Three white University of Mississippi students thought it would be amusing to pose in front of the sign commemorating the murder of 14-year-old civil rights icon Emmett Till with a shotgun and an AR-15. The image is beyond disgusting — it is a threat. A racist, violent threat against an entire community. Their actions must not be ignored. They must not be brushed aside. They must not be normalized.
Guns are more often used to intimidate than to kill. This image is armed, violent intimidation. It is a message of white supremacy and racism dressed in casual attire.
The students in the photo have been suspended from their fraternity but no further action has been taken by the University of Mississippi. That is unacceptable. The administration must take immediate action to expel these students or they will be contributing to this normalization of hate. Inaction is complacency.
The University of Mississippi states in their creed the following:
The University of Mississippi is a community of learning dedicated to nurturing excellence in intellectual inquiry and personal character in an open and diverse environment. As a voluntary member of this community:
I believe in respect for the dignity of each person
I believe in fairness and civility
I believe in personal and professional integrity
I believe in good stewardship of our resources
I pledge to uphold these values and encourage others to follow my example.
These students have broken this creed and dishonored their university. It must result in their expulsion.