OXFORD, Miss. — The man for whom the University of Mississippi’s journalism school is named is at the center of controversy this morning after one of his Facebook post was deemed by some as having racist undertones.
Ed Meek’s now deleted post reportedly showed a picture of two African American women whose faces were blurred on the Oxford Square.
It read, “I hesitated until now to publish these pictures but I think it important that our community see what the camera is seeing at 2 a.m. after a ballgame. I hear there were 180 police working the weekend but of all the pictures late night, the fights and scenes, I have seen no police presence. Chief of Police Joey East is quoted in the Mississippian as saying police made 40 arrest and that there were fights in most venues.
Enough, Oxford and Ole Miss leaders, get on top of this before it is too late. A 3 percent decline in enrollment is nothing compared to what we will see if this continues…and real estate values will plummet as will tax revenue. We all share in the responsibility to protect the values we hold dear that have made Oxford and Ole Miss known nationally.”
The post was quickly condemned by some as having racial undertones.
See our statement regarding Ed Meek’s recent comments: pic.twitter.com/lIt6v3Z463
— Black Student Union (@UMissBSU) September 20, 2018
However, some defended Meeks saying his intent was to show the reality of what goes on after games late at night.
“Nothing racial here until someone like you makes it racial,” one person wrote on social media. “It’s time for a new administration! Way past time!”
“So Dr. Meek is called out for posting what a camera showed on the Square Sat. night?” asked another.
Still another wrote, a direct message to Vitter saying, “Chancelor. I think Ed has apologized and made clear his intent wasn’t racially motivated. I would ask that you go to the square on a big Friday and Saturday night and see the scene on the streets. If city and university leadership does not come together to solve the problem of overcrowding and hanging out on the streets someone’s child is going to get hurt if not killed. I will be glad to serve in any constructive endeavor to get this under control. I have a child at ole miss. Have two other children being raised in Oxford and it scares me to death.”
Meek did apologize for the post on Vitter’s personal account.
“I have done as you requested, Chancellor,” he said. “I am sorry I posted those pictures but there was no intent to imply a racial issue. My intent was to highlight we do have a problem in The Gove and on the Oxford Square.”