This Friday, a University of Mississippi (also known as “Ole Miss”) fraternity has been suspended indefinitely and three students expelled after a noose was found hanging on a statue of civil rights icon James Meredith.
According to police, three freshmen from Georgia hung the noose around the statue and plastered a confederate flag-containing emblem on the statue’s face. Criminal charges could possibly be filed against the former students, along with the incident being labeled as a hate crime.
But although the University tried to characterize the incident as isolated, Ole Miss has a troubling past of racial problems that seem to be deeply embedded in the area’s culture.
[box type=”shadow”]Just a day after the noose was discovered, a black Ole Miss student reported that a truck full of students threw alcohol on her and called her racist names while she was walking to her car. Ole Miss was also thrust in the spotlight after the 2012 election, when hundreds of Ole Miss students rioted, screaming racial epithets about President Obama and black people in general.[/box]
“It is embarrassing that these men had previously identified with our fraternity,” said Brian C. Warren Jr., CEO of the fraternity the freshmen belonged to. “[Sigma Phi Epsilon] as a national fraternity has championed racial equality and issues on diversity since 1959 when it became the first national fraternity to invite members of all races, creeds and religions to join its membership.”
Watch a CNN report on the story below: