Ad in UM’s Student Paper Called Offensive

Riva Brown, Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), Apr. 16

The University of Mississippi student newspaper will issue a retraction and apology Monday for running an inflammatory advertisement about immigration and diversity.

The ad, published Friday in The Daily Mississippian, pictured a white baby with light hair and eyes under the heading, “Will She Be a Racial Minority by the Time She Turns 40?”

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The foundation placed the ad because it wanted to start a debate about immigration, American Renaissance editor Jared Taylor said.

About a half dozen prominent universities were approached about running the ad, but The Daily Mississippian was the first to publish it, he said. Some are preparing to run it, but others have rejected it.

Taylor would not name the other universities, but he did say they are not in Mississippi.

The Ole Miss newspaper’s decision to retract and apologize for the ad was “cowardly and close-minded,” he said.

“I’m amazed that the position they’re taking is they won’t run an ad unless they agree with it. A university is supposed to be in favor of opposing points of view,” Taylor said. “I’m very disappointed that the university is unwilling to debate certain questions, and the university should be ashamed of itself.”

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Ole Miss student Ronald Odom, who took the ad from New Century via phone, said he saw it before the newspaper was printed, but he didn’t read it because he didn’t know it was his ad. The ad says American Renaissance.

“It was purely an accident. Our screening should have been tighter,” the 21-year old senior journalism major said. “Being an African American, I appreciate the progress the university has made. It has done a great job in improving race relations and morale around campus.”

Eruke Ohwofasa of Jackson, director of diversity affairs for the Associated Student Body at Ole Miss, said the ad was the topic of the day in her sociology class.

“It creates division at the university, and what my department is trying to do is bring students together, not just black and white, but international as well,” said the 21-year-old, whose father is Nigerian. “I have faith in the students that we will not be set back too far.”

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