Ole Miss Removes Mississippi Flag With Confederate Emblem

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Essay: ‘Your Heritage is Hate’, Take Down The State Flag at Ole Miss.

Jackson, Miss. • The University of Mississippi has stopped flying the state flag on its Oxford campus because the banner contains the Confederate battle emblem that some see as a painful reminder of slavery and segregation. Whenever the wind blows and the Mississippi State flag flies boldly in the center of campus, it lets me know that at one point I was not wanted at this University. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.” The student senate voted 33-15-1 to take the flag down on Oct. 20 and, six days later, the banner came down, following similar recommendations from the Faculty Senate, the Graduate Student Council and the Staff Council. “As Mississippi’s flagship university, we have a deep love and respect for our state,” Stocks said. “Because the flag remains Mississippi’s official banner, this was a hard decision. The Confederate flag became a contentious public issue following the shooting deaths of several black parishioners at a historic South Carolina church during an allegedly racially-motivated incident in June. I was on my way to the library but was turned around by campus police and told that I could not enter because the protesters were causing a disturbance.

Their declaration proved true the chant that came from our mouths on Friday: “Your Heritage is Hate.” While it also proved that this flag is a symbol of Mississippi’s defiance to progress, my hope is that it speeds up the process and that the administration makes the right decision. Shortly after, as students started to disperse, members of an organization known as the Mississippi League of the South marched to the circle, and then to Fulton Chapel and led a counter protest to let African American students know that black lives do not matter. They let us know that we don’t belong here by shouting hateful words at us: “Black Lives Don’t Matter”, “We shoulda kept segregation”, “We’re racist and proud of it”, and “My people bringing y’all to this country was the best thing to ever happen to y’all”.

Four years ago I decided to seize every opportunity I could and make the most of my experience here, despite witnessing racist incidents ranging from comments made about President Obama, to the noose and Confederate battle flag found tied around the statue of James Meredith, our university’s first black student to integrate this institution. Why would I give up knowing that my grandfather, my grandmother, and their parents and my aunts and uncles could not enroll in the university — instead they had to attend schools such as Jackson State and Rust College. It makes my job ten times harder when I have to convince minority students to see beyond the confederate flags that are literally in every tent during home games. On the contrary, after each controversial decision the University has had to make over the years, the enrollment has steadily increased because people see that the University is trying to move forward.

The University openly acknowledges its past and claims to be more than what history has written it to be, so the resolution rightly calls for the University to remove the flag.

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