OXFORD, Miss.–A noose was put around the neck of the James Meredith statue at Ole Miss early Sunday and the university wants to know who is responsible. The student newspaper, “The Daily Mississippian”, reported that Ole Miss Alumni Assoc. is offering a $25,000 reward for info on who did it.
In addition to the noose, a Georgia flag, pre-2003, with the Confederate stars and bars, was draped over the statue.
Meredith was the first black man to enroll at Ole Miss in 1962, causing riots and resistance from a then-segregated student body and a Jim Crow Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett. Since then, Meredith has become a revered figure in Civil Rights and Mississippi history.
The student paper also quoted a contractor who was in the area and said he saw a couple of younger-looking men shouting “f–king ni–er” and white power!”. That was about 6:45 a.m.
Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones released a statement about Sunday’s vandalism.
“These individuals chose our university’s most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values,” he said. “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.”