Old Tricks at Old Miss … And Old Miss Responds

From the University of Mississippi:

At the request of Chancellor Dan Jones, the university’s Alumni Association has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two individuals involved in an early morning incident on The University of Mississippi campus.

The University Police Department (UPD) is looking for two men who were seen early Sunday morning near the James Meredith statue, which commemorates the 1962 integration of the university. One of the men was reported to have been wearing camouflage pants. The statue had been draped with a noose and an old Georgia state flag, and the men were heard shouting racial slurs.

Jones condemned the action as contrary to the beliefs and values of the university community. “These individuals chose our university’s most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values. Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue – Courage, Knowledge, Opportunity, and Perseverance.”

Assistant to the Chancellor for Multicultural Affairs Don Cole reiterated the creed that the university stands by. “This is particularly painful because the James Meredith statue has become a gathering place for students to discuss many things, including the tenets of our creed, which calls for dignity and respect for all people.”

More on this story here and here.

Just because someone does something at a university does not make that action representative of the university community. We see that in the outrage expressed by administrators, alumni, and students.

12 thoughts on “Old Tricks at Old Miss … And Old Miss Responds

  1. Eric A. Jacobson February 18, 2014 / 12:34 pm

    Ugh. As an Ole Miss guy, this just sickens me.

  2. Patrick Young February 18, 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Glad to see students and administration quickly condemning the hate crime. The use of a noose shows the violent nature of the people who carried out the crime, even if only symbolic. They did not say they disagreed with integration, they said they wanted to kill Meredith and presumably other students who looked like him. Interestingly, they associated the violence of lynching with the Confederate Battle flag.

    I doubt many U of Miss students agree with that sort of violent racism, and perhaps this will give the faculty a chance to discuss the politer sorts of prejudice that may still exist there.

  3. Thelibertylamp February 18, 2014 / 12:50 pm

    It could be totally possible that these might be people who are not tied to the university but local racists.

  4. Bob Nelson February 18, 2014 / 1:03 pm

    Really, really sick. Just when you think we have turned the corner in race relations in this country, we get an ugly reminder such as this. Very sad.

  5. Roger E Watson February 18, 2014 / 1:09 pm

    Can’t wait to see the congratulatory posts at the southern hate sites. I think both Brad and Billy have been known to wear camo. Probably Connie, too.

  6. Brad Griffin February 18, 2014 / 3:28 pm

    It is probably another hoax like dozens of other incidents that I have seen over the years.

  7. Clark B. Hall February 18, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    Growing up in Neshoba County, Mississippi, I wanted to go to Ole Miss but was deservedly turned down for an athletic scholarship and then went far away (1963). But I wasn’t mad over the predictable rejection and in fact sent both my kids there. Brian and Melissa loved their school experience, as their dad promised they would.
    I have been back to Oxford many times and being nobody’s fool regarding the violent history of race relations in Philadelphia, Mississippi (my home), I have been extremely impressed with the smooth progressivism of both students and faculty. Race relations are soft and easy on that splendid campus and as a visitor, I have never seen or heard anything that approaches race or cultural insensitivity at Ole Miss.
    I’m betting these two yahoos either had no connection to the university; or they became socially marginalized and ignorantly struck back.

  8. Lyle Smith February 18, 2014 / 10:44 pm

    Even if there wasn’t outrage expressed by the university community one with any knowledge of the university would know that this act doesn’t represents the university community. Furthermore, I was taught in college that guilt by association is a logical fallacy.

    • Brooks D. Simpson February 18, 2014 / 11:01 pm

      And we all know that rule should apply in all sorts of circumstances …. but we know others behave otherwise.

      • Lyle Smith February 19, 2014 / 10:03 pm

        Of course.

  9. Bob Nelson February 19, 2014 / 2:21 am

    There was a copycat incident at Grand Valley State sometime yesterday when somebody drew a scaffold with racial slurs and epithets on a dry-erase marker board in one of the classrooms. I suspect there will be more on other campuses.

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