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Politics, Facebook and racism?

Student LaQuoyia Murray filed a report with the University of Mississippi administration regarding a Facebook message.
Courtesy of LaQuoyia Murray

On election night, communication sciences and disorders senior LaQuoyia Murray posted a response to the disturbance on campus that followed the reelection of President Obama on her Facebook page.

“It basically just said how disgusted I was with the people that participated in the quote, unquote riots that happened that night,” she said. “I felt disgusted that students at our school would even go to those lengths with the racial slurs.”

Murray said she did call those students “racists” in her post.

Murray, who was a Stewart Hall resident assistant (RA) two years ago, said her post got quite a few comments. She was shocked when some of the negative comments came from a former RA she had worked with in Stewart, which led to Murray filing a complaint with the dean of students and the Office of the Chancellor.

Assistant Dean of Students Scott Wallace could neither confirm nor deny the situation was being investigated due to student privacy rights.

The former co-worker posted a status on her Facebook that Murray felt was aimed toward her.

“I kind of thought it was about me, but I wasn’t sure,” Murray said. “So I just asked her, ‘Was that in reference to me?’ and she told me it was.”

Murray said the status read as follows: “I love to argue with people and use words that shaped their lives against them.”

Murray said she received a private message from the former co-worker a few minutes later.

“She said I was a ‘welfare piece of s--t n----r’ and that I was just like the other n----rs,” Murray said.

Murray replied with one sentence: “You’re even more pathetic than I thought, shaking my head.”

Murray said she defriended and blocked her former coworker on Facebook at the end of the conversation.

“I didn’t want to deal with the situation anymore,” she said.

Murray’s former co-worker declined to comment on the messages.

The Daily Mississippian is not naming the former co-worker until an investigation is complete or charges are filed.

After these exchanges, Murray reported the “racial slurs” to University of Mississippi officials, who advised her to have no contact with the other student.

Murray also provided a printed copy of the message and a script of comments made after her initial post on the disturbance when she filed the complaint. Murray said she felt they needed to know what had been said.

Chief Student Conduct Officer and Associate Dean of Students Melinda Carlson said complaints are investigated to determine if there are any violations of university policy.

“If there were violations of university policy we would follow the Student Conduct Process outlined in the policy directory and in the MBook,” she said.

The Student Conduct Process in the MBook states, “The determination as to whether or not a formal University charge is brought is final and not appealable.”

Even after filing a formal complaint with the university, Murray posted the private message from the former co-worker to her public Facebook wall.

“I wanted people to know that racism still does exist,” she said. “I had a lot of encouraging words from people I barely knew on Facebook.”

Murray said this in no way changes her perspective of The University of Mississippi.

“The university can’t tell if someone is a racist or not upon admitting them into the university,” she said. “I just feel like the way they handle these situations will show where they are with racism and prejudice and discrimination.”