A white college donor—who is also the namesake of the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi—is facing intense backlash for making a “racist” Facebook post that included a picture of two Black students and a caption suggesting they caused a decline in school enrollment.
Ed Meek, an alumnus of Ole Miss who also donated $5.3 million to the journalism school, shared the post a few days after the Ole Miss-Alabama game Saturday night. In the post, Meek included a photo of two Black students celebrating in the on the Square in Oxford, reported the Clarion Ledger.
A screenshot of the post revealed Meek insinuated the women pictured, and possibly other Black students, have led to a decline in enrollment at Ole Miss and lower property values.
"I hesitated until now to publish these pictures but I think it is important that our community see what the camera is seeing at 2 a.m. after a ballgame," Meek wrote in the post that referred to a fight between fans of Ole Miss and Alabama.
"A 3 percent decline in enrollment is nothing compared to what we will see if this continues...and real estate values will plummet as will tax revenue. We all share in the responsibility to protect the values we hold dear that have made Oxford and Ole Miss known nationally."
The two women in the photos were identified as students Mahoghany Jordan and Kiyona Crawford.
Meek’s post went viral and received almost 600 comments of criticism before he deleted it. After deleting the post, Meeks posted a public apology, saying, "I apologize to those offended by my post. My intent was to point out that we have a problem in The Grove and on the Oxford Square."
However, by Thursday, the apology was also deleted. Meek reportedly made a separate private apology, which is only visible to his friends, that read: "I am sorry I posted the pictures I posted and I apologize to those offended by my post. I in no way intended to imply this is a racial issue. My intent was to point out we have a problem in The Grove and on the Oxford Square."
Jordan and Crawford have also spoken out about being included in the racist post and declined Meek’s apology.
In an open letter to The Daily Mississippian, Jordan wrote that neither she nor Crawford were involved in the “fights and scenes” Meek referred to.
“Somehow for Meek, the blame for the university's enrollment decline and city's decline in property value was easier to associate with two women of color as opposed to the particular demographic that has been at the forefront of the school's most controversial moments by far,” she wrote.
“The post reeks of racist ideology as well as misogyny and is not representative of who either of us are,” she added.
(Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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