UPDATE: Mississippi State Students Demand the University Take Down State Flag

Photo provided by takeastandmsu.weebly.com
Photo provided by takeastandmsu.weebly.com

Yesterday, April 13, Mississippi State students appeared for a sit-in protest at Lee Hall from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The nature of the protest was to ask MSU president, Mark Keenum, to take down the state flag due to the Confederate emblem.

Mississippi State University is the remaining major public university in the state that still flies the state flag after the University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi both removed the flag from the campuses.

The group that organized the sit-in protest is self-called “Lucky 7,” and it has called on MSU president Mark Keenum to remove the state flag from the campus by May 1, 2016, according to its list of 10 demands provided on its website that the group created Tuesday, April 12: takeastandmsu.weebly.com.

Documents provided by takeastandmsu.weebly.com
Documents provided by takeastandmsu.weebly.com

list of demands2

list of demands3

MSU’s director of communications, Sid Salter, said that the university received the list of 10 demands late Monday in an anonymous email.

As a result, Dr. Keenum has sent administrators, vice presidents, deans and directors throughout the university the demands which might be related to their areas of responsibility with instructions to vet them and to report back to him on anything that they uncover.

Salter said “Several of the demands require data-driven responses. We will need to analyze and crunch the numbers, and as soon as this is completed an evaluation will be done. We have been asked how long this will take. I do not anticipate that being very long.”

This organization also wrote a letter to MSU President Keenum as provided on its website. In the letter, the students within the organization wrote: “The University of Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi have heard their students’ outcry against this hateful flag and we demand that the voices of Mississippi State University students be heard as well.”

letter to keenum 1

letter to keenum 2

Salter noted that Keenum has sent letters to Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn to express his support for changing the state flag. The letters can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Letter to Governor Bryant (Flag Issue) 3.24.16

Letter to Lt. Gov Tate Reeves (Flag Issue) 3.24.16

Letter to Philip Gunn (Flag Issue) 3.24.16

Keenum also issued a statement to the students:

As President of Mississippi State University and as an individual, I have consistently supported changing the state flag of Mississippi because I believe it is the right thing to do.

This issue is important to me. It is important for the future of my children and for the children of so many of my fellow citizens in Mississippi. To that end, I have promoted the principled efforts by our MSU Faculty Senate and our MSU Student Senate to support flag change and shared those efforts with the state’s political leadership.

Since the atrocities in South Carolina last year, I have supported changing Mississippi’s state flag. That’s what I have said to students, faculty and staff on this campus. That’s what I repeat once again today.

But I want to be clear. Taking the state flag down arbitrarily is a symbolic gesture that accomplishes nothing toward actually changing the state flag to something that everyone can support and feel good about.

I support real flag change and I think I can best help accomplish that by working within the system to bring about that change. That I have done. That I will continue to do.

Students, I hear your concerns. I feel your protests, and I profoundly admire the courage you demonstrate in standing up for your principles and your beliefs.

While we may well have different views on tactics, strategies and timing, rest assured that we share a common goal of uniting Mississippians behind a new state flag that can inspire all of us and be a source of universal hope and pride. I pledge to continue to work tirelessly toward that goal.

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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  1. All blacks do is whine, complain and moan about how THEY are unwelcome, THEY are stressed out by being in a PWI and THEY need Whites to undergo sensitivity training. I never hear Whites that attend a HBCU (Historically Black College and University) complain they are unwelcome, or demand blacks undergo sensitivity training. I do know Whites ARE unwelcome by the majority black student body at HBCUs. White students at HBCU know they are unwelcome, but they know no one cares and they are to busy studying and getting a degree to complain to black administrators that do not care about White people. To all blacks going to a PWI and feel unwelcome: you are more than welcome to switch to a HBCU any time you want. And if Mississippi’s flag offends you, leave the state. There are 49 other state flags that won’t offend you. Your constant whining to get preferential treatment offends me.

    • Please. As someone who went to a HBCU which was predominantly white, the student body got along just fine and no-one asked anyone to do any special training. I will tell you a story about perception. When I was a teen, I went to visit my cousins for a couple weeks. My aunt, their step mother would ask my cousins to do stuff, if anything was not done and she asked why, my cousins took offence to the next level. Spell super mad. Now I was not a step child and I found no problems with whatever my aunt said. SO perception is a very personal and difficult thing when you are not the one in those shoes. Up to now, I marvel at how differently we saw things in my aunts house.

  2. It’s weird that how they know all of these stats about pay and population but forget the most important ones of all. Starkville ms crime is predominantly committed by blacks . Do they have a safe place off campus to hang out and kick it ? Obviously they need one .

  3. Congrats to the President for a thoughtful, reasonable stance on the flag remains on campus. Too bad we don’t have that kind of leadership in Oxford.

    As to the protestors, do those people ever stop whining?

  4. Pay attention Ole Miss. This is what happens when you pander to the demands of the ignorant. They are never satisfied…they just keep asking for more and more and more. The leadership of Ole Miss has started the once proud university down this slippery slope with recent capitulations. This will never end as long as we have leadership with no backbone. I think the sign on the lower right says it all….”MARK KEENUM DON’T LOVE US” Apparently he also “don’t” teach proper grammar. Take back your university, Rebels, before it is too late!

