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University of Mississippi to rebuild Confederate statue despite student protest

(AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File)

The University of Mississippi is replacing a Confederate statue on campus which was damaged by a pickup truck last month. Now, students are outraged after learning that the Confederate statue on the Oxford campus will be rebuilt.

Ole Miss student groups are coming together to protest the forthcoming restoration. The University of Mississippi NAACP chapter released a statement in collaboration with the Students Against Social Injustice (SASI) in which they lambasted Ole Miss for their decision to fix the damaged statue instead of retiring the controversial artwork.

“The repair and continued display of this monument by the University of Mississippi will be viewed as a disregard for the safety and inclusion of Black students, staff, and faculty,” the two student groups conveyed in the statement.

JoJo Brown, president of the Ole Miss NAACP, said the statue’s presence on campus is “not a good look.”

“We’re using this opportunity to make this space on campus more welcome, more comfortable,” Brown stated. “A lot of things that happen here happen on other campuses, but because of the history, because of the past, anything that happens on University of Mississippi’s campus is exemplified because of our history.”

“The University of Mississippi is always stressing how it’s a family,” Brown continued. “Families eat dinner at the same table together, and if everybody’s not eating, then how is it a family? It’s a big deal to me that everyone is comfortable.”

The statue in question was constructed at Ole Miss in 1906. It was damaged after a truck crashed into it in September. University Police stated that nothing indicated that the statue’s damage was intentional.

The driver was charged with driving under the influence, an expired tag, no driver’s license, and no proof of liability insurance. According to University of Mississippi, the school is “exploring potential legal options to recover the cost of damages from the driver of the vehicle in the incident.”

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