Congressman Commends Disruptive Behavior towards War Protesters, including a Derogatory Gesture towards a Black woman in Mississippi

Congressman Commends Disruptive Behavior towards War Protesters, including a Derogatory Gesture towards a Black woman in Mississippi

This week, anti-Israel and pro-Hamas protests at the University of Mississippi got ugly when a counter-protester seemed to make monkey noises and gestures at a Black student. The protest was loud, and a far-right congressman from Georgia supported it.

“Ole Miss taking care of business,” Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Collins wrote on the social network X on Friday, along with a link to the video of the racist booing.

Sharp criticism came from both on and off college.

“Students wanted to stop the killings.” There was racism against them, wrote James M. Thomas, a sociology professor at the University of Mississippi, on X on Friday.

William Brooks, who used to be president and CEO of the NAACP and is now a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, wrote on X that a white man calling a black woman a monkey “isn’t about ‘Stand With Israel’ or ‘Free Palestine.’ This is protest as performative racism.”

Collins ran for Congress for the first time in 2022 and has since made a number of posts on social media attacking protests on college campuses.

Thursday’s protest at the University of Mississippi, where there were many more hecklers than war protesters, did not result in any arrests. For more than 2,400 arrests on 46 U.S. university or college campuses since April 17, when protests against the war began.

The Daily Mississippian, a student newspaper, said that about 30 protesters on the Oxford campus said they were UMiss for Palestine. Photos and videos from the event showed that the protesters were in a grassy area close to the main library. Campus security had put up hurdles to keep people from getting to them.

They held up Palestinian flags and signs that said things like “Stop the Genocide” and “U.S. bombs kill Palestinians” as they shouted “Free, free Palestine.”

A student reporter named Stacey J. Spiehler took a video of campus police officers and the dean of students standing between people who were protesting against the war and people who were yelling at them. A black woman protesting the war got into what seemed like an angry argument with some white people who were there to bother her. One of the men then made monkey noises and gestures at her.

The most current information on the school’s website, from 2022–23, shows that about 76% of the students were white and about 11% were black.

Glenn Boyce, the chancellor of the University of Mississippi, said that the school supports people sharing their opinions. He said that some things said on campus on Thursday were “offensive and unacceptable.”

Boyce said in a separate statement on Friday that one “student conduct investigation” had been started and that university leaders were “working to determine whether more cases are warranted.”

He made it clear that people who hurt others because of who they are would not find safety or comfort on this school.

On X, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves shared a video of protesters on college singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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