By Alex Gonzalez
The University of Mississippi is one of the state’s most well known universities, and with Mississippi’s history and issues with slavery and racism, people continue to discuss the effects that still linger on campus today.
Current Ole Miss students are the only ones who can answer the question: Is Racism still alive at Ole Miss?
Trey Hernandez, a freshman from Memphis, believes racism “no longer exists” at the University of Mississippi.
Hernandez is a long time Rebel fanatic who is aware of the state and university’s history, but he does not let that affect how he lives his life today.
“Since starting school in the fall, I have hung out with kids of all sorts of ethnicities,” said Hernandez. “I don’t let the color of a person’s skin determine how I treat them. It’s not how I was raised.”
Lafayette Wales, a sophomore from Canton, Mississippi, said, “I was honestly surprised with how friendly and diverse the campus was when I first got here.”
Wales claims he has never witnessed or experienced any racist behavior since his enrollment at the University of Mississippi. Even though he might not witness anything on campus, Wales is not blind to his surroundings and understands that there is still a generation of racist people living in the state.
“I believe people have accepted that times are changing, but I also believe that people still have their own views and beliefs that will never change,” stated Wales.
Another student went on to say that racism is still alive and within a small group of the student population.
“Sometimes, I overhear conversations in class where kids are secretly insulting other students because of their skin color or because of what they look like,” said Julie Mucci, a junior from Westfield, New Jersey. “It’s really sad to hear and realize that there are still rude and ignorant people like that in our world.”
Even though a handful of students portray and express bigoted and hateful thoughts, they do not represent the University of Mississippi as a whole.
“I believe that people know what Ole Miss built itself upon and are aware of its history with racism, but it’s not by any means a racist university,” said Tessa Baron, a junior from San Diego.
Students who are here now are not the same students who were here 50 years ago. Some say the lingering stench of racism can still be found in the state, but it doesn’t define the university.
Ole Miss is adapting to the surrounding world while continuing to provide its students with the most diverse college experience possible. Some say racism is fading away from the Ole Miss community, but it will take time and effort to fully rid the town and university of the odor left behind.