by Max Brantley
Shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning a disturbance started near the center of the University of Mississippi campus, where students gathered to protest the Tuesday night re-election of President Barack Obama.
Initial reports on Twitter labeled the gathering as a “riot,” but observers said it was simply angry students assembled in protest.(See a video of the reported disturbance at the end of this story.)
Students were heard shouting racial epithets about Obama and African Americans in general.
Police were called to the scene and the crowd broke up around 12:30 a.m.
UPDATE: A friend forwards an e-mail sent by Ole Miss' chancellor, who confirms the racial language at the event:
November 7, 2012
Dear Ole Miss Family,
There are media reports of incidents on our campus last evening in the wake of the election results being announced. First, let me assure all of you that the campus is quiet and safe this morning for all of our students. While the investigation into last night’s events continues, we are grateful there are no reports of injuries or property damage.
The reports of the use of racial language by some have been confirmed by our campus police. The University leadership strongly condemns this kind of behavior and is embarrassed that any students associated with the university would use this kind of language. Our university creed calls for the respect of each individual and for fairness and civility. The investigation of this event will be thorough and individuals found in violation of any law will be referred to appropriate authorities. Individuals found in violation of university policy will be dealt with appropriately through the student conduct process.
As we have acknowledged throughout this year of recognizing fifty years of racial integration at our university, despite evidence of progress, we still live in an imperfect world. All of us in the university community must recommit ourselves to condemn hate and to continue our work to assure our university is a safe and welcoming place for every individual every day.
Daniel W. Jones, MD