Our Problem Solved
Oxford, Miss.- Mississippi is home to 2.9 million people which include Morgan Freeman, Brett Farve, Walter Peyton, William Faulkner and the king, Elvis Presley. Mississippi has a rich, Southern heritage yet, the state still searches for a solution for its on-going social injustice and racist problems.
“The only way to get rid of racism at our school is to stop talking about it,” preached Ole Miss student Evan Brown. Maybe this is the solution our rebel family has been looking for. Could it really be that easy? “Sure there is going to be bumps in the road like that kid last year who put the noose on the James Meredith statue but the school and cops took care of it. I just do not see why the racism card is always played. It’s 2015 we’ve moved on from that,” continued Evan Brown.
When Graeme Phillip Harris and his aquitances vandalized the James Meredith statue in early 2014, he thought it was simply a joke. Last month, U.S. District Judge Michael Mills convicted Harris to serve six months in prison and 100 community service hours. Harris’ “joke” added gas to the social justice fire that has been rampant all across the Ole Miss community since former Chancellor Robert Khayat’s tenure.
The University of Mississippi has made a variety of efforts to break off the racist chains that hold the instituion down. In 1997, Chancellor Khayat banned the Confederate flag at sporting events. “I was a junior when Ole Miss said we couldn’t wave the [Confederate] flag anymore at games. I didn’t think there was anything wrong doing it because the whole crowd did. We just thought it as a piece of fabric. Even my black friends waved it but I never thought they would be offended by it because I didn’t see them as different from me,” recounted Ole Miss alum Seth Champion.
Colonel Reb was deemed as racist because he resembles a plantation owner and he was removed from football sidelines in 2003. In 2010, a student led committee held an election for students, alumni, and faculty for a new mascot. Now Ole Miss has the Rebel Black Bear as the symbol for the school. Recent graduate Sam Lambert said, “Not alot of people were happy about Ole Miss changing the mascot. I was just a freshman when it happened. I don’t think Colonel Reb is racist because he’s based off Blind Jim who was a black man and alot of people don’t know that. I think Colonel Reb is called racist because that’s what people misinterpreted him to be.”
The administration at Ole Miss attempts its best to ensure equal treatment for all students. The first to statements in the Ole Miss creed are, “I believe in respect for the dignity of each person… I believe in fairness and civility.”
Ole Miss is making a slow but steady process to break away from its grim past. The University’s Associated Student Body Senate will vote on Oct. 20 to take down the Mississippi flag on campus. National news outlets such as CNN have made an appearence on campus and are interviewing students about their opinon to keep the state flag or not. The Ku Klux Klan has also made an appearence on campus to fight against what Ole Miss is trying to do.
This is not the only time the Ku Klux Klan has come to Ole Miss. Just last year, Klan members rallied to protest the changes previous Chancellor Dan Jones and his administration made which was changing Confederate Drive on campus to Chapel Lane but when is enough going to be enough? Rumors swirled around Ole Miss last year that Dan Jones got ousted as chancellor because he enticed donors by all of the politically correct changes he was making. Whatever the case may be, Dan Jones was following the creed of Ole Miss.
Racism is being resolved at the University of Mississippi slowly but surely. Rome was not built in a day. Great things take time to process. The simple solution to the school problem is stop stirring the pot. That goes for both sides either black, white, yellow or purple. Rather than black lives matter, it is all lives matter. One day soon the University of Mississippi will be ultimatley united no matter what the color a person’s skin is. We are all apart of the human race and we are all apart of the Ole Miss family. Ole Miss will only find peace when racism is neither seen nor heard.