5-Star CB Calls Ole Miss Racist

By Patrick Schmidt
Ole Miss Rebels
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

You can scratch Ole Miss off the list for Marlon Humphrey (Birmingham, Al. Hoover) after the five-star cornerback and nation’s seventh overall recruit in the 247sports composite ranking sent off a series of tweets calling the Rebels racist Monday afternoon.

That tweet caught my attention when I was scrolling through my timeline Monday and made me wonder what caused him to tweet such a thing. What followed would prove to a series of retweets characterizing Ole Miss as racists and KKK enthusiasts.

Painting a broad brush and labeling Ole Miss as racist is exactly the narrow-minded and ignorant line of thought that stereotypes are based on. The Oxford Dictionary defines a stereotype as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” In declaring Ole Miss racist, Humphrey was guilty of using a stereotype himself, and I really hope his twitter account was “hacked”.

Does the state of Mississippi host people who are racist toward African Americans or other races? Yes. It would be foolish to think that racism is dead. However, to think that his home state of Alabama or any of the other schools he’s considering are devoid of racism and other ignorance is completely off-base.

The notion that the Ole Miss football program is racist and somehow endorses the KKK is one of the more uninformed things I’ve heard in some time. Hugh Freeze has built a program with Christian and family values as the backbone, and that philosophy was instrumental in securing a number of the top recruits that came to Oxford this year.

Robert Nkemdiche, Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil wouldn’t have come to Ole Miss when they literally could have had their pick of any college in America if they thought the school was racist. His series of tweets not only paint with a broad brush, but it is also completely inaccurate.

Ole Miss elected an African-American homecoming queen and in 2012 elected Kimberly Dandridge as the first African-American president of the Associated Student Body. Furthermore, they have removed the Colonel Reb mascot and distanced themselves from the old southern symbols such as confederate flags. Letting a few idiots frame your opinion on an entire school, community and fan base is a narrow-minded approach that shows me Humphrey doesn’t have a clear picture of what Ole Miss is about.

It’s sad that racism is still a part of this country. Unfortunately it likely will be as long as I’m alive, and painting with a broad brush is a dangerous practice. But for Humphrey to portray Ole Miss as racist based on stereotypes is a regrettable action. Nevertheless, if he thinks he won’t encounter racism there or at his other top schools Florida, Florida State, South Carolina or Mississippi State he is in for a wake-up call because it’s everywhere, albeit not prevalent in the football programs.

Humphrey has been viewed as a lock to head to Alabama where his father, Bobby Humphrey, was a former Crimson Tide running back. He is a 6-1, 175 pound shutdown corner and an outstanding track star. He has all the physical tools you hope for in a top recruit and could make an instant impact as a freshman, but his view of the world needs enlightening.

Go to a game on a Saturday afternoon in Oxford after spending the morning in The Grove, and you will find strangers treating others as if they are extended family members. It is without hate, prejudice and intolerance. The only colors that matter to Ole Miss are red and blue.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

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