Ole Miss responds to student posing in blackface

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OXFORD, Miss. (localmemphis.com) – It’s the season of costumes, and with it has come a recent post by an Ole Miss student in blackface. 

The university has been under fire before for the same reason, but this time the conversation started differently. An unnamed student who posed in blackface reported himself, according to school officials. 

Students on campus say the harmful trend of blackface is moving the university backwards.

“I don’t think he got the reaction he was expecting. He didn’t think it was going to blow up like it did,” said freshman Kirsten Busby. 

A university e-mail titled “Culture is not a costume” was sent out after the student posed in blackface. It warns students with upcoming halloween parties to think before they possibly offend different cultural groups. 

The school provost and vice chancellor said a student last week admitted to taking a picture in blackface, and while the school appreciated him for self-reporting, they made the incident public to show it commitment to being transparent. 

“It wasn’t that shocking because things like this have happened on campus before,” said student Jaylon Lester. “But I wouldn’t let that reflect on the university because we’ve come so far.”

Ole Miss states the student recognized the immediate impact of his behavior. 

“Just the roots of where it came from, Jim Crow times, where people would do it to mock slaves,” shared Lester. “I feel like he just needs to have more insight like thought and training on understanding on why it is offensive to people of color.”

The school said the student who posed in blackface is going through a restorative justice process. Officials also sent out advice to ensure students’ costumes aren’t culturally insensitive.

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