The student uprising over racial insensitivity at the University of Missouri that led to the resignation of school President Tim Wolfe is one of the most significant chapters in the civil rights movement since Selma and the Voting Rights Act.
For starters, it was speech and perceived attitudes rather than outright discrimination that were at the center of the debate.
Two, for the first time in years, the protests were not triggered by a shooting or a beating.
Three, the movement was entirely peaceful and respectful. There were no no arrests. No window breaking.
Finally, and perhaps most important, for the first time black athletes as a group became the lead agents of change, when the football team threatened to go on strike.
Think of what could happen if college athletic departments stepped up and started talking about racism. Take it up a level, and if the Stephen Currys and LeBron Jameses of the world got involved, you could have an open discussion of what so many black kids face and endure, almost in silence.
This was the new generation talking with force and respect and without the appearance of a single Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.
It was absolutely awesome.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Willie L. Brown, Jr.