America has long been known as the “land of the free.” Why, then, in recent years, does it often seem the opposite of this sentiment? Racial tension is hardly a new topic in the country, but in Missouri, various incidents have sparked controversy that has eventually led to involvement with civil rights organizations and state laws.
The “Show-Me-State,” recognized for its beautiful landscapes and lively urban areas, has recently become recognized for less endearing traits: racism. An article from CNN describes in detail the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s recent travel advisory for the state of Missouri. In the travel advisory that was issued this past month, the NAACP warns citizens of color that their civil rights could be violated in the state of Missouri — the first of its kind in the history of the organization. According to the NAACP, the Senate Bill 43, which made it more difficult for citizens to sue for housing and employment discrimination, along with the state’s long history of civil rights violations, forced the organization to announce the travel warning. Not only does Senate Bill 43 make legal action harder for people of color, but for minority groups of all kinds, as well.
Many residents of the state may ask, why Missouri? On top of Missouri’s history of growing racial tension, U.S. News points out that the taboo surrounding racial discussion only adds to the issue. Students and professors alike at the University of Missouri reportedly experience racial slurs and threats that they claim their white counterparts simply do not experience. Although the university has tightened its grip on security measures to help prevent such threats and segregation, laws surrounding the protection of black students could potentially play a major role in the overall quality of life of university students, as well as their basic safety and security.