Obama’s Re-Election Sparks Racially Tinged Protests At Ole Miss

Not everyone was thrilled about the idea of Barack Obama being re-elected, especially not some students at Ole Miss:

JACKSON, Miss. — A protest at the University of Mississippi against the re-election of President Barack Obama grew into crowd of about 400 people with shouted racial slurs as rumors of a riot spread on social media. Two people were arrested on minor charges.

The university said in a statement Wednesday that the gathering at the student union began late Tuesday night with about 30 to 40 students, but grew within 20 minutes as word spread. Some students chanted political slogans while others used derogatory racial statements and profanity, the statement said.

The incident comes just after the 50th anniversary of violent rioting that greeted the forced integration of Ole Miss with the enrollment of its first black student, James Meredith.

Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones promised an investigation and said “all of us are ashamed of the few students who have negatively affected the reputations of each of us and of our university.”

On Wednesday night, about 700 people held up candles and called for racial harmony outside the administrative building at the university in Oxford, countering Tuesday’s protest over Obama’s re-election.

Police were initially alerted to Tuesday’s uproar by people who saw Twitter posts about it. The students were told to leave, but about 100 came back later. One person was charged with public intoxication and another with failure to comply with police orders. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Rumors about the situation were fueled on Twitter after the university’s student journalists posted a video referring to the gathering as “riots.” The student newspaper posted a video of the crowd, but much of what the students said in it is unintelligible other than the “Hotty Toddy” cheer, which is common at football games and other school gatherings.

One picture that spread rapidly on social media shows people burning an Obama campaign sign, but the university hasn’t confirmed that the picture was taken on campus. The chancellor said some photos shared on social media showed things that were not seen by police on campus, but the reports of uncivil language and racial slurs appeared to be accurate.

Way to stay classy, guys.

Photo via Raw Story

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Race and Politics, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    It’s something, I guess, that the anti-Obama protests drew 400 and the anti-racist protests drew 700.

  2. ernieyeball says:

    And Jan was worried about the Brothers rioting if Romney won…Of course no white folks would do such a thing…at least not in Jan’s world..where ever that is…

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Dumb, drunk and unemployable is no way to go through life, son.

  4. Rob in CT says:

    @James Joyner:

    You know, I think that is something. Something good.

    If this is the worse that comes, I’ll be pretty happy.

  5. Moderate Mom says:

    My daughter is an Ole Miss alum. She was so embarrassed that anyone at her school would do such a thing. She talked to a few friends in Oxford, and they said that the vast majority of people there had come to see what was going on, given the stuff they saw on twitter and facebook. She was proud of those students that showed up last night for the candlelight vigil, a more accurate view of what is now Ole Miss.

  6. Geek, Esq. says:

    I guess they felt the need to compete with the band members from Southern Miss who taunted a Puerto Rican player on Kansas state with “where’s your green card?”

  7. J-Dub says:

    @Geek, Esq.: Ignorance on so many levels! Do you think they even know that Puerto Ricans have full US Citizenship?

  8. The Q says:

    BTW, ole Miss just elected its first black Student Body President this year and a woman at that, so maybe the redneck racism is abating.

    However, if numbers are compared (700 v. 400), it still means that almost 30% of the students are borderline “racists”.

  9. Bill says:

    The Ole Miss chancellor says reports of what happened were incorrect.

  10. bill says:

    nothing like getting people upset over nothing, i hear more racial tinged crap on the radio- and that’s just music playing.

  11. mattb says:

    @The Q:

    However, if numbers are compared (700 v. 400), it still means that almost 30% of the students are borderline “racists”.

    Please don’t abuse math and facts.

    At best it means that 30% of the students who attended those two rallies are borderline “racists.” But even that’s a dumb statement for lots of reasons.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    lots of alcohol + white guys = potential problems for anyone near said white guys

  13. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: insert any ethnicity and it’s the same- probably deadlier though.