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Student leaders at the University of Mississippi voted on Tuesday night to remove the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederate battle emblem, from campus. Once the resolution is signed, it will be up to school administrators to act on it.
The university in Oxford, Mississippi, has a long record of racial turmoil. In 1962, it was the site of a violent protest to prevent the enrollment of James Meredith, a black military veteran. But Ole Miss students said Tuesday's decision signals an important shift for the school and the state as a whole.
"Seeing an institution with such an unpleasant history take steps toward progress can have an immense impact on the decisions of lawmakers," said Tysianna Marino, vice president of the University of Mississippi NAACP, prior to the vote. "We have the ability to show the nation Mississippi is not stagnant. We are ready for progress."
At Ole Miss, the flag flies on campus near a monument honoring Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. This is the first time in "recent history" that a student government resolution has been introduced to remove it, said Danny Blanton, a spokesman for the University of Mississippi.
But top Mississippi lawmakers have continued to ignore national calls to change the design of the state flag.
Members of the Ku Klux Klan and Mississippi's League of the South, a pro-secessionist group, showed up after the rally, The Clarion-Ledger reported. Marino told HuffPost that members used "racial slurs and chants."
"They simply answered our questions with more questions, and shouted things like 'Black lives don't matter, whites are more supreme,' and 'This is exactly why we should have remained segregated,'" Marino said.
Some conservative members of the Ole Miss student body oppose removing the state flag, including student senator Andrew Soper, 21, who started an online Change.org petition to keep it flying. It received "over 200 signatures in a couple hours ... and then I was made to take the petition down," he said.
Soper did not say who asked him to remove his petition, but there's now a competing Change.org petition calling for his impeachment.
"Politically correct positions should not be forced onto the students of the University of Mississippi by a few liberal leaning students and organizations, and media bias," Soper wrote on Facebook to HuffPost.
...whites are more supreme...
originally posted by: DAVID64
Can anyone tell me how taking down a flag will stop people from being racist?
It's another PC move to make themselves feel better and like they've done something to cure a problem that has no quick fix. "We took down a flag! POOF! Problem solved!"
But, they're right. Let's take down all the little symbols that may hurt someone's feelings.
Edit all the history books so no on can ever hear of it again. Let's bury history so deep, no one will ever know it happened.
Uhhhh, no. No history books are being changed. You're off in hyperbole land. In fact, we NEED to remember our past or we're doomed to repeat it. That doesn't mean we have to proudly display symbols of that dark past.
originally posted by: Bluntone22
In all seriousness, should we be erasing all the scars of our past?
Edit all the history books so no on can ever hear of it again.
THIS FALL, Texas schools will teach students that Moses played a bigger role in inspiring the Constitution than slavery did in starting the Civil War. The Lone Star State’s new social studies textbooks, deliberately written to play down slavery’s role in Southern history, do not threaten only Texans — they pose a danger to schoolchildren all over the country.