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Supporters, Family of Ole Miss Student Speak Out over Racial Attacks

An Ole Miss student has been the target of several attacks because of the color of his skin. The student's family and supporters are worried the university isn't taking any of this seriously.
OXFORD, MS (abc24.com) - He's been called names, robbed and had his truck vandalized with racial slurs. An Ole Miss student has been the target of several attacks because of the color of his skin. The student's family and supporters are worried the university isn't taking any of this seriously.

They want to hear more from the school, including how Ole Miss plans to stop to the racism. They're worried the incidents will escalate into violence.

"The university, the leadership seems to be in denial, as though nothing is really happening," says Reverend Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. "Like this is no big thing. This is no hate crime. Yes. It is."

"It first started with the door," says Jamal Woods. Hateful words were written on his dorm room. After repeat attacks Woods moved. "Everything was good for about two months then all of a sudden this happened."

He's referring to is the vandalism of his truck in a student parking lot. All four tires were slashed. The inside was torn apart and Woods' stereo and two thousand dollars of his belongings were stolen.

It's the words cut into the car that show it wasn't a typical theft: KKK, Go Home and uglier slurs.

"What's next?" he asks. "I don't know. It could be worse."

The ROTC student chose to attend Ole Miss over entering the military right out of high school. "Out of my family - my mom, my dad, my sisters and brothers - there was one person, my sister, that finished college. I wanted to be the second person."

Now all Woods can think about is leaving the school. "I may go to TSU or the University of Memphis or straight into the military," he tells abc24.com.

His family fears for his safety. Woods has decided to sit out the next semester.

His supporters want to work things out with the university so he can stay.

"If you leave now, the cowards win," says Dr. L. LaSimba Gray, president of the Memphis Chapter of People United to Save Humanity. "We want to stand with you to make sure you're protected."

"This is just a symptom of the problem," Montgomery adds. "We want to sit down and talk about the problem to see how we can make things better on the campus."

"The school needs to restore his vehicle and assure him this thing will not happen again," Gray seconds.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has requested a meeting with the chancellor. Ole Miss plans to make that happen.

There's also a $1,000 reward offered for information that leads to arrest of whoever is behind Woods' attacks.
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