Hey Mizzou, Where’s the Poop?

by Andrew C. McCarthy

I noted earlier that I will not believe the incidents of racism happened as alleged by University of Missouri agitators until some convincing proof is offered. Skepticism is the best policy given the plethora of false allegations of criminal and otherwise heinous misconduct on college campuses. Plus, most of us come from the due process culture campus leftists are trying to eradicate – the culture that presumes innocence and demands proof before we condemn.

Relying in part on a report from the Columbia Missourian, the Washington Post reported that, on October 24, “someone used their [sic] own feces to smear a swastika on a communal bathroom wall in a brand new residence hall.” The incident – I should say, the alleged incident – was interpreted by Residence Hall Association president Billy Donley to be a hateful targeting of “cultural and religious minorities in a place where students call their home.” It is said to have been the last straw for Jonathan Butler, the African-American student who went on a hunger strike to demand that the university’s president be fired. By the way, the racism is apparently so bad at Mizzou that Mr. Butler has chosen to pursue his Master’s degree (in education) there after attending the university as an undergraduate. Now in his eighth year at Mizzou, he hopes, according to NBC News, “to become an advocate and ‘social entrepreneur.’”

There may be no shortage of entrepreneurial enterprise at the university, but what is lacking is the production or publication of physical or pictorial evidence that there really was a poop swastika smeared on the wall. That has the Federalist’s Sean Davis asking, “Was the Poop Swastika Incident at Mizzou a Giant Hoax?

Having done some digging, Mr. Davis writes:

According to Billy Donley, the president of Mizzou’s Residence Halls Association (RHA), the poop swastika was reported at approximately 2:00 a.m. on October 24, 2015.

“On Saturday, October 24th, at 2:00am an individual came into one of the restrooms in Gateway Hall and drew a swastika on the wall with their own feces,” Donley wrote in a letter several days after the alleged incident. “This event happened while many students, including myself, were already asleep.”

Later in his letter, Donley noted that he only founded [sic] out about the alleged vandalism incident “via a flyer posted on the walls” of the dorm.

Although Donley did not respond to repeated requests for comment prior to publication, The Federalist spoke with two RHA staffers while trying to get in touch with Donley. Neither had personally witnessed the poop swastika. When asked if there was any photographic evidence of the alleged incident, one staffer replied, “Not to my knowledge.”

Frankie Minor, the director of residential life at Mizzou, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on whether he personally saw the poop swastika or any photographic evidence of it.

The Federalist also attempted to contact Christian Basi, the associate director of the University of Missouri News Bureau, who previously told the Columbia Missourian on Oct. 30 that the incident had been immediately reported to Mizzou police. Basi did not respond to requests for comment prior to the publication of this article.

Calls to the University of Missouri Police Department, which responded to and investigated the alleged poop swastika incident, also failed to yield any evidence of the poopstika.

Multiple activists on Twitter pointed to this photo as proof that the incident occurred as reported, but a Google search for the same image shows that it has been floating around the Internet for nearly a year. A reddit thread from November of 2014 appears to contain the earliest publication of the photo in question, meaning that it most certainly does not constitute proof of the incident alleged to have occurred at Mizzou on October 24, 2015.

Maj. Brian Weimer, the public information officer for the Mizzou police department, told The Federalist that he also did not personally see the poop swastika that was reported to police. When asked if anyone in the police department personally witnessed the swastika, Maj. Weimer clammed up and referred all questions about the incident to the university’s custodian of public records.

Think about that for a moment: Not a newsworthy event happens anymore, no matter how fleeting, without its being captured by the camera capabilities of ubiquitous cell phones. Here, the images would have made for invaluable grievance industry publicity. I daresay the New York Times and NBC would have run them more regularly than the Abu Ghraib photos. Moreover, if vandalism actually occurred as alleged in this instance, it would be grounds for prosecution. Therefore, the crime scene would have been preserved for hours, and thus available for taking pictures and video, while investigators did their forensic work. There would be police reports, file photos, preservation of the physical dung, and witness statements. There would be persons of interest identified and, since we’re talking about something that happened a couple of weeks ago, quite likely an arrest by now.  

Yet, at this point … we have nothing.

It is certainly possible that the police have some evidence that they are withholding from the public while they investigate — assuming that they are, in fact, investigating. But that would not explain the strange absence of photo evidence from students or administrators who had plenty of time to take pictures and, in light of what we’ve seen, plenty of incentive to alert the media to a sensational display of racism. Given that the president of one of the nation’s large university systems has been forced out over his failure to take decisive action, shouldn’t we have public disclosure of the evidence he should purportedly have acted on?

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