Gov. Bryant condemns Ole Miss professor’s tweet

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has spoken out regarding a tweet made by a sociology professor at the University of Mississippi.

On Oct. 6, professor James Thomas tweeted that people should disrupt the meals of elected officials – specifically senators – by putting “your whole damn fingers in their salads.”

“This is troubling and disappointing to see from one of our university professors. There is no place in a civilized society, and particularly on a college campus, for urging individuals to harass anyone,” Bryant tweeted on Thursday.

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“Take their apps and distribute them to the other diners. Bring boxes and take their food home with you on the way out. They don’t deserve your civility,” the rest of Thomas’ tweet read.

The comments from Thomas came the day Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to his post.

Since the tweet, many groups have called for Thomas to be fired from his position at the University.

Ole Miss Chancellor Jeff S. Vitter also appeared to condemn Thomas’ tweet in a Facebook post on Oct. 14 saying, “A recent social media post by a UM faculty member did not reflect the values articulated by the university, such as respect for the dignity of each individual and civility and fairness. While I passionately support free speech, I condemn statements that encourage acts of aggression. I urge all members of the Ole Miss community to demonstrate civility and respect for others and to honor the ideal of diversity of thought that is a foundational element of the academy.”

Chris McDaniel, who is currently campaigning across Mississippi for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Sen. Thad Cochran in April also responded, calling the tweet “
Another threat from another low-life liberal… . Disgusting. It’s time for disciplinary action.”

Thomas’ tweet appeared to be in response to comments made by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. Scarborough, the host of the network’s “Morning Joe” program, tweeted on Oct. 5 that people