Namesake of University of Mississippi’s journalism school under fire over ‘offensive’ Facebook post

Ed Meek came under fire for a Facebook post Wednesday.


Some University of Mississippi students are seeking to remove Ed Meek’s name from the school’s journalism college after the celebrated photographer and alum was accused Wednesday of writing an offensive post that involved images of two black women.

Meek, 77, who donated more than $5 million to the journalism college, came under fire after he wrote a Facebook post suggesting the women seen in a pair of pictures exemplify problems that cause real estate values to fall.

“I hesitated until now to publish these pictures but think it is important that our community see what the camera is seeing at 2am after a ballgame,” he wrote in the since-deleted Facebook post. “I hear there were 180 police working the weekend but of all the pictures late night, the fights and scenes, I have seen no police presence.

He added: “Enough, Oxford and Ole Miss leaders, get on top of this before it is too late. A three per cent decline in enrollment is nothing compared to what we will see if this continues…and real estate values will plummet as will tax revenue."

Meek urged Oxford officials to “protect the values that we hold dear.”

The post was accompanied by pictures of two black women in dresses.

Mahoghany Jordan was one of the women Meek wrote about. She wrote a column in The Daily Mississippian, the school’s newspaper, saying the photo was taken without her knowledge and that she was out with friends that night after a football game. She also noted Meek failed to criticize people who were fighting on campus or in a local bar or harassing LGBT people.

“As for Ed Meek: one should never use the physical appearance of a person as a measurement of their morality,” Jordan wrote. “I don’t need your apology. In fact I don’t need anything from the reciprocal guilt you feel after being called out for what you are. The two things that automatically put me at a disadvantage in our society, you’ll never completely understand.”

Meek later deleted the post and wrote a new one, saying his intent was to “point out we have a problem in The Grove and on the Oxford Square.”

University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey Vittert condemned the Facebook post in a statement.

"Enough, Oxford and Ole Miss leaders, get on top of this before it is too late."

“While we all want to ensure a safe, family-friendly environment at the university and in Oxford, I must condemn the tone and content of Ed Meek’s post from earlier today. The photos in his post suggest an unjustified racial overtone that is highly offensive. I urge Ed to withdraw his comment and apologize to anyone offended,” Vittert said.

The university’s Black Student Union said Meek’s original post implied that African-American women caused real estate values to drop.

“His statement has clear racial undertones that must be addressed,” the group tweeted.

Meek led the school’s public relations for 37 years and the journalism school was named for him after he and his wife donated $5.3 million in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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