Having established itself as the national poster child for campus dysfunction, the University of Missouri seems intent on preserving that distinction with its launch of a racially exclusionary program called “Healing From Racial Injustices.”
Healing from Racial Injustices describes itself as “a group for students, staff, and faculty of color to build community, share experiences as a person of color at a Predominately White Institution, and heal together.” The language reads like a parody, but it is apparently a real program with sponsors such as the Department of Black Studies, the College of Education, the Department of Psychological Sciences, the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Inequity, and the Department of Educational, School, & Counseling Psychology. Your Missouri tax dollars at work!
One purpose of the group is to “process race-related macro and micro aggressions.” These aggressions must be more micro than macro as the group meets just one hour a week, on Friday from 2-3 p.m., pizza provided. Group discussions have focused on “racial identity develop (sic), mindfulness, colorism, self-love, and experiences of holding two or three marginalized identities.” The group also develops skills “for surviving and resisting hate through the use of emotional regulation, mindfulness, and distress tolerance.” There is that “mindfulness” again, whatever exactly that means.
The group’s Facebook page has garnered only one comment, and it is, to say the least, a rather insensitive one. It features a photo of a group of chimpanzees under the heading “micro aggression session.” It was allegedly posted by a fellow named Peter Di Gaudio.
The one Peter Di Gaudio on Facebook is something of a cat fancier as his homepage is filled with cat photos. There is nothing about his page to suggest he would post something so defiant and career-killing, at least from 2017. His 2016 posts tell another story. A Hillary Clinton supporter, he comments over a photo of Donald Trump, “If you are supporting Trump now, chances are you would have supported Hitler in Germany in the 1930s.” In another post, Di Gaudio links his love with his hate, “Do me a favor: if you support Donald Trump, unfriend me now. I cannot tolerate that level of stupid. I pull things out of the cats’ litterboxes smarter than Trump supporters.”
Stranger still, when one clicks the link to Di Gaudio it goes directly to The Bridge, another related MU program whose mission is “Connecting Our Shared Humanity” and which is actively promoting the Healing from Racial Injustices program. The Di Gaudio post has the earmarks of a fake microagression. The Sentinel is endeavoring to get to the bottom of this mystery.