Ole Miss Fraternity Suspended Over James Meredith Statue

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(Oxford, MS) An Ole Miss fraternity has been suspended over a noose and old Georgia flag placed on the James Meredith statue.

Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity suspended its University of Mississippi chapter after three members were accused of putting a Georgia flag and noose on the James Meredith statue.

It appears three freshman members are the main suspects in what happened at the statue.

The university hasn't identified the students, who are 19 years old and live on campus.

All three are from Georgia and have attorneys, but aren't talking.

Officials at The University of Mississippi said evidence in the matter has been turned over to state and federal investigators, but aren't sure exactly what charges the trio could face.

"We want to make a statement that we don't want to tolerate...and we will not tolerate...such behavior here at The University of Mississippi," said Donald Cole.

Cole is vice chancellor of Multi-Cultural Affairs at Ole Miss.

He said the university will use the full extent of the law to prosecute three students who defiled the statue of civil rights icon James Meredith.

It happened Sunday, where the statue has been standing since 2006.

The three students allegedly draped a Georgia state flag over the statue.

"With the confederate symbol on it, draped around the statue. Along with a noose, if you will, around the neck as well," said Cole.

The university planned to interview the three Thursday night, but they didn't show up after their lawyers advised them not to talk.

Many students say the incident has focused a negative light on the university.

Senior Correl Hoyle has been staging a silent protest for one hour every day since the flag and noose were discovered.

"I've decided to make the feet of the James Meredith statue as my new study spot," said Hoyle.

He's concerned that some students consider the act just a prank, but he believes it is much more.

"Just like how he was 50 years ago, James Meredith was not welcomed here. And he's still not welcomed here by certain individuals," said Hoyle.

Hoyle wants the three freshmen charged, but it's unclear exactly what they could be charged with.

But Ole Miss junior Katie Kinsella was clear about what the three should face.

"It's definitely a hate crime to the extreme and I feel like they should be punished. I don't know if jail time or fines, I'm not sure, but I feel like there should definitely be some sort of punishment," said Katie Kinsella.

James Meredith was the first black student to attend the university in 1962.

Chancellor Dan Jones said, “These individuals chose our university’s most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values. Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue – Courage, Knowledge, Opportunity, and Perseverance.”

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    • Crime is Down?

      The midsouth has half the population of the State of Utah but in 2013 it had three times more murders. Mostly black on black shootings. No outrage, but let someone put a noose and a flag on a black statue, and everybody is UPSET. I’m guessing Rev. Al and Rev. Jessie will be coming to town to address this horrible incident. Nevermind the elephant in the room, young black men getting gunned down in rampant numbers on a daily basis.

  • Mike

    This act was NOT a good thing to do but… why punish the entire fraternity and not just those who offended? That’s just racist in itself. It judges others based on what a few did… and in this case, what other reason could there be to shut down the entire frat except skin color?

    Two wrongs do not make a right. Never has, never will.

    • Slew66

      Reading is fundamental. The Mississippi Chapter suspended them. Not the school, not the Dean, it was the Fraternity That suspended them. And last I checked this is a white chapter.

  • Huckleberry Hound

    Good point. When minorities deface statues of Jefferson, Washington, or any Civil War hero in any of our cities and towns with graffiti, I don’t recall it EVER making the news.

    • Kthxbye

      And Huckleberry Hound, how often does that happen?

      How often do black people and generally speaking people of color in this country go out like cowards under the cover of night and deface monuments to your famed white heroes? If it isn’t bad enough that blacks and other minorities and women are excluded from the history you revere so proudly, why haven’t they put an American flag and noose over say Jefferson Davis’ monument in Downtown Memphis giving credence to these crackpot accusations such on the one from the commenter named Magilla Gorilla?

    • Cherrie

      When things happens like this it should be reported so that everyone is informed. Don’t blame the other race on things that are not reported, but the messager. The media has lost it’s way and reports on stories they feel will get an arousal out of people such as this story. They are winning the game.

  • Andrew Davidson

    @magilla Gorilla –

    That is absolutely ridiculous. Naturally if they put a noose around a statue of Twain and adorned him with a Georgia flag, no one would have been upset – but no one would have done that because it would have not made sense…like putting a Hooters outfit on him. This was intentional, it was racially motivated, the symbolism was intended to communicate a disrespectful message and even Mark Twain would have agreed that this was tasteless and classless.

