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University Identifies Suspect in Racism Investigation

Nathan Lawrence

In a statement Tuesday morning, the University of Missouri said it has moved a student from campus in response to an incident involving racist remarks that occurred early Monday morning.

Members of the Legion of Black Collegians, the official black student government at MU, were rehearsing for a homecoming performance at Traditions Plaza shortly after midnight Monday morning when a white man interrupted them and, after being asked to leave, called the group a racial slur.

University Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was out of town at the time of the incident, but released a statement and video message Monday afternoon about the students’ experience with discrimination.

“I am sorry that racism continues to hurt our students, faculty and staff. We are challenged by the fact that it is difficult to change people’s hearts and attitudes, but we are not deterred.” Loftin wrote in his statement. “We will continue to work so that everyone, regardless of background, feels welcome and included at Mizzou — because everyone is.”

The incident on Sunday is not the first in the university's academic year. In late September, two black women reported to MU police that a man yelled “Ku Klux Klan” as he drove by in his truck while the women were walking near the journalism school.

A week before that, president of the Missouri Students Association Peyton Head had racial slurs shouted at him from a passing truck. Head went on to write an online letter, which gained media attention and was featured in the Washington Post, detailing his experiences of racism on campus.

Students have held multiple anti-racism demonstrations on campus during the past two weeks, most recently on Oct. 2 at the MU Student Center.