‘Ole Miss’ student seen on video making monkey noises towards Black woman during pro-Palestine protests

“Statements were made at the demonstration on our campus Thursday that were offensive and inappropriate,” said the University of Mississippi in a statement.

Andrea Cavallier
Saturday 04 May 2024 20:08 BST
'Ole Miss student' uses shocking racist taunt at Black woman during campus protest

A shocking video revealed a white student counter-protester at the University of Mississippi racistly mocking a Black protester by making monkey noises at her during ongoing Gaza solidarity demonstrations.

The confrontation caught on camera Thursday was filmed and posted on X,  formerly Twitter, by Stacey J. Spiehler, who explained that the counter-protester dressed in a pale blue t-shirt was jumping up and down, hooting like a monkey toward a protester who was live-streaming on her phone.

The man on the right in blue can be seen making monkey noises
The man on the right in blue can be seen making monkey noises (Stacey Spiehler via YouTube)

Referring to Black people as monkeys is a known racist trope dating back hundreds of years and used to justify slavery and Jim Crow law.

“It was easily 10-1 counter-protesters to protesters,” Spiehler told The Independent. She said the woman, a student, stepped outside the protected barricade and was taking video on her phone.

As the woman approaches the group of male students, chants of “lock her up” could be heard.

“Counter-protesters were throwing things. I saw half a chicken parm sandwich on the ground, a carrot,” Spiehler said. “She was brave, holding her own and had more intelligence and empathy in her little finger than that whole crowd. Whether or not you agree with her, she embodies UM.”

The video surfaced as ongoing pro-Palestinian protests at multiple college campus across the nation continue over the Israel-Gaza war.

In a statement to The Independent on Friday, a spokesperson for Ole Miss wrote: “Statements were made at the demonstration on our campus Thursday that were offensive and inappropriate. We cannot comment specifically about that video, but the university is looking into reports about specific actions. Any actions that violate university policy will be met with appropriate action.”

The spokesperson declined to comment specifically about that video.

In an additional twist, Republican legislator Rep. Mike Collins from Georgia, reposted the video showing the racist slur and wrote “Ole Miss taking care of business.”

Other politicians weighed in. “This is a video showing anti-Blackness,” Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner wrote, reposting Collins’ post. “This is a sitting Congressman applauding it.”

Rob Smith, a U.S. veteran of the Iraq War, wrote, “An elected official in the House of Representatives should absolutely not be tweeting out this video with this caption. This stuff is what makes the Republican Party absolutely toxic to the vast majority of Black Americans. This is so not the way.”

On Thursday, dozens students were evacuated off of the University of Mississippi campus after a pro-Palestine demonstration escalated to a shouting match between the protesters and counter-protestors.

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