SASI Demands UM Administration Remove Confederate Statue at Ole Miss

By Anna Grace Usery and Talbert Toole
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyles Editor
hottytoddynews@gmail.com


Video by Talbert Toole

The Students Against Social Injustice (SASI) organization, along with several members of the University of Mississippi’s faculty and staff, formed a protest today to demand that the UM administration remove Ole Miss’ confederate statue from campus grounds.

SASI is the local chapter of the national student-led organization United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). According to the group’s mission statement, they are committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for marginalized persons on campus.

Participants of the protest marched through campus with signs advocating for the removal of the Confederate statue. Photo by Talbert Toole.

Hundreds of fliers appeared around campus Tuesday, Nov. 27 to promote awareness of “Steps for Justice”, a Confederate statue protest taking place the next day. Dozens gathered in the Lamar Hall atrium at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday as protest organizers handed out signs that said “f*ck the statue” and “take the statue down” as well as sheets of chants promoting justice.

Protest organizer and SASI secretary Em Gill led by standing on the embankment outside Lamar Hall to educate the crowd of the demands SASI wants UM administration to make:

1) “The University of Mississippi administration must remove the Confederate statue from campus
2) Administration must implement a publicized hate speech policy to protect students from the racist violence we experience on campus
3) Regardless of who is in the Chancellor’s position, administration will meet with us next  semester to discuss these demands.”

“I was impressed with Em Gill and the SASI’s organization of the event, the number of students, faculty and staff there, and I hope to see coalitions of groups continue to demand change on our campus in the future,” said Hooper Schultz, graduate student and protest attendee.

In Remembrance 

Word of the protest ignited the online community, as several voiced their support of the Confederate statue and those who lost their lives here during the Civil War. The statue was erected in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, an American hereditary association of Southern women established in 1894 in Nashville.

Marching for Justice

Gill and others led protesters along the walled-off entrance of the Student Union, by the Croft Institute and directly in front of the Confederate statue. She told the crowd of supporters that although she is white, racism affects her and everyone around her.

“None of us are equal until all of us are equal,” Gill said. “All of us have identities that are privileged and oppressed. We all have a stake in this fight.”

On the Circle grounds, several students of color expressed personal stories why they believe the statue should be eliminated from campus.

Bianca Martinez, an Ole Miss student, and Arquvas Williams, president of SASI, spoke to the crowd regarding discrimination both faced previously in their lives.

“Two hundred years of hateful rhetoric has been too long,” Martinez said. “It is time for change.”

The protestors continued their march from the statue through the Circle until they reached the steps of the Lyceum, home to the offices of the university’s administration.

Jessica Wilkerson, assistant professor of history and southern studies, took center stage to deliver a speech detailing the statue’s history. She also named activists throughout history who fought for equality and listed reasons why the statue should be removed from the university’s campus.

“We love education and the [Confederate statute] does not educate us,” Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson concluded her speech by saying the statue commemorates and reveres the Confederacy and the institution of slavery.

“[The statue] reveres a memory of the ‘Old South’ staked on the enslavement of black people,” she said.

Protesters ended the march inside the front doors of the Lyceum with their demand letters in hand chanting, “What do we want? Justice!”

Rod Guajardo, UM associate director of strategic communications, told Hottytoddy.com in an email university leaders received and reviewed SASI’s letter.

“With final exams scheduled next week, they look forward to meeting with our students for a conversation sometime early in the new calendar year,” he said. 


53 COMMENTS

  1. Find another university if it offends you. Destroying a statue is nothing but childishness from inferior minds. History DOESN’T erase. Grow up.

    • The protesters are not asking to destroy the statue, they’re asking to remove it to a different place. A place that celebrates history: aka a museum or something. A university’s job is to create a safe space for all of it’s students where they can look forward to and build a future. A campus that celebrates its hateful past and lives in it cannot do that. What does that monument teach you? what can you tell about the history of campus and the history behind that statue from just looking at it? It’s nothing but glorification of confederacy. There’re other ways to educate about history. Add the education to the courses. The only thing the statue teaches the random passerby is that it was dedicated to all the Ole Miss soldiers that fought for confederacy from their parents. Does it say that 100 years later when the first black student came on campus, whites throw food at him, mocked him, degraded him, and took up guns to kill him, and shot federal soldiers to get to him? does it say that those students that left to fight for confederacy were most likely sons of slave owners and were probably horrible human being and white supremacists? does it say that right now only 13% of the students at Ole Miss are black while 77.2% are white? Does it say that the term Ole Miss is what slaves called their owner’s wife? that rebels are confederate soldiers? that colors of Ole Miss are colors of confederate flag? That on football game days you have many families hanging the actual confederate flag in their tents? no, it just says the statue was dedicated for lost lives of the students and the only thing you will take away from that is feeling sorry for those who lost their lives and thinking aww cute, this was dedicated by their parents!! ADORABLE! ….. Idk man your ignorance is something.