  5. U S Grant makes an excellent point. There are several colored schools in the state, why don’t they go there?

    And the idea. that these people, who probably don’t belong in college anyway, are making “demands”


  6. The comments here are really amazing. You are all such good Christian people. God bless you for looking out for all Aryan interests and concerns. How dare those blacks try to create some sense of belonging on campus. How dare they attempt to feel as comfortable on campus as the white population. How dare they chose to go to school at all, I mean they’re just gonna end up on welfare and food stamps anyway right? Lolololol but seriously whens the next Klan BBQ?

  7. The next rally and bar b q is next week, but we can’t get a colored bakery to bake our cake….. Guess that new law is working

  8. All these predominantly white individuals do is whine just as loud when they don’t get to keep their way of life. So entitled. The foundation of your lives have been built off the backs of minorities for centuries. Pick a minority throughout history. The song remains the same. If you don’t like it, go back to Europe where your ancestry came from. The only thing constant is change. That flag is eventually going to be removed and there isn’t anything you can do about it accept fly it yourself. Maybe the rest of us can move on and try to forget what that flag really represented and still represents.

  9. Very ignorant people……kick them all out of the university, they don’t deserve to be there. Looks like grammar isn’t their strong suite. Blacks deserve so much better than to be represented by ignorant liars. Pray for them!

    • Right now it looks like black and whites are whining on this board! Make it a lot of assorted cheese because the whine I see on this board STINKS!

  10. B

    Your right, that flag will eventually go away. What is NOT going away is the disgust right thinking people have for you and your kind

  11. Kp B if they get the flag removed (which is pure ignorance on the part of the uneducated who never had a problem with the flag until they were told to) what will be next?? Ol Glory? Remember it was Ol Glory that flew over a SLAVE NATION for nearly 100 years. It was Ol Glory that flew over the ships that brought slaves here from Africa not a flag of the South. It was Ol Glory that flew when slavery was still legal in the union even after the WAR TO FREE THE SLAVES was over. After Ol Glory then what?? Will they want all the bodies of the black soldiers buried at Arlington removed because they are resting on General Lee’s plantation? The ignorance has to stop and folks are going to have to take a stand and say enough is enough.

  12. I am writing you today out of discomfort for the discrimination I feel your African American student body is portraying towards those of white Heritage. There is an African heritage month which is more than accepted by most in the population, we allow our kids to be taught its history without complaint, we allow them to learn everything they should know about African history. However, the minute confederate history was announced they have continued to complain and make excuses as to why the truth should not be taught in schools. Those truths having not been taught to them when they were in grade school is the whole reason we are in this mess in the first place. Nothing can be said that can’t also be said about the American flag, African flag, and British flag. That is just to start, what about the Spanish flag? French flag.
    If these students are to be given African only safe spaces, then the same needs to be done for white students.
    If these students are to be given special treatment by making only white employees and students take racism sensitivity training then black students and teachers must take the same training towards white folk.
    If these students are to be given funding for all black scholarships, groups and extracurricular activities, then the same must be done for all white Scholarships, groups and extracurricular activities.
    Nothing can rightfully be given to those who are in themselves discriminating against those of white ancestry under the false claim that all Africans are being discriminated against.
    Do you know how often I am called racist names? Told I am worthless because of my Heritage and the color of my skin? How often I hear how I’m supposed to be the racist, but am discriminated against by those claiming to be the victims? I am tired of sitting around and being called a racist when I have done nothing to deserve it. I am tired of people targeting a flag like it jumped off the pole and ran someone over in its car.
    This situation is ridiculous and I am tired of white people across the country being guilted into stuff for things they never did or have taken part in doing.
    The claims that the white “Counselors” don’t understand these students is entirely false. That is simply looking to try and force a company to fire those of white ancestry to hire those of black heritage. For what? They will not understand anything more than the white counselor; it is simply discrimination targeting those counselors because they don’t want to talk to a white counselor which is racism. Because they aren’t “Good enough to understand”.
    This fight isn’t for equality. This is a fight for superiority. There are all black scholarships, clubs, groups and organizations but none of them are called racist. If you start up a white club, group or organization you will be called and branded a racist. No one will talk to you because they will right you off as a bigot. Just because you want to be treated the same as your African counterpart. It is not fair that just because you are African , you can call anything and everything racist to get special privileges over there white counter parts. Are we not supposed to be equal? Are we not supposed to be given all the same opportunities and privileges as any American? Then why does it feel like white Americans are second class citizens that are freely able to be targets for any and everything? Why can’t I live a life without being discriminated against by those claiming to be targeted with daily racism? The fact is, they are not targeted. It has been taught that the white people are there putting them down all the time. Which is false, and is racism.
    Equality has been had and won, this fight is for superiority over the white race. This is unacceptable and nothing should be given to Africans that is not given to Hispanics, or whites in this country.

    Not doing so is Racism.

