66 Tul. L. Rev. 1411 (1991-1992)
Civil Rights, Confederate Flags, and Political Correctness: Free Speech and Race Relations on Campus

handle is hein.journals/tulr66 and id is 1435 raw text is: ESSAYS
CIVIL RIGHTS, CONFEDERATE FLAGS, AND
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: FREE SPEECH AND
RACE RELATIONS ON CAMPUS
RONALD J. RYCHLAK*
I teach law at the University of Mississippi, in the heart of
the Deep South. This campus was the scene of one of the great
battles in the civil rights movement. In 1962, James Meredith
became the first African-American student to enroll at the Uni-
versity, but only after a federal court order required the Univer-
sity to admit him. His enrollment led to two days of rioting that
left two people dead, 375 injured, and forced President Kennedy
to send 30,000 federal troops to Oxford, Mississippi.1 Other
events from that same time period have permanently scarred
Mississippi's reputation as it relates to race relations.2 Emmett
Till, a black fourteen-year-old Chicagoan visiting relatives in
Money, Mississippi, was beaten, shot, and thrown into the Tal-
lahatchie River for allegedly whistling at or talking smart to a
white woman.3 Medgar Evers, the state's first NAACP field sec-
* Associate Professor, The University of Mississippi School of Law; B.A., Wabash
College; J.D., Vanderbilt University. The author would like to thank George Cochran,
Larry Bush, Tim Hall, Gary Myers, and David Sansing for their valuable insights into the
issues addressed herein.
1. WILLIE MORRIS, The Ghosts of Ole Miss, in TERRAINS OF THE HEART AND
OTHER ESSAYS ON HOME 241, 252 (1981); Charles S. Farrell, Ole Miss, Now Part of the
New South, Still Feels the Stigma of its Past, CHRON. HIGHER EDUC., Oct. 6, 1982, at 9.
2. A Symbol and a Tradition Are Questioned at Ole Miss, PHILA. INQUIRER, Sept. 5,
1982, at 1-A, 28-A [hereinafter A Symbol and a Tradition; see also Farrell, supra note 1, at
9.
3. Hugh Sidey, Sad Song of the Delta, TIME, June 24, 1991, at 14. Ironically, the
racial strife in Mississippi was a major factor leading to enactment of civil rights legislation.
A generation ago, some of the most oppressed blacks in the most harshly segre-
gated state in the U.S. rose to claim their share of America's dream, and some
whites did their violent worst to stop them. Television beamed the story to the
world, and the nation's shame and anger forced politicians in Washington to act.
The result was new laws guaranteeing the civil rights of all citizens, regardless of
their color.
Id.

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