Graduate students Reuben Faloughi and Danielle Walker were drawing attention to racial injustices on this campus on the morning of Friday, Oct. 9. They stood along with three other protesters at the top of Turner Avenue Garage holding a sign that said in all capital letters: “RACISM LIVES HERE,” the official name of the series of protests against racist incidents on MU’s campus.
The tone seemed to be much lighter than the previous two protests. This time, the participants stood on the top level of the garage and tried to get the attention of pedestrians walking on the street.
“I like your bag,” one protester said to a passerby.
“Happy Homecoming,” another protester said. “Turn up.”
On another occasion, Faloughi said to a student on the street, “Keep your head up too, brother.”
This event differed greatly from the two that came before it. The previous protest, held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the Student Center, created an intense environment as event organizers and other participants’ experiences of racial discrimination echoed off the walls of the building.
At the climax of the Oct. 1 protest, Faloughi stood on a chair outside The Mizzou Store and addressed Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Cathy Scroggs, Director of Student Life Dr. Mark Lucas and many students.
“Students get served violence on this campus: physical, emotional, spiritual and fucking mental,” he said. “I’ve been in small group because students don’t have a space on this campus. No, those centers downstairs aren’t for everybody. They don’t always feel welcome. I’ve been in conversations where black students have thought about committing suicide — suicide — because they don’t belong. They don’t feel like they belong.”
Besides comments to individuals, the participants holding the sign did not chant specific messages relating to their movement. All five of the participants declined to comment on the event.
Another Racism Lives Here event was scheduled for the same day at 5:30 p.m. at the Reynolds Alumni Center, but the event was canceled.
(Tess Vrbin contributed to this report)