The University of Mississippi is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two individuals who were seen defacing the statue of James Meredith on campus. The statue honors Meredith’s efforts to racially integrate the university in 1962.
A noose and an old Georgia state flag containing the Confederate Stars & Bars was placed over the statue. The two perpetrators were heard yelling racial slurs. The statue was erected in 2006 and this is the first time it has been vandalized. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined local police on the case.
Don Jones, chancellor of the University of Mississippi, stated “These individuals chose our university’s most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values. Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue – Courage, Knowledge, Opportunity, and Perseverance.”
Update: Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity has revoked the membership of three first-year students who have been identified as having participated in the incident. Evidence has been turned over to prosecutors.