A Hate Crime Against Confederate Descendants

Rally at Ole Miss in 1962

Rally against integration at Ole Miss in 1962

A couple of days ago an unfortunate incident occurred at the University of Mississippi. Apparently, two men placed a noose and a 2003 Georgia State flag on the James Meredith statue. Most of you know that the design of this particular version of the Georgia flag includes the popular Confederate battle emblem. While it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions about the perpetrators, most people see this as a hate crime directed specifically against the black student body and the broader African-American community.

At least one individual, however, has taken a more inclusive view as to who should rightfully be offended. No need to provide names or links this time.

It was a hate crime. A planned one perhaps, maybe almost certainly so, but a hate crime none-the-less. The crime was against those who saw it and were offended, and equally a hate crime against all Confederate descendants who honor that symbol and their ancestry. This act denigrated us all.

Here are students at Ole Miss protesting the presence of the Confederate flag on campus so as to allow James Meredith to register for classes. Yes, sometimes memory trumps history.

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8 comments… add one
  • Betty Giragosian Mar 10, 2014 @ 19:30

    Kevin, what did happen all those years ago at Old Miss
    was a terrible tragedy, but it has been found that the students who draped the rope around the neck of the statue of Mr. Meredith, were African Americans. It has been said they did it as a prank. I have not read any more about it, since I read the article. I attempted to send it to you, but was told via email that it was being delayed. Perhaps by now you will have have read it elswhere. In my email to you, I asked that you address the article. I did not read the post to which your commenter refers. It may seem strange to you all, but I must say, I was relieved when I read that the students were not white.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 11, 2014 @ 1:06


      I have no idea where you are getting your information from.

      …but I must say, I was relieved when I read that the students were not white.

      Now that is a strange comment indeed. Perhaps you can share with all of us why you are relieved.

      • Betty Giragosian Mar 11, 2014 @ 2:12

        Kevin, I did not save the article, and cannot remember where I read it. Could it be that it is not true? heaven forbid!! Could that be the reason I received the little notice that is could not be delivered at this time? Do you really need for me to explain my ‘strange’ remark? The article said the students did it as a prank. If the act were really committed by Americans of African descent as a prank, that would not be racist, just a bad joke, but if it is true that they are white, then that is racist. No one with any sense would welcome, approve or rejoice in it. Perhaps your sources can find out if what I tried to send you is true or a lie. I searched google last night, and could find no update on the event. I even searched some of the articles written by your favorite columnist, and she had nothing about it. Maybe I was hoaxed. I think I will call Ole Miss. Why don’t you do it?

        • Kevin Levin Mar 11, 2014 @ 2:35

          Perhaps your sources can find out if what I tried to send you is true or a lie.

          My sources are every mainstream news outlet that exists. This story has been reported on a daily basis over the past few weeks. It’s up to you to find out where you learned of this startling new information. You made the claim.

          Maybe I was hoaxed. I think I will call Ole Miss. Why don’t you do it?

          I have no idea whether you were “hoaxed.” You are, however, misinformed. At this point there is no need for me to call Ole Miss.

          • Betty Giragosian Mar 11, 2014 @ 5:44

            Kevin, I will take your word that the original story is the truth. I am sorry that it is. I would hope that such hateful displays are no more.

            • Kevin Levin Mar 11, 2014 @ 8:23

              You don’t have to take my word for it. Just open up a newspaper.

  • M.D. Blough Feb 19, 2014 @ 20:11

    It is remarkable, the frame of mind that allows some white Southerners like, presumably the individual quoted above, to perpetually see themselves as the victims. No matter what, it’s all about them. I just read an excellent book on James Meredith entering Old Miss and it’s blood-curdling to realize that this happened in the United States and it happened in my lifetime. To treat this recent event as simply a matter of causing offense is nauseating. We are not talking about an etiquette violation. Two people died. According to the U.S. Marshals’ website, ““Seventy-nine of the 127 Marshals Service personnel were wounded. . .and some very seriously.” There is a lengthy account on the website of the fight of a thin line of U.S. Marshals (ranks supplemented from other federal agencies, IIRR) for hours through the night to protect Meredith. There was a small amount of reinforcement from a contingent of federalized Mississippi National Guardsmen, but they were not safe until an MP unit from Ft. Bragg arrived early in the morning. http://www.usmarshals.gov/history/miss/02.htm

    Whoever said the quote in your post, Kevin, I can only say that, unless and until they are capable of acknowledging the enormity of what happened at Old Miss in 1962 and the significance of someone desecrating James Meredith’s statue there over 50 years later in the way that it was and the roots of all of that in the heritage they so revere, they are pathetically and dangerously clueless.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 20, 2014 @ 3:27

      “…pathetically and dangerously clueless.”

      That pretty much sums it up.

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