The Sept. 17 Facebook post by Ed Meek involving two African-American women on the Square and references to the degradation of Oxford and Ole Miss has led to the ultimate demise of his reputation.
The backlash and fallout was significant with claims of racism and misogyny, and ultimately led to Meek requesting his name be removed from the school of Journalism and New Media, a mere four days after the incident. After Chancellor Vitter’s approval, the IHL board approved the change Thursday morning.
Ed Meek did a very moronic thing. He posted two pictures of women whom he does not know and has never met before and used them as an example of the deterioration of Oxford and Ole Miss values.
While I think there is a lot of truth in the fact that the virtue of modesty has been degraded down to a sliver in all of Oxford and among women of all stripes, especially on gameday, Meek decided to focus on the most minor issues of the weekend. The OPD crime report that weekend was something to behold with 49 arrests along with viral videos of drunk imbeciles fighting in the Grove.
To make the claim that Meek’s post “clearly demonstrated racist” language is total speculation, and to call for his reputation to be soiled based on this assumption is immoral.
For the claim to be true, you actually have to prove that it was racist, or that he is racist. Chancellor Vitter, nor anyone has done this, but the narrative was created in spite of that.
At this time, I dissent from the viewpoint that Meek should be ostracized from the University of Mississippi because of one ignorant post that he has apologized for.
As seen in the last month, narrative is a powerful force that runs the world we currently live in. However, conjuring a narrative that has no basis in truth can be detrimental to the parties involved.
With all of that said, the hay is in the barn for the School of Journalism and New Media to be renamed, preferably for Ida B. Wells, and we should move forward from here.
Now to my fellow students —whether or not you agree with the actions taken by the administration and, or, Ed Meek over the past month, it’s time to look ahead. Whether you’re black, white or brown, let’s take steps forward. To do this, we must stop looking back.
While the history is certainly hard to bear and should be remembered for the travesty it was, let’s look less on the past, and more on the future. We live in the greatest country the world has ever seen where women, men, and people of all races are equal and have opportunity like no other country has. This is land of liberty and justice for all free where everybody has access to the American dream.
We must unite as one nation under God, and by turning forward to the challenges of the future instead of holding on the injustices of the past, we can truly become indivisible.
Reagan Meredith is a junior public policy major from Monroe, Louisiana.