    Where I disagree is how they are probably going to charge these people. It is going to end up being vandalism with a ‘hate crime’ enhancement applied. It is a statue. It was stupid, it was racist, and it was disgusting – but they did not damage the statue and this is not a hate crime; I will go with vandalism, but neo-nazis are allowed to have parades and demonstrations because we are allowed free speech regardless of how ugly and distasteful we might think it is.

    You can’t ‘unring a bell’ – no human being was physically hurt; if we start applying legal implications to speech, it is no longer free, and then there is ceiling.

    I find this incident and their actions repulsive – but bigotry and hatred is everywhere, we aren’t going to be able to use the legal system to correct human behavior, so I think we treat this like vandalism, charge them with the most that our system allows us to, toss them off campus, and be done with it; don’t give the race-baiters anymore ammunition to make money off of a cut and dry case of childish bigotry.

    • Joe Bo

      To young to join the Freedom Ridere. However I did join the US Infantry, honorable discharge after 8 years and 3 combat tours. Tell us what you joined you ashamed white boy?

    • Cherrie

      If you don’t put report the mis doings, and or care enough to report it, no one will know. Regardless the race of the statue or race of the persons defacing it, it’s wrong no matter how you look at it. These people care enough to have it reported because they spent money to first get the statue done and it took for ever for them to be allowed to have the statue placed. Again, the media is winning this game.

  • Andrew Davidson

    @William B

    Yeah, no kidding. From what I have heard, Twain’s work is basically no longer part of most curriculums because it is above most high schooler reading levels.

    They tried to ban Huck Finn a little while ago because it had racial slurs – appropriate for the time, and necessary to teach about the period. However, a teacher friend of mine said that he didn’t teach it in his senior English class because it was excruciating for him. He basically said that the book is too long, they don’t read it, and then they come to class and their discussions consist of whatever his students could Google about the book.

    How we judge intelligence is getting stranger and stranger – a kid that can build a website and can barely read is going to do better in life than a kid that can read well but could care less about how his phone works..lol.

  • ED


    • Hugh G. Rection

      Because Ed. You cannot commit a hate crime on a statue. There may have been an attempt to intimidate however that was not a result of this incident. No attack on a person with violence or bodily harm based on ethnicity. No hate crime. I doubt if any of these boys ever met Meredith.

      • JustMe

        Actually, as the laws are written, yes you can commit a hate crime on a statue.
        Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”

  • ED

    I’d like to add that this is shocking and disrespectful to a struggle that occurred long before these ignorant punks were born. To degrade a leader is to degrade a whole people. To all the shallow and simple-minded people who think this was just a harmless prank , ask yourselves: Would you have had the guts to join the freedom riders knowing you’d be beaten and perhaps killed? I think not. Although not many young people today have even heard of the freedom riders nor the scope of the civil rights struggle. Well, I have and remember it as a disgraceful time in American history. Do they teach any American history in schools or is everything swept under the carpet? For the first time, I’m ashamed to be a white American.

    • Joe Bo

      Quickly how you people forget, this is not your country, you need to go swim accross the atalantic to your european ghettos and slums. Thats whare you people from. Own up to it.

  • Bytemeagain

    If Ole Miss really wanted to take a stand against such activity, they should expel the 3 students and anyone else exhibiting such behavior.

    • Magilla Gorilla

      Ten shootings and five injured in two days in Memphidishu, I bet it’s all snow beasts flashing gang signs huh?

  • It's what I know

    Yeah take down what was up for many years because it offends you. Please leave the country cuz you offend us. You want us to respect your heritage yet we have to change our for all of you and your cousins. Wish y’all will eliminate each other so it would be safer in the world

  • ihateallthingssnowbeastattiud

    Whites are cowards and are the result of a genetic mutation of a rhesus monkey. They act like its peace in the valley among them there is no reasoning with such animals. What can you expect from such mongrels? There has been no bigger killer or theif in a thousand years than them

  • Peter

    Elismom please go back to Africa. They probably don’t want you either but at least you will fit in. You all look alike. I’m tired of working hard to have you steal my money and waste my extra breaths of air. How about I pay for all of you to take a cruise and it sink. That would be like a huge oil spill. Lol

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