The University of Missouri has been rocked by race-related protests over the last few weeks—but it looks like activists may have found another villain: Christians.
In Mizzou’s “free speech zone”—apparently, the First Amendment right to free speech is not available throughout the public university’s campus—a man was identified as a Mizzou student and Christian preacher, but his name has not been identified.
Holding a protest sign that promised “salvation to all that obey Him,” and referenced the Bible verse Hebrews 5:9, the preacher was vocally criticizing the African-American community, claiming that many of them were arrested by the police because they had an attitude of “eff the police.”
He quickly attracted a crowd of angry black protestors, but the preacher continued his speech. The attack started after the preacher referenced the death of Michael Brown, the Missouri teenager who was shot while attacking a police officer and sparked the first waves of the so-called “Black Lives Matter” protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
The preacher said: “Michael Brown died because he had a disrespect for authority.”
In a video uploaded to Periscope, that was quickly the straw that broke the camel’s back; a black male protestor ripped the preacher’s sign from his hands, threw it to the ground, and then began physically assaulting the preacher—first by pushing him, and then by punching him in the face. Both the attacker and the victim were quickly separated and held back by other protestors.
After the assault, another protestor grabbed the preacher’s microphone to turn the conversation away from Christianity, and back to racism and oppression.
Police have yet to make an arrest or identify the attacker. A later photo of the victim showed him with a bloody lip, but otherwise uninjured.