Ida B. Wells (Wikimedia Commons).
In September 2018, Ed Meek wrote a Facebook post that targeted Black students at the University of Mississippi. Meek, a wealthy white donor to “Ole Miss” implied that the presence of Black students at the university would result in a “3 percent decline in enrollment” and that “real estate values will plummet.” He juxtaposed this racially-coded language with images that singled out Black women. The fact that the school of journalism bore his name following a $5.3 million donation transformed his comments into a reflection of the school’s attitude as a whole.
Ole Miss has a long history of resistance to the attendance of African American students, dating back to when federal marshals protected James Meredith when he desegregated the school in 1962. Fifty-seven years later, in a state that is 39 percent Black, only 14 percent of Ole Miss’ student population is…
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