Payton Head
Twitter

It wasn't the first time that Payton Head had been called "n—ger" on the University of Missouri campus, but this time he figured he was going to do something about it.

So the senior and president of the Missouri Students Association took to his Facebook page to vent about the most recent event during which passengers inside a pickup truck began yelling racial slurs as Head walked down a street. 

"Some guys in the back of a pickup just started yelling the n-word at me," Head told the Columbia Missourian. "I could either not say anything and go about my night, or I could finish my term and stay angry, or I could say something."

So he wrote about how it feels to be marginalized and disrespected. 

"I really just want to know why my simple existence is such a threat to society," Head wrote in a Facebook post. "For those of you who wonder why I'm always talking about the importance of inclusion and respect, it's because I've experienced moments like this multiple times at THIS university, making me not feel included here.

Advertisement

"Many of you are so privileged that you'll never know what it feels like to be a hijab-wearing Muslim woman and be called a terrorist or a towel head. You don't have to think about being transgender and worrying about finding a restroom where you can go and not be targeted for violence because you don't fit into the gender binary," he wrote.

He continued: "You've never had to experience people throwing drinks on you and yelling [F—GOT] at you from the patio at Big 12 as you walk past on the street holding hands with your partner. You might never had to think twice about what you're wearing walking around campus at night so that someone won't think it's okay to take ownership of your body because your outfit was 'asking for it.'

"These are some of my experiences and the experiences of the ones closest to me."

Advertisement

Head told the Columbia Missourian that he wrote the post to call attention to these problems and to issue a call to action to students not to stand passively by if they witness this behavior. 

"This is what I'm fighting against every day in boardrooms, conferences, meetings, classrooms, the Capitol, and in my daily life," Head wrote in his Facebook post. "This is my reality. Is it weird that I think that I have the right to feel safe here, too? If you see violence like this and don't say anything, you, yes YOU, are a part of the problem."

Head ended his post: "Your [N—ger/F—got] Missouri Students Association President, Payton Head."

Advertisement

The post has been shared over 900 times on Facebook, and Cathy Scroggs, the university's vice chancellor of student affairs, posted on Head's Facebook page: "Payton is a profile in courage."

Read more at the Columbia Missourian