Thursday, September 26, 2002
Hats off to the Student Senate of the University of Mississippi
Hats off to the members of the University of Mississippi Student Senate. On Tuesday night, they unanimously repealed a resolution, passed 40 years ago by the same Ole Miss Student Senate, which censured the campus newspaper editor, Sidna Brower. That Senate was critical of Brower's writings on the presence of federal marshalls on the Oxford campus who were enforcing a federal court order that Ole Miss be integrated and that James Meredith be matriculated. At the time, it wrote that she "failed in time of grave crisis to represent and uphold the rights of her fellow students." This Senate wrote that Brower should be "commended for the outstanding journalistic courage she displayed throughout her tenure as editor of The Daily Mississippian."
Of course, this resolution does not change anything. It does not change what Mississippi was like 40 years ago and does not change what America is like now. However, it did make an older woman happy (Sidna Brower Mitchell has said that "I can't tell you how much this resolution means to me. I am really touched"). And, as Martin Luther King Jr. said in Oslo: "When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born." I believe Brower knew this then; the student leaders of the University of Mississippi know this now.
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