    • Well usually what is given to blacks, all other races other than whites get it. However, you are right. There should not be quarters, special funding etc for minority groups. Everything should be the same. As a minority myself I would not allow myself to get free stuff that I did not work for…unless it is good food. My point is that all children/students should have equal opportunities given equally not discriminated against because they are black or white. If there will be an MLK lounge, then there should be a Cobb lounge or whatever the white student body chooses. Otherwise there should be a general student lounge where students of all races and shapes can mix, tutor and get to know each other.

      If the university is discriminating on giving tenure to mostly white professors when equally qualified blacks are denied, that is wrong. If there are not qualified…then heck…they should not be tenured.
      All I am saying is that if we just see past black/minority vs. whites and stop hating people we do not know, we maybe a happier people and all this WHINE we see from all races may not be as bitter. We could perhaps drink beer instead!

  13. I grew up in Pennsylvania. I now live in Mississppi. Keep your flag. This is a left wing liberal assault on the south. The reason, y’all vote Republican. Plain and simple. The left ignores that the KKK was the strong arm of the Dems. Created to combat the northern reconstrution. For some reason liberals sweep it under the rug. Inconvient truth. Keep your flag Mississippi and fly it proud. A Yankee

  14. Those are college students? Bad grammar, horrible artwork – it’s as if they have never paid attention to anything other than Sesame Street and communist professors. Have they ever even seen a battle flag? Their drawings look like they were done by retarded 3rd graders. “He don’t love us”. Nope. Can’t blame him.

    Give them what they want then allow them to live in a de-policed ghetto.

  15. I love that they’re basically demanding that the university break federal law by hiring and granting tenure based exclusively on race.

  16. It’s funny that many of the people on the comment thread will claim to be Christian yet insult and call African American ‘s everything from “ignorant” to “you people” , I’m surprised the word nigga didn’t show up, and all because some black student are asking to take down something that has represented, hate, inequality, and injustice for years. Yes I’m sure there is some heritage to the flag, I wouldn’t really know because I’m from the north, but you have to look at it from the perspective of black people. The FACTS are that flag has been used by SOME to promote hate and injustice toward black people. And anyone who suggest that racism doesn’t exist just has to read some of your comments to prove that it still does exist. Honestly I believe that taking the flag down will help some to feel better about the situation, but I don’t believe it will change much, because at the end of the day you can take a flag down but if hate and racism still exist in a person’s heart then taking the flag down won’t do anything to change that. Some of you need to examine your hearts, when we change our hearts we’ll start to see real change.

  17. Wonder how many of these students had family that fought for the South and are disrespecting them. There were several thousand that did and they sure must many thousands of descendants now.

  18. I doubt if they know, they don’t seem very bright

    this is not a shot at MS State…but how did those people even get into college? the grammar, the spelling, the lack of historical knowledge this does not speak well of the high school system, and even less that a major university would admit them it begs the question, were they admitted only because they are colored??

  19. Mississippi is the shame of the nation. One only has to read the comments. Colored??? I hadn’t heard that since the 60’s!

  20. To AnonymousAPRIL 15, 2016 AT 4:40 PM
    Study your history, thousands of slaves escaped and fought for the Union, THE VICTORS. A side note, when confederates captured Union troops, the white men were imprisoned, the black men were murdered.

  21. Not even 2% of spoonbills have the IQ to go to college, yet here they are, making trouble.

    Oh, and Marc, learn your history from someplace other than your lying commie jew professors.

  22. Oh yeah Otis? Ole Miss being out front on it, you mean just Allen Coon and Morris Stocks. That was in the works for sometime I’m willing to bet now.

    Bunch’a liberal pantywaists.

  23. Looks like I’m late on this one: better late than never!
    The current state flag is most probably a heavy handed symbol of Jim Crow advocates, as it was adopted during that era, and not during the war.
    The original state flag, AKA the Magnolia Flag, has a far more interesting history for Mississippians. The field of the flag is taken from the first flag of the Confederacy, AKA “The Bonnie Flag,” which was also the title to the other great battle hymn of the war. Both “Dixie” and “The Bonnie Blue Flag” were composed in Jackson MS by the same man on the eve of the war, as was the Magnolia Flag.
    The Confederate battle flag in the corner of the current flag is actually the battle flag of the army of North Virginia. It was later adopted by the CSA Navy,and then by Mississippi 40 years later.
    So I’d say that if we want to fight about a symbol, lets at least fight for one that is Mississippi’s.

    • I had nothing against the flag for a very long time until after college when I realized that people were using it as a hate tool. I totally believed it is a part of history and people should stop whining about it…then I started noticing that it was a hate tool…and there went my support for it. If it was not for that…I think it is an important part of history and should be left alone.

  24. To Anonymous above:

    The Magnolia Flag incorporates the “Bonnie Blue Flag” because it harkens back to the short lived Republic of West Florida.

    The CBF was the battle standard of all Confederate armies.

    But back to the Magnolia Flag, it was the secession flag used by the state when it joined the CSA. So, by the “Everything Confederate=Bad and must be erased” farcical sense of logic then the Magnolia Flag is just as bad or even worse than the current MS flag.


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