      • Piss on the twits. They are a bunch of wallet munching freebie I wants with a shoe size IQ. Since they are all taking basket weaving 101 remedial and have lots of time to BS I would say they should bother with college but just get on to their “the world owes us everything” checks and handouts for knowing and doing NOTHING useful. What a bunch of turds. I worked at the University of Michigan and watched punks like this become professional students with gray hair and nothing to show for the wasted time on campus. Oh, but they made sure their communist fellow travelers all got placement in one hack/do nothing job after another on campus. This is just the latest worthless crop.

      • Leave our Southern Monuments alone. To we southerners, they represent our history and the sacrifices of American heroes to the same extent that Union Monuments are meaningful to northerners. They have nothing to do with slavery except to those close minded, prejudiced and racist individuals who wish to interpret them that way. If you don’t like the Southern Monuments, move or go to another university. Nobody is forcing these idiots to attend Ole Miss so get the hell out and shut up.

      • What that statue teaches us is honor, courage, patriotism and devotion to duty. Considering all the grammatical errors in your post I don’t think you should be calling anyone else ignorant.

      • Not every event is told, but it is history, nonetheless. Grow up and accept that things occurred that you didn’t like. That’s part of growing up. My family was slaughtered by Hitler. I don’t go around and tell everyone who is German, that they must vacate my area because the reason they’re dead is because of them. Yet, they are the reason my family is dead. That statue represents a reason that school is there. It’s time people like you realize that you cannot erase what occurred..neither bad nor good. So stop trying to. Shall I stomp my feet because they called a street by Hitler’s name? Grow up and get a life!!

        • Nobody is saying they are fighting to get rid of family members of confederates that are living generations after. How would you feel if a statue of a Nazi was built and put in the center of the university (or workplace) you attend and pay to be in, and everyday you have to pass by it on your way to classes? The statue doesn’t represent shit. How is the statue representing a reason why school is there? it’s not like the school was built because of those confederate soldiers, it was shut down because of them. And for sure they didn’t do anything for the future of the school or build anything for the school since slaves build the buildings.

      • Anahita Benrauz or what ever your name is–please do not talk about other people’s ignorance–you dumb-ass, you said the Ole Miss colors were the same as the Confederate Flag. The colors were chosen when the school was started–the founders wanted Ole Miss to be “The Harvard of the South”–the colors were Harvard and Yale colors.
        Go back to the wonderful county that you or your family ran from. If you want a University with more than 13% Black, go to Africa or your Muslim country–sorry, they don’t have Universities. Mississippi still has a few all Black Universities, try one of them, were you will not be noticed.

      • One million Freedman starved to death while Robber Barons funded Transcontinental RR Transatlantic Cable and purchase of Alaska. North began genocide against Native Americans and Blacks, not the CSA. North wanted to be free of Blacks not free for Blacks. When you throw around all that “White Supremacy’ BS you sound extremely ignorant. Face it you are talking out your frustration at Hillary’s loss by substituting CSA statues for Trump.

  2. I agree. Why does the white man have to always be the one giving in? Maybe we do need to get rid of some things, let’s start with the MLK statues, streets, etc. Some folks, even though they are in college, need to grow up.

    • And while we are at it, do away with the mlk holiday and give it to a good man, Billy Graham. He never had to excuse his adultery as mlk did by calling it “weakness of the flesh” because he did not have any adultery to have an excuse for.

  3. They want to feel “safe”. Perhaps I am uninformed…..has that statue been attacking people?

    Snowflakes afraid of a stationary piece of concrete. These people are too stupid to be in college. Apparently, ole miss has really lowered admission standards.

    One of the reasons Vitter was forced out was due to private donations falling off. Just watch donations crater if they take down that statue.

      • You really seem like a nice person but you speaking ill of the confederacy is just evidence of what the populace has been spoon fed. Saying that the MAIN thing confederate soldiers fought for was to own humans is like saying the MAIN thing todays soldiers are fighting for is abortion. Most were fighting to protect their land and families from a foreign invader. You can’t lump everyone together and call them racist. Are you a murderer because abortion is legal? The fact of the matter is the confedracy was out numbered 2 to 1 and still won more battles than the Union. Emancipation was NOTHING more than an empty gesture by Lincoln and last desperate attempt at gaining control as he had NO AUTHORITY in the seceded states. It wasn’t until General Lee’s multifaceted surender that gave validity to Lincoln’s empty gesture. Instead of being the victim of an inantimate object maybe they should protest the cover-up at the Devils Punchbowl in Natchez MS where the federal goverment slaughterd hundreds of newly freed humans.

