PUBLISHED: 10:39 EST, 7 November 2012 | UPDATED: 14:13 EST, 7 November 2012
- More than 400 students gathered to protest Obama’s reelection
- Two students arrested, one for public intoxication
- Ole Miss Chancellor blasts student body for taking ‘a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election’
- Administration condemned racial epithets and called for students to recommit themselves to tolerance
President Obama’s call for unity in his acceptance speech in Chicago didn’t quite make it down South.
A riot broke out at The University of Mississippi – known as Ole Miss – as more than 400 students yelled out racial slurs and burned Obama-Biden campaign posters after the Democratic incumbent was crowned the victor of the 2012 Presidential Election on Tuesday.
Emotions ran high among the angered college conservatives in Oxford, Mississippi, with university police being called in shortly after midnight to diffuse the crowd.
Riots: Ole Miss students took to the streets, burning Obama campaign posters after his reelection was announced
Outrage: Students chronicled the demonstrations against Obama’s win on social media
The incident began as a small gathering of frustrated voters, meeting to share their misery at Obama getting another four years in office, shortly after midnight.
But word soon spread over social media and the crowd began to swell to hundreds of students. yelling out racial slurs, chanting anti-Obama rhetoric and some reportedly throwing rocks at cars.
Police were called and told the crowd to go home but their presence only attracted more attention and the mass began to multiply.
Two students were arrested in the fracas, one for public intoxication and one for failure to comply with police orders, the university confirmed.
Disorder: Two students were arrested in the campus riot at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. on Tuesday night. An Ole Miss police officer escorts one student away from the protest
Night out: Footage from the campus news service showed groups of Ole Miss students milling about
Settle down: A university police officer tells a student, donning an American flag shirt, to stay seated in the back of a pickup truck as he drives around campus during the riot
‘Disperse or go to jail,’ University Police Department officers told the crowd, according to the student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian.
But Ole Miss student Nicholas Carr tweeted that the whole thing was being overblown, saying that more people were taking pictures of the so-called riot than actually joining in on the chanting.
‘I was there the whole time. No rocks were thrown. There was 1 sign lit on fire. For about 45 seconds,’ Carr wrote.
‘Mostly, it was 100s of college kids who heard the word riot and ran to take pictures and see what it was about. Again, no rocks or missiles thrown.’
But the school’s administration confronted students on Wednesday and blasted last night’s behavior as ‘a very immature and uncivil approach to expressing their views about the election,’ University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones said in statement.
Breakthrough: Courtney Pearson, the first ever African-American homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi, rides in the homecoming parade in Oxford, Miss. on Friday, Oct. 12
School spirit: Courtney Pearson beat Ashleigh Davis (pictured) for the chance to wear the crown 1,477 votes to 1,387 in a victory for the University of Mississippi’s reputation in race relations.
‘The gathering seems to have been fueled by social media, and the conversation should have stayed there.’
‘Reports of uncivil language and shouted racial epithets appear to be accurate and are universally condemned by the university, student leaders and the vast majority of students who are more representative of our university creed,’ he added, calling on students to recommit themselves ‘to condemn hate and to continue our work to assure our university is a safe and welcoming place for every individual every day.’
The student outburst comes just weeks after the school crowned their first African-American homecoming queen.
21-year-old senior Courtney Roxanne Pearson was voted into royalty by the Southern school, where she would not have even been allowed to matriculate fifty years ago.
Activist: James Meredith, the first African American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi, holds a newspaper in 1962 as he attempts to register at the university
Protest: Two people were killed and 75 injured in a riot on October 1st that erupted as James Meredith was ushered into the University of Mississippi by federal marshals in 1972
She told Ole Miss News in October that she considered her victory a landmark for the university, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the admission of James Meredith, their first African-American student, which set off rioting at the southern college.
‘It couldn’t have come at a better time,’ Pearson said.
‘I hope that after Homecoming 2012 everyone gives Ole Miss the respect it deserves and that this election inspires someone else to follow their dreams.’
In 1962, when Meredith was admitted to the university, riots broke out on September 30th leaving two dead and 200 people injured.