​Ghetto Tuesday is back

Posted on Feb 12 2013 - 7:00am by Lacey Russell

Two weeks ago at Union Unplugged, I saw two tweets that were both equally ignorant and insensitive.
One said, “I love it when the Union gets all ghetto.”
The other said, “ghettoTuesday is back!”
The second tweeter was gracious enough to provide a picture of the NPHC Greeks strolling in front of the Union.
What’s even more problematic about these tweets is that they emerged just after the Incident Review Committee deemed that social media fueled the post-election incident.
Two questions must be asked: If social media fueled the post-election incident, then what was the spark?

What prompted our fellow classmates to tweet such insensitivity?

The answer to both questions is one that few people want to talk about — subtle racial animosity.

Ignorance also played an immense role in these and past tweets like it. (I’m sure most of you remember the infamous “hood rats” tweet.)
“When anyone, Greek or non-Greek, sees Union Unplugged and calls it ‘ghetto’ or ‘thug,’ they are conflating traditions developed by intelligent, educated African-Americans with negative connotations of poverty and urban life, when the only connection is a stereotype about their race,” a former Ole Miss student and current Vanderbilt grad student said.
I could not have put it better myself.
​This leads me to my second point. Why is The University of Mississippi perceived as a racist school?
Obviously our troubled past plays an integral role in that perception, but also our contemporary history of racial insensitivity factors into the minds of outsiders.
A few years ago, a fraternity had a party in which some of the members put on black faces and acted like prisoners.

And I have heard plenty of anecdotal stories of people that were treated unfairly because of the color of their skin.

I remember all of the vehement responses students displayed when negative national and international coverage loomed over our campus.

I also remember the candlelight vigil that was held in response.
But that’s not enough for the media to stop casting us as racist. It’s not enough for us to honestly call ourselves a community that welcomes diversity.

It’s not enough for the preacher to continually be preaching to the choir.
It’s simply not enough.
We all have to make a concerted, consistent effort to turn our campus into a better place.

I can already hear people saying that our campus is not the only one that has racial problems. This statement is true. But an old gospel song by the Williams Brothers my father used to play when I was younger says, “Sweep around your own front door, before you try to sweep around mine.”
No one cares more about the image of Ole Miss than its students. Let us rise to the occasion and really try to bring forth a change to our university.
​We are in the midst of campus elections; I hope that all of the campus candidates are committed to bring forth change in regards to our campus climate. I wish them all the best of luck.

Tim Abram is a public policy junior from Horn Lake. Follow him on Twitter @Tim_Abram.