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The James Meredith Statue Noose Incident: NAACP Pres. Blames Ole Miss Environment

OXFORD, Miss.–The state’s NAACP calls what happened to the James Meredith statue at Ole Miss a hate crime. The organization’s president, Derrick Johnson, blamed it Tuesday on the university’s surroundings and environment.

“I think there’s a problem at Ole Miss,” he said after a Tuesday press conference at the state capitol. “It reared its head during the Obama election. You cannot have a university where when you turn down its main drag it’s called “Confederate Drive”. You have monuments and statues of individuals who are admitted segregationists.”

Sunday a noose was found on the statue of James Meredith, the first black man to enroll at Ole Miss in 1962. Also there was a Georgia state flag, pre-2003, which has the Confederate “Stars and Bars”.

Johnson said he believes changes are necessary.

“At some point we’re gonna have to reverse course on the image of Ole Miss, so we can reverse course on the State of Mississippi.”

He said he was not shocked when he heard about what happened.

“It has been a culture there, small in some years, large in other years, that keeps repeating itself.”

As far as punishment, he said the act should not be tolerated.

Johnson said he still believes the state flag should be changed as part of racial reconciliation.

“It’s something as a symbol that has prevented the NCAA from playing games in the State of Mississippi.”


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