A prospective student with over 184,000 followers on TikTok posted a racist video with stereotypes about Chinese people. When students reported the video to the Office of Student Conduct and the Office of Admissions, the students were all sent the same email that said the person who posted the video had taken responsibility for his actions and that UM supports all its students, including Asian Americans.
It is unknown what action, if any, will be taken by the university.
“As an Asian American myself, it shocks and hurts me to see that a racist like Silas James will be calling himself an Ole Miss student,” one Asian American student, who asked for her name to not be used for fear of backlash, said in an email to the Office of Student Conduct on Monday.
Multiple students sent emails to the Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Conduct, and they all received the same response:
Silas James, who posted the video, has “Ole Miss 24’” in his Instagram account, which has nearly 4,000 followers. He could not be immediately reached for comment.
After the original publication of this article, James posted an apology to his Instagram page, saying that he took full responsibility for his actions and that he disavowed posts that perpetuate stereotypes across social media.
Jasmine Smith, who graduated from the university with a doctorate in pharmacy in 2019, also sent an email to the Office of Admissions.
“I hope your team will look into this event and take it upon yourselves to not allow students posting racist content to enter into our school, which already has a complicated history on the matter,” she said in the email on Monday. “I would like to not be given a copy and paste email as you have sent to my fellow alumni.”
She has not received a response from the university at the time of publication.
“If our University can crack down and punished those who are racist towards our African American students/classmates/friends/family, then why won’t they crack down on racism towards Asian American students/classmates/friends/family,” she told The Daily Mississippian in an email. “It’s deplorable.”
This comes after the university changed the way it handles incidents of bias in its community after students posed for a photo with guns in front of a bullet-riddled Emmett Till memorial last year. During the 2018-19 school year, there were 26 incidents of bias reported to the university.
“Multiple students have expressed concerns about this issue,” the Associated Student Body said last night in a tweet referring to the video. “President-elect Joshua Mannery has reached out to Dr. Edney and the administration about it. We will post updates as new info becomes available.”
The university could not be immediately reached for comment at the time of publication.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.