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Do college kids need to grow up?

By Malachi Baggett

Now that the smoke has settled concerning the removal of the Mississippi flag from the University of Mississippi campus, we should reflect on what we have seen from the students.

Let me preface this by saying that no citizen should ever feel as though his/her flag, or any symbol meant to represent them, oppresses them.

I understand both sides of this debate. The Mississippi flag and the Civil War happened, and we should not pretend that it did not. The flag itself did not stand for racism during the Civil War. If Mississippians want to protect their flag, they should have protected it during the civil rights movement when the flag was, in fact, used to make black citizens feel as though they were not meant to be here.  Unfortunately, we cannot change that either. It happened.

With that being said, the students and faculty at the University of Mississippi should get out of the floor and stop throwing their temper tantrum. We live in a society with laws and processes.  Many students and faculty members would agree that these laws and processes are what make our country and our state truly phenomenal. 

Can today’s generation not invoke change without bullying and screaming hate during protests? Can today’s generation really justify taking down the symbol that represents the people of Mississippi? The people that pay taxes in order for the University to remain open? No, they cannot. 

The people that led this fight should have taken the pressure to Jackson and invoked change within the government and used the systems and laws set in place, not make their own when they did not get their way.

As youth of today grew up more entitled than previous generations, it only makes sense that they expect to stomp their feet and roll on the floor in order to get what they desire. These are the future leaders of America. 

To be fair, many protesters in the 1960s and 1970s attempted to invoke the same behavior. It will be interesting to see how this generation continues to grow as they take over the leadership jobs within the state and country.

Malachi Baggett is a senior political science major at the University of Mississippi. Contact him at jmbagget@go.olemiss.edu.