Editorial: We cannot disregard our history and our responsibility

Posted on Nov 9 2012 - 3:33am by Phil McCausland
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This year was meant to be a symbol of the progress that The University of Mississippi has made. Every member of the student body knew we were celebrating 50 years of integration and that the university has a history of prejudice and hate, which the Ole Miss community wanted to prove we had overcome. Because of the actions of a select few, it appears to the nation we haven’t.
Tuesday night, a small group of students embarrassed the university and Rebels everywhere through hateful actions and by using racial epithets in reference to recently re-elected President Barack Obama, his supporters and other students.
We, the editorial staff of The Daily Mississippian, do not condone the disturbance. We also believe that those students who were involved need to be reminded of who they represent and the responsibility they take on when they call themselves Ole Miss Rebels.
When students decided to use racial epithets towards Obama, his supporters and students, in the eyes of the nation they not only insulted minorities everywhere, but they labeled everyone affiliated with the university a bigot. They have undone the reputation that we have gained and wasted the hard work of all those involved in changing the perception of the university.
Students must realize that we carry the weight of the university’s history, and the good or bad connotations that go along with it. We are also creating a new history, and we must seriously take on that responsibility to move the university and ourselves in the direction that we believe is best. Tuesday night, we did not create a new history of which we could be proud, but instead created a shadow of one of our most shameful moments.  
Do not excuse yourself from your responsibilities to the Ole Miss community and to your fellow man because of your youth, an ability to drink or your political frustrations.
This disturbance was disgraceful and embarrassed all of us in front of the entire nation, but we, The Daily Mississippian, know that the Ole Miss community will nevertheless continue on the path that we celebrated earlier this year as we attempt to prove that we truly are champions of equality, tolerance and opportunity.

The Daily Mississippian editorial board consists of those on the page two masthead of the Daily Mississippian.