a banner that declared “USF stands with Mizzou.”

Many campuses are holding similar solidarity rallies after several death threats were made against African American students who attend the University of Missouri.

During the campus speak-out, students addressed the racial taunts and threats of racist violence against African American students at the University of Missouri. They praised the student organizing and the Mizzou football team’s refusal to play until President Tim Wolfe resigned. Relating it back to the struggle of African American students at USF, one speaker specifically recalled the USF administration’s refusal to investigate racist harassment inside a sorority several months prior.

Even on short notice, the USF solidarity rally drew support from student leaders and groups, including Blackout Tampa, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). Students were united in demanding an end to racist discrimination at universities and spoke about building the African American liberation movement on campus.

“As we at USF show solidarity with the students of Mizzou, we also recognize that the fight against racism isn’t contained to the failure of one administrator, or university, but that the struggle against racist admissions practices and national oppression against African Americans is part of a larger issue of racism in American society,” said Sam Beutler of SDS.

A speaker for Blackout Tampa ended the event by stating they would not stop pressing their demands for justice on campus and an end to racist discrimination at the University of Missouri, USF, and across the country.

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