Ole Miss students honor James Meredith statue after vandalism - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Reward offered for vandals after noose draped on statue

Posted: Updated:
The students on the campus in Oxford, Miss. are not holding back their opinions about the recent racially insensitive incident. The students on the campus in Oxford, Miss. are not holding back their opinions about the recent racially insensitive incident.
James Meredith will forever go down in history as the man who helped open the doors of higher education at the University of Mississippi. James Meredith will forever go down in history as the man who helped open the doors of higher education at the University of Mississippi.
In 1962, Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the then segregated University of Mississippi. In 1962, Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the then segregated University of Mississippi.
OXFORD, MS -

(WMC-TV) - A historic statue on the Ole Miss campus was desecrated Sunday; officials are left searching for the people responsible for the offensive prank.

The students on the campus in Oxford, Miss. are not holding back their opinions about the recent racially insensitive incident.

James Meredith will forever go down in history as the man who helped open the doors of higher education at the University of Mississippi. A move so monumental that the university chose to immortalize him with a statue.

"He blazed a path that I think needs to stay lit," said one student.

In 1962, Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the then segregated University of Mississippi. Now decades later he says he is not surprised by the hate crime against the statue in his honor.

He said the noose around the neck of the statue and the old Georgia flag with a Confederate Battle Flag only confirmed what he already knew.

"That Mississippi has a moral character breakdown. Until we solve that problem and until we start training up our children the way they should go like the Bible says it will remain the same," said Meredith. "I promised God I was not going to do two things: I wasn't going to lie anymore and I wasn't going to judge anymore."

Meredith has a message for current Ole Miss students going to what he considers the best school in America.

"That puts a tremendous responsibility on them to get it right to do the right thing," he said.

Campus officials say the men were heard shouting racial slurs during the Sunday morning incident.

"I think it absolutely terrible what they did. I think they should pay for it," added university freshman John Choat.

Many Ole Miss students were not shocked by the incident.

"To be honest we haven't come as far as we think we've come," said Bryston Tucker.

Some say racially charged incidents like this continue to stain the university's image.

"That's kind of a slap in the face and that hurts," added another student.

Meanwhile Chancellor Dan Jones 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."

The Ole Miss Alumni Association has offered a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the two individuals responsible for this incident.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:31:26 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:44:17 GMT
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.