As if the University of Mississippi needs more attention given to the subject, a segregationist has chimed in on the recent controversy surrounding a student chant.
The chant, sung by some students at sporting events, includes the phrase "The South will rise again." School administrators, faculty, alumni, donors, and coaches have asked that the chant no longer be used, but Richard Barrett, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a "white supremacist," told University of Mississippi President Dan Jones to back off, the Daily Mississippian reports.
Barrett took on a previous University of Mississippi president, Robert Khayat, in 2000 over a ban on waving the Confederate flag at Ole Miss's stadium, the report says. Barrett says students should have the right to say whatever they want.
"Democracy is offensive to tyrants, but I am glad it is," Barrett tells the Daily Mississippian. "Mississippi is the most democratic state in the union. It is our legacy from the post-Reconstruction era. We have more people elected, we have second primaries and runoffs to prevent pluralities from ruling and minorities from lording over the majority. What a virtue of being a Mississippian, and what a lesson to America."
The SPLC says Barrett's stance on the issue is no surprise.
"Barrett's been around forever, and he's been involved in lots of protests in support of racist ideals," Heidi Beirich of SPLC tells the Daily Mississippian.
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