Update: Black Grad Student on Hunger Strike at University of Missouri

Jonathan L. Butler demands that the school's president step down after racist incidents on campus.

UPDATE: Players on the University of Missouri football team are striking in solidarity, calling for Mizzou president Tim Wolfe to resign. 

Defensive back Anthony Sherrils, who had survived a traumatic brain injury before joining the team, still put it all on the line. "The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe 'Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere,'" he tweeted. "We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students' experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!"

"Our coaches are 100% behind us. Including the white ones," tweeted cornerback John Gibson III.

A statement from athletic department spokesman Chad Moller backed that claim, reports CBS. "The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes. We all must come together with leaders from across our campus to tackle these challenging issues and we support our student-athletes right to do so."

Wolfe has issued a statement as well, according to KOMU. "Racism does exist at our university and it is unacceptable... I am sorry this is the case. I truly want all members of our university community to feel included, valued and safe." 



A University of Missouri-Columbia grad student is taking a stand against the racist incidents that have happened in the last several months under the school president's watch.

Jonathan L. Butler, who is 25, says he will not end a one-man hunger strike until President Tim Wolfe steps down. He has only drank water since Nov. 2. “My body feels like it’s on fire,” Butler told The Washington Post on Thursday. “I have pain all over. I’m exhausted. Of course, I’m hungry. I’ve got an ongoing headache.”

In September, Payton Head, the Missouri Students Association president, was called a n****r by a group of screaming students. In early October, members of the Legion of Black Collegians were in the campus plaza when a drunk student yelled n*****s at them. Once the student was identified, he was removed from campus. In mid October, a swastika was drawn, on a new dormitory wall, in feces.

Reportedly, there have been several such incidents in the last few months at the school. Butler, and other Black students at Mizzou, say the campus culture is still deteriorating. And school officials aren't doing enough about it.

“I already feel like campus is an unlivable space,” said Butler. “So it’s worth sacrificing something of this grave amount, because I’m already not wanted here. I’m already not treated like I’m a human.”

The school's chancellor responded in a statement this week.

"Racism has deep roots at our university. Racism shapes the current climate for and educational experience of all of our students," R. Bowen Loftin said. "We must create a better future. I, together with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters, commit to working each day to find solutions, to define new pathways for culture change and to strive to make our university an inclusive and welcoming environment for all."

President Wolfe has agreed to meet with Butler, but the student says he won't be satisfied until Wolfe steps down.

Watch: BET News: ‘I Will Graduate’ Week Encourages Hundreds of Kids in NYC in the video below.

(Photo: Jonathan L. Butler via Facebook)

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