Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter tweeted a statement in support of the University of Virginia and Charlottesville communities yesterday. The tweet said, “Racism and violence have no place on our campuses or in our country.”
The screenshot of the statement read:
“The University of Mississippi vehemently condemns the racism, bigotry, and the acts of violence committed by hate groups in Charlottesville this past weekend. There is no place for violence and intolerance– not in our communities, on our campuses, or in our country. No words can adequately express how saddened we are by these acts. We stand with the University of Virginia community and send our sympathies to all victims of this tragedy. Please join us in keeping Charlottesville and UVA in our thoughts as they heal, find unity, and move forward. We ask members of the UM community to support one another, follow the principles of our Creed, and access campus resources should they be needed.”
This response comes days after white supremacists groups held a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally was deemed unlawful by state authorities, and both sides were ordered to “disperse immediately.” The rally then turned deadly, killing one person and injuring more than a dozen others when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters. By the end of the rally, at least 30 people were injured. Pictures from the event show the supremacist groups carrying Mississippi flags.
Charlottesville was home to multiple rallies this summer in response to plans for removal of the Robert E. Lee statue at a park in town. Just yesterday, a group of of protestors pulled down a Confederate solider statue themselves in Durham, North Carolina. Earlier this summer, New Orleans removed a prominent statue of Robert E. Lee.
All the while, the University of Mississippi is working to deal with its own controversial symbols through the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on History and Context, which placed an informational plaque in front of the Confederate solider statue in the Circle and announced a plan to rename Vardaman Hall. One of the last listening sessions held by the group in March left a long list of buildings to be renamed or contextualized.
Here is the original tweet:
— Jeff Vitter (@UMchancellor) August 14, 2017