      • You, ma’am, are part of the problem and not the solution. You are so close-minded that you can look through a keyhole with both eyes. And apparently, you know nothing about history or the law. A federal law was passed many years ago that made all Southern veterans American citizens with all the rights and privileges of all citizens. Therefore, the Monuments celebrate the sacrifice of Americans who fought a war that is part of this nation’s history. If you don’t like it, move to Canada 🇨🇦

  4. This needs to stop. The University needs to stop these snowflake professors from egging these kids on. The statute is honoring students who went off to war and didn’t come back. The liberals are always offended and protesting something. I really hope that there will be counter protesters next time. I will be there.

    • First of all, there were many protesters, both students and faculty. This video was well edited to only show some. The protesters are not asking to destroy the statue, they’re asking to remove it to a different place. A place that celebrates history: aka a museum or something. A university’s job is to create a safe space for all of it’s students where they can look forward to and build a future. A campus that celebrates its hateful past and lives in it cannot do that. What does that monument teach you? what can you tell about the history of campus and the history behind that statue from just looking at it? It’s nothing but glorification of confederacy. There’re other ways to educate about history. Add the education to the courses. The only thing the statue teaches the random passerby is that it was dedicated to all the Ole Miss soldiers that fought for confederacy from their parents. Does it say that 100 years later when the first black student came on campus, whites throw food at him, mocked him, degraded him, and took up guns to kill him, and shot federal soldiers to get to him? does it say that those students that left to fight for confederacy were most likely sons of slave owners and were probably horrible human being and white supremacists? does it say that right now only 13% of the students at Ole Miss are black while 77.2% are white? Does it say that the term Ole Miss is what slaves called their owner’s wife? that rebels are confederate soldiers? that colors of Ole Miss are colors of confederate flag? That on football game days you have many families hanging the actual confederate flag in their tents? no, it just says the statue was dedicated for lost lives of the students and the only thing you will take away from that is feeling sorry for those who lost their lives and thinking aww cute, this was dedicated by their parents!! ADORABLE! ….. Idk man your ignorance is something.

      • The presence of minority students on the campus of Ole Miss and the fact they walk about unmolested is proof the campus is a safe space. 13% of the students at Ole Miss are black – then that corresponds to the percentage of blacks in the United States, thus blacks at Ole Miss are an exact representation of blacks in the U.S. demographic. If your true goal is equality, then removal of the Confederate Statue demands the removal of all statues, including that of James Meredith. In doing so, all history is treated equally. Take your psychological projection virtue signaling elsewhere. Oh, here’s a little science for you from Yale and Princeton that explains your little hissy fit. Enjoy. https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/white-liberals-present-themselves-as-less-competent-in-interactions-with-african-americans?amp

        • Oh wow!! so a safe space to you means not being attacked while walking to your classes. Way to go. Percent of black people on campus is 13% and that is the percentage of black people in United States, but percent of white people is 60%. So if you wanna go by that logic, you need other minorities on this campus to lower the percent of white people by 17%. Also, the percentage of black people in mississippi in nearly 40% (38% to be exact). James Meredith needs to be glorified because he build a future for the students of color in OleMiss. Unlike the confederate statue that needs to be pissed on because those racist pieces of shit didn’t do shit. Confederates lost. Get over it.

          • The freedom to walk about unmolested is the general definition of safe space. If you define it as achieving some sort of psychological nirvana, then grow the fuck up! Do you admit your goal is attacking white people? If so, thank you for being honest. If not, you’re a lying piece of shit. “Meredith built a future for colored students” 50+ years ago, but, according to you, they still have not achieved “equality” – which you have yet to define. What does success look like in your warped little world? What are the metrics you use to measure what “successful” looks like? How do we know when we get there – wherever “there” is?

          • James Meredith is a fine and honorable man. Why don’t you ask him about how he feels about the statue? I would like to read his opinion.

      • I spoke with an Ole Miss student who lives on the campus. He was not even aware there was a protest until today. This demonstration is nowhere near as big as you’re trying to make it out to be.

  5. Too ironic how liberals consider you ignorant if you don’t agree with them. There is nothing intelligent about close-minded people thinking their way is the only way. There is nothing wise about name-calling and insults. It’s actually quite childish and counter-productive to handle yourself in such a manner.

  6. There’s a lot more bigger problems in this world to worry about than taking down statues! Those statues hasn’t hurt a thing or raised any eyebrows since they been up! Its a shame this country’s youth has become some of the sorriest and pathetic forms of life!

