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An open letter to Jamal's attackers

I will begin this letter by saying that I don’t know you, and I don’t know Jamal. I don’t know why you scribbled “blacks are known to steal,” racial slurs and other profanity in Sharpie pen across his dormitory door.
I don’t know why you felt the need to find his car when he switched dorms because he feared for his safety. I don’t know why you decided to slash his tires. I don’t know why you keyed “go home” into the side of his truck, why you etched “KKK” into his hood, or why you carved the n-word into his tailgate.
The only thing I know is that your actions make me and the rest of the Ole Miss community absolutely sick.
Ole Miss has come far in 50 years, but the ghosts of our tumultuous history will forever haunt us. We have worked hard to prove to the world that our racist past no longer defines us, but actions like yours show otherwise.
Actions like yours allow the rest of the United States to believe that we have learned nothing, moved nowhere and choose to let progress leave us behind.
I have no idea why you hate Jamal the way you do. I’d ask if he did something to personally offend or harm you in the past, but the fact of the matter is, it is irrelevant. Your answer would never excuse your hate crimes, never validate your animosity, and never justify the embarrassment and shame that you have brought upon the Ole Miss community.
Wake up. The year is not 1962. What you did is not a joke; it’s a crime.
I pray that you face the consequences of your actions because your prejudice, intolerance, immaturity and racism are not welcome here. You are wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as students with archaic ideals that no longer have a place at Ole Miss, and we will not stand for it. Though I write this letter as an individual, I speak with the voices of thousands of Ole Miss students, staff and alumni.
Our University Creed says that we believe in respect for the dignity of each person. If you are incapable of taking these words to heart, if you allow you bigotry to dictate your actions and sour your soul, then you are not one of us.
You are not welcome at The University of Mississippi.
It is you, not Jamal, who should be packing their bags and “going home.”

Lexi Thoman is a senior international studies and Spanish double-major from St. Louis, Mo.