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Ole Miss fraternity boy who made shocking racist gestures toward black pro-Palestinian protester is unmasked as a finance student football player – as chapter expels him

Ole Miss fraternity boy who made shocking racist gestures toward black pro-Palestinian protester is unmasked as a finance student football player – as chapter expels him

A University of Mississippi fraternity expelled a member who provoked a black protester with monkey noises as the university faced calls to expel him.

Finance major James ‘JP’ Staples has been named by the NAACP college chapter as the student who was filmed hopping from foot to foot and growling like a monkey at Jaylin Smith during a horrific confrontation on the college’s Oxford campus.

Staples, 21, was expelled from a college fraternity Friday after condemning “racist actions contrary to the values ​​of Phi Delta Theta and the Mississippi Alpha chapter.”

But black students are demanding that he be removed from his university seat, along with two members of the Kappa Alpha fraternity whom they accuse of also having racially insulted the demonstrators.

“These students who have publicly engaged in atrocious, racist rhetoric and demonstrated disgusting and offensive behavior MUST be expelled from this university,” wrote NAACP chapter president Megan Curry. “I said what I said, and I meant it. REALLY.’

Ole Miss fraternity boy who made shocking racist gestures toward black pro-Palestinian protester is unmasked as a finance student football player – as chapter expels him

James Staples was filmed hopping from foot to foot and growling like a monkey at Jaylin Smith

Finance major was kicked out of his Phi Delta Theta chapter for his 'racist actions'

Finance major was kicked out of his Phi Delta Theta chapter for his ‘racist actions’

Tempers flared on the leafy campus as a group of about 30 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were met Thursday by more than 200 counter-protesters.

Smith was barricaded with chants of “Lizzo” and “lock her up” after stepping forward to film the counter-protest as police attempted to separate the sides.

Video of the encounter was approvingly reposted by Republican Rep. Mike Collins, who shared it with the caption “Ole Miss takes care of business.”

He was forced to make an abrupt about-face Monday, suggesting Staples should ask for “forgiveness” as backlash against the monkey gestures spread.

“I understand and respect the comments that were shared regarding a single individual during the Ole Mis protests,” he wrote.

“If this person is found to have treated another human being inappropriately because of their race, they should be punished appropriately and hopefully ask for forgiveness,” he wrote.

Staples is a former high school football player from Plano, Texas, who is studying real estate and finance in college where tuition costs average $27,000 a year.

University chancellor Glenn F Boyce said the school had launched an investigation into the counter-protesters and that their behavior was “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable, including actions that conveyed hostility and racist connotations.

The 21-year-old deleted his social media profiles but was hailed as an ideal role model in this 2021 Instagram post.

The 21-year-old deleted his social media profiles but was hailed as an ideal role model in this 2021 Instagram post.

The former high school football player from Plano, Texas, was one of around 200 counter-protesters who arrived to face 30 pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Oxford campus.

The former high school football player from Plano, Texas, was one of around 200 counter-protesters who arrived to face 30 pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Oxford campus.

Jaylin Smith, a journalism student, was yelled at by shouts of “Lizzo” and “lock her up” as she filmed the counter-protesters.

Jaylin Smith, a journalism student, was yelled at by shouts of “Lizzo” and “lock her up” as she filmed the counter-protesters.

Pro-Palestinian protesters were eventually escorted from the site after being outnumbered by rowdy counter-protesters.

Mississippi State Governor Tate Reeves shared a separate video of the counter-protest that he said

Mississippi State Governor Tate Reeves shared a separate video of the counter-protest that he said “warms my heart.”

“Although student privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on a specific student, we have opened an investigation into the conduct of a student,” he added.

“We are working to determine if more cases are warranted.”

The pro-Palestinian demonstration in a fenced-off area of ​​the university district was just one of dozens of student actions that spread to college campuses across the country.

More than 2,000 people were arrested, including hundreds at New York University, USC and Columbia, as police prepared to clear the encampments.

The White House announced a series of new measures Thursday aimed at protecting Jewish students, as protesters say they have been the target of anti-Semitic slurs.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said schools and colleges would receive new guidance on protecting Jewish students, including examples of what constitutes anti-Semitism.

Smith, a journalism student at the university, accused police at the event of siding with the counterprotesters.

“I’m defending my right to free speech and I’m getting things thrown at me, and officers are putting their hands on me to make me back down,” she added.

The clash is the latest example of unrest following campus solidarity protests with Gaza.  Pictured: California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers arrest a protester as they evacuate a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were issued at UCLA on May 2, 2024.

The clash is the latest example of unrest following campus solidarity protests with Gaza. Pictured: California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers arrest a protester as they evacuate a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were issued at UCLA on May 2, 2024.

Students illegally occupying Hamilton Hall at Columbia University were evicted by police on Tuesday.

Students illegally occupying Hamilton Hall at Columbia University were evicted by police on Tuesday.

Both protests in Mississippi ended shortly after the clashes without any arrests.

The university said in a statement that it was “committed to supporting the rights of our students, faculty and staff to respectfully express their opinions and peacefully assemble, as provided by the First Amendment.”

“Although today’s protest was heated and several protesters and counter-protesters received warnings from law enforcement regarding their actions, no arrests were made, no injuries were reported and the demonstration ended peacefully.”