Investigation launched into alleged racist behavior by counterprotesters at Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi is currently conducting an investigation into the behavior of a student who participated in a counterprotest on May 2. School officials were alerted to actions that were deemed offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable. These actions were seen as conveying hostility and racist overtones.

Chancellor Glenn F. Boyce recently addressed the students in a letter on May 3, expressing that the school administration is actively assessing whether additional investigations are necessary.

“We, as a public institution, strongly believe in upholding the rights of our students, faculty, and employees to express their viewpoints in a respectful manner and to engage in peaceful assembly, as protected by the First Amendment,” said Boyce in an email dated May 3, which was shared with ABC News by school officials. “Nevertheless, during the demonstration, certain individuals behaved in a manner that contradicts the core values of our university. Any behaviors or remarks that belittle individuals based on their race or ethnicity marginalize them and undermine the very principles that form the foundation of a civil and secure society.”

A crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators had assembled on the campus, demanding that the university divest from investments that could potentially support Israeli military actions in Gaza. They also urged the university to denounce what they perceived as “genocide” against Palestinians during Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza. The war had commenced on October 7th, initiated by Hamas terrorists’ invasion of Israel, which prompted Israel to respond with its military operations in Gaza.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, Israeli forces have been responsible for the deaths of at least 34,183 people in Gaza since October 7, with an additional 77,143 individuals sustaining injuries. On the other hand, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that Hamas or other Palestinian militants have killed at least 1,700 people in Israel, while 8,700 others have been injured.

In a statement, the University of Mississippi witnessed pro-Palestinian protesters recounting instances of racism, violent threats, and even having food thrown at them by counterprotesters. Shockingly, some of the counterprotesters were reported to have cruelly remarked, “here’s your humanitarian aid.”

In a video, a Black protester can be observed recording and engaging with counterprotesters while standing outside the protective barricades that enclose the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Law enforcement officers encouraged her to return inside the barricades while counterprotestors taunted her. Among the counterprotestors, one student was seen impersonating a monkey, while others chanted “lock her up.” Stacey Spiehler, a student who captured the video, shared this account.

Law enforcement officers also called on the counterprotesters to move away from the barricades.

Phi Delta Theta fraternity general headquarters has released an online statement, acknowledging their awareness of the video and taking action by rescinding the fraternity membership of an individual involved in “the racist actions in the video.”

The protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with the response they received after the confrontations, stating that it was a “blind reactionism” that did not address the genocide they were protesting or their demands.

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