A new piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education attempts to rehabilitate the image of disgraced ex-Mizzou professor Melissa Click.

Apparently, she’s the victim in all this.

Being Melissa Click

Last fall, as Melissa Click yelled and pointed her way into infamy, she quickly became a caricature of a radical faculty member who represented everything conservative lawmakers and pundits hate about academe, right down to her research on Twilight.

But while the video of her screaming at a student went viral, turning her into the Melissa Click, the confrontation on a quad during a protest here last year really wasn’t that remarkable, in her mind. The assistant professor of communication at the University of Missouri was just doing what other professors and administrators were doing there, too, she says. So why did she lose her job?

She has one idea. Under pressure from state legislators, she says, Missouri’s Board of Curators fired her to send a message that the university and the state wouldn’t tolerate black people standing up to white people. “This is all about racial politics,” she says. “I’m a white lady. I’m an easy target.”

Ms. Click has avoided the campus since she was fired in February, when she began moving out of her office in the dark so she wouldn’t run into anyone.

Returning this month to the site of her fateful confrontation with the student, she is skittish. Who will spot her? Someone always does. She eyes a family with a stroller and steels herself.

Controversy has overwhelmed Ms. Click since that day last fall, when the student journalist recorded her frantically calling for “muscle” to stop him from filming a campus protest.