- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 14, 2015

Activists who have taken over U.S. college campuses last week protesting racial injustice took to Twitter to complain that news coverage of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris had stolen their spotlight.

Black Lives Matter and Mizzou protesters on Twitter said their struggles with racial oppression were being “erased” by the overwhelming news coverage of the killings of 129 people at the hands of Islamic State extremists.

“Racist white people kill me, you want everyone to have sympathy for YOUR tragedy, but you have none for ours,” one user tweeted, adding “#Mizzou.”

“Disgusted @ white conservative Americans using Paris as a ‘see black people, your woes here w/ us could be more extreme,’ but not surprised,” another user tweeted.

Many protesters, including Black Lives Matter national leaders, said the racial injustice at college campuses and the attacks in Paris were both acts of terrorism.

“Interesting how the news reports are covering the Paris terrorist attacks but said nothing abut the terrorist attack at #Mizzou,” one user tweeted reads.

“Paris attacks were terrorism. black students getting death threats on their college campuses (A SUPPOSED SAFE SPACE!!) is also TERRORISM,” another tweet reads.

“There is no rank order to injustice,” DeRay McKesson, a prominent civil rights activist, tweeted. “We fight for #Mizzou, #PrayForParis, and seek justice for #SandraBland — at the same time.”

In a statement Saturday night, the University of Missouri said the tweets were dispersed by “individuals from outside the Mizzou community in an attempt to create conflict.” 

Our hearts go out to the citizens of Paris and all those affected by the tragic events of last night,” the university said. “While our community has faced difficulties  over the past week, we express our sincere sympathy to those who have been affected by the events in Paris and remain committed to making Mizzou stronger and more inclusive.”

At least 129 people were killed in a string of shootings and suicide bombings carried out by Islamic State supporters in and around Paris on Friday night. French President Francois Hollande called the attacks an “act of war.”

Students at the University of Missouri have launched protests over several racial incidents they claimed were mishandled by university officials. University President Tim Wolfe stepped down amid the controversy.

Students complained of several incidents, including the appearance of a swastika drawn with feces and a prank in which white students placed cotton balls in the bushes outside a black culture center at the school. Black students also claimed that school officials had done little to combat racist remarks against them on campus.

Police arrested a 19-year-old man, Hunter Park, on charges of threatening on social media to shoot black students and administrators.

Missouri Student Body President Payton Head apologized last week after it was revealed that he lied about a “confirmed” Ku Klux Klan threat on campus.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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