Not much to say here. Mississippi once again makes a fool of itself.
After President Obama was reelected, a group of students at Mississippi’s largest university, “Ole Miss” decided to protest on campus employing the use of numerous racial slurs best left in the 60s. It’s worth noting that the University of Mississippi has an infamous history due to the violent riots that occurred when the university was integrated by James Meredith in 1962; Mississippi hasn’t been the same since.The problem for Mississippi is that even if this “riot” was exaggerated by the media, the state’s reputation makes an incident like this incredibly believable.
As much as we love to pretend America is post-racial, the harsh reality is that it remains anything but post-racial. In 2008, 88% of white Mississippi voters favored Senator John McCain. Now, four years later, 89% preferred Mitt Romney over Obama. On the bright side, the religious right got over Romney’s Mormonism, which believe it or not indicates some progress. To be fair, black voters overwhelmingly supported Obama, so the racial divide goes both ways. Interestingly, Maine is one of the few states that would have still favored Obama even if you removed the minorities.
There are many great things about Mississippi, but until certain segments of its population either a.) get over themselves or b.) get their ish together, the nation’s “most southern” state will continue to find itself at the butt of many jokes and rankings.
Note: Oxford, MS is a great town and I really enjoy the Ole Miss campus. A colleague spearheaded a college visit / football game trip for a half dozen of our students last year and it was “the best day ever” for many of them. I have nothing against the university but I’d like my students to feel welcome there should they earn admittance down the road.
UPDATE: click here to see what the 2012 Presidential Election would have looked like without Universal Suffrage; in other words, when women and minorities were not allowed to vote!