What's Happening In Your World

Riot At Ole Miss; A Symptom of Racial Issues In Mississippi

by JR, Your Black World

Racial tensions have increased at Ole Miss in the last week after 400 students became involved in a protest against President Obama’s re-election. Racial slurs and other pre-Civil Rights style attitudes were brought to light by the angry mob. It was even alleged (but denied by the Dean of Old Miss) that people were throwing rocks at the protest. The social media purported protest leaves a lot of people feeling uneasy as it brought spoken racism back to the Ole Miss campus and back into the national spotlight.

The Riot at Ole Miss took place barely over a month after the 50th Anniversary of James Meredith’s first day of school, integrating the college. Holbrook Mohr, a writer, wrote, “Rumors about the situation were fueled on Twitter after the university’s student journalists posted a video referring to the gathering as “riots.” … One picture that spread rapidly on social media shows people burning an Obama campaign sign, but the university hasn’t confirmed that the picture was taken on campus. The chancellor said some photos shared on social media showed things that were not seen by police on campus, but the reports of uncivil language and racial slurs appeared to be accurate.”

Other people, like journalism instructor Ellen Meacham, think that the press is overreacting to the entire situation. According to Meacham, the angry gathering of 400 students on Ole Miss’ campus was not a riot. A riot would have looked more like the uprising at Ole Miss after James Meredith became the first black person to enroll at the college. Meredith’s first day of school included 3,000 soliders, over 500 law enforcement officers and an angry mob that killed two white men and resulted in over 200 injuries.

Maybe Meacham does have a point. No one was hurt and no one needed to send a militia to break up a violent civil dispute. But what Meacham may be choosing to overlook is that people communicate differently now than they did 50 years ago. We now live in a time where it is not socially acceptable to start a racial war on a college campus. We also live in a time where expressing your disdain for another race will get you fired, or knock you down the social ladder.

More importantly, we live in a time where social media lends an eager hand to repress or ignite disputes of angered citizens who feel the need to express themselves. A few changed statuses and some Twit pics lead to a flash mob of angry students shouting racial slurs at a college that already has its own racial issues, in a state that is not historically tolerant.

Although they could not practice it legally, Mississippi did not ratify the 13th amendment prohibiting slavery until 1995, a good 130 years after the government had already outlawed it for everyone. Black unemployment in Mississippi is at 18.9% which is 8.5% higher than the rest of the state and is 12% higher than national unemployment.

Some people may not want to admit that there is a problem in Mississippi, but it is evident in statistics that depict the African-American experience in the state. It was made even more clear on Ole Miss’ campus; a college campus where some of America’s best and brightest are being shaped to become future leaders of this country.


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11 comments

  1. what about the adds about great area for baby boomers to retire with low crime/ well hate crimes are not low in my book/ have been checking on line about it but but now have run into a brick wall/ some people still live in the dark ages and I agree one bad apple should not ruin the whole barrow/ also planning on attending a football game but not till garbage cleaned up/an I have to realize it denotes immaturity but still it affects the community and even other states as well as miss.

  2. Black ath. stop playing for them, and we see how much money they can generate. Their economy will fall into the dirt.

  3. The southern bigots will never change, they think they are God give to the world. They receive more tax dollar from the Government then any other region. Another thing Miss. is the poorest as far as economic, than all 50 states.

  4. Unfortunately, Mississippi is not the only state that is expressing its ugly face of racism; the whole race and demographics of the campaign illustrated racism throughout this country. Much healing is needed in the land!

  5. I say let that state rot with their casinos, and hate. I for one will never spend a nickel in the awful state.

  6. these instances should be documented so they will not become our leaders.

  7. There was never any national race of Black/White no such nation ever existed only in mindset not in the world of nations.

  8. Race can only be identified by nationality Europeans have theirs/(Afrikans).
    Moors have theirs.

  9. There is only one Race : THE HUMAN RACE anything else that is portraited is not so.

    • Yeah Quentin, but from whose blood? Two whites can only produce white, as well as the brown, red and yellow None of them can produce black, but we produce all of them.

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