In the early hours of this past Sunday morning, the James Meredith statue on the Ole Miss campus was defaced with an old Georgia state flag - most of which is the Confederate flag - and a noose, per a university release. Witnesses saw two men near the statue at the time of the incident, both of which were reportedly wearing camouflage pants and heard shouting racial slurs. Anyone with any information leading to the arrest of these vandals is asked to contact the University Police Department at 662-915-7234.
In addition, the Ole Miss Alumni Association - of which I'm a proud lifetime member - is offering a $25,000 reward to any information which leads to the arrest of these two suspects.
It goes without saying that this event is saddening, frustrating, and embarrassing. As an alumnus of the University of Mississippi, there is a lot about the school I am proud of. There are also a lot of fantastic people who are Ole Miss alumni, not the least of which is James Meredith himself, who I can boast to have something in common with. But when a pair of miscreants who are, presumably, students of the university do something so brazen and ignorant as to deface a statue which signifies the events of the American Civil Rights movement which took place on our campus, it serves to undo all of the work so many of us have done for the benefit of our university and state.
It's an oft heard refrain around these parts, but this story once again proves that we've come a long way, but still have a long way to go.
We will have more of our thoughts to share on this issue as we can cogently develop them. Until then, let us know how you feel about this.