Fraternity Takes Action as Member Expelled for Racist Behavior Towards Black Ole Miss Protester in Mississippi

Fraternity Takes Action as Member Expelled for Racist Behavior Towards Black Ole Miss Protester in Mississippi

A student at the University of Mississippi was kicked out of his fraternity after his actions went popular on social media. He was seen on video making monkey noises and jumping around to make fun of a Black pro-Palestine protester.

A statement from Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity, on Sunday said that the man had been quickly kicked out of the group. The NAACP found the kid on Instagram and named him James “JP” Staples.

“Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters is aware of the video regarding the student protest at the University of Mississippi,” the statement reads.

“The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are antithetical to the values of Phi Delta Theta and the Mississippi Alpha chapter. The responsible individual was removed from membership on Friday, May 3.”

It wasn’t clear if the man who wasn’t named would be able to join the group again at Ole Miss or any other chapter in the future. The Daily Beast asked a spokesman for Phi Delta Theta’s national headquarters for comment, but they did not reply right away.

It was only a few days before the fraternity made its announcement that the university would be looking into at least one student’s behavior because of the racist counterprotest.

In a letter sent to the campus community on Friday, Chancellor Glenn Boyce said that the university was aware of behavior that was “offensive, hurtful, and unacceptable,” including actions that showed hostility and racist overtones. However, he did not say that the racist attacks were made by pro-Israel counterprotesters.

Counter-protesters surrounded a small pro-Palestine rally on campus’s open area on Thursday. Mississippi Today, a nonprofit news organization, said that counterprotesters circled the fenced-off protest area and chanted things like “Hit the showers!” and “Your nose is huge.”

The jeers were especially mean to a black woman protester who broke away from the rest of the protest camp. A video of mostly white male counter-protesters making fun of her quickly went viral. They yelled insults like “Lizzo!” and “Lock her up!” as cops led her away.

People drew parallels between the fight and the protests that happened there in 1962, when the white students were furious about the decision to let James Meredith, a black student, in. Since Ole Miss has a long past with the Confederacy, it was a place of cultural conflict in the late 2010s and early 2020s when students fought to get Confederate monuments taken down because they thought they glorified slavery.

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