    • You are RITE Carl…!!!! My costume didn’t arrive in time for Halloween and it was the most expensive out of all the SM folks. I MISSED the party.

  7. Leftism is a cancer. And it infects every mind it touches. College has become a useless pursuit, unless the use is indoctrination at the expense of education. These kids aren’t offended; they’re trained. By idiots who enslave them with factless feelings and dent that cannot be repaid with the crap pumped into their heads. Leave the monuments alone; they haven’t said or done a thing. And get these kids an education that actually leads to something. This idiocy must stop. Now.

  8. When you see white leftists who protest too much about white racism or white privilege, you should automatically assume they secretly possess both and are hiding their true feelings through acts of exculpatory negative transference that slander whites they consider too gauche (read: dignified) to “get with the program.” White liberals like Em Gill and her flock of sheep know their virtue signaling is complete bulllshit, but they cannot help themselves, it is like a drug to them. They assuage their unresolved, conflicted feelings stemming from the enormous gap between their actions and their self-conception by yapping nonstop about the racism they project onto others to stabilize their own dissonance. https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/white-liberals-present-themselves-as-less-competent-in-interactions-with-african-americans?amp

  9. Ana…..I don’t think you are bright enough to be worthy of debating….

    You can trash donations from “confederate supporters” are you want…..

    But a university depends on donations as a substantial part of the operating budget. But the fact is, donations will take a hit…..and fewer donations translates to a smaller budget which translates to fewer faculty or construction budget, etc…

    Please tell me you are not this stupid

  10. Eye Nose that a turnout of “several dozen” protesting on a campus of about 20,000 inside a town of about 25,000 shows LITTLE support for removal of the statue, which was placed there to honor OLE MISS students and faculty when they had NO choice EXCEPT to fight for the Confederacy.

  11. These ibtards are only tolerant of like minded minded views. They are the most uninformed, foul mouthed intolerant fools on the earth today.

  12. 30% of the Class of 1861 died in the war, 25% of the Ole Miss student body of 1860-61 died in the War Between the States. Do you not think that we would raise a monument if we had those types of loses today! There would probably be monuments all over Oxford and Ole Miss. These young men were family members of people in Mississippi. They were defending there state and the South from outside invaders, this is absolutely outrageous. This group should be dismissed from the University.

    • Good. I’m glad they died. Instead of feeling sorry for them, feel guilty that your ancestors defended and fought to keep south separated from United States because they wanted an economy based on slavery.

  13. And one more thing-it looks like the students nowadays want to scrub Ole Miss of its own history and traditions making it just another bland college like thousands across the country already. Yes, I believe in inclusion and diversity in the workplace. But in a college campus setting for students, no. They signed up for this beforehand and they knew the statue was there already. They should practice what they preach-tolerance and acceptance for Ole Miss as it is and quit trying to change its past.

  14. These are the idiots that’s going to run the country one day. They have no idea what the war was about and they’re in college. As dumb as I am I do know the war was over not paying taxes to the money hungry Yankees. I’m almost happy that I’m old and close to death so I won’t have to watch morons destroy this country.

  15. Unlike Isis I believe in good solid history, right wrong or otherwise. So many people love old statues, many travel a long ways to admire them. More people should read in depth and not so very shallow as most have done recently. Check out the Southern side of books by Seabrook a very distance relation to a few from europe and a few Confederates. The majority of flags and statues have no real racist intent. Yet there is a old saying repeat a lie 3x and it will become the truth of many. Some think the Confederacy was racists you should check out the North. Ask Seabrook for a few of his books for your library. Perhaps he will donate or sell for a reduced price. Maybe someone will be better educated by them.

  16. One Third of Freedmen starved to death while Robber Barons funded Transcontinental RR Transatlantic Cable and purchase of Alaska. Over 20K alone died in Union Army Contraband camp called Devil’s Punchbowl. This Iconoclastic mania is based on Marxist reeducation propaganda and has no resemblance to fact, clearly History Dept needs a major overhaul.

  17. One more note to Anahita Behrouz–Kid, I do not know if you are a man or a woman, doesn’t matter, you must be a “Raghead”.
    If you have any balls at all, answer this. Did your family come to America as Political Refuges??? If so, what were you running from???
    Did someone invade your happy county and you ran??? This happen to us down South in 1861, we did not run, we fought to save our part of the country. Only 5 % of the South were slave owners–the other 95% fought to defend our homes. (Remember, we did not invade them)
    You came here for refuge, why did you come to Mississippi–were you looking for a SAFE PLACE , then do not stand under my statue, go to a Christian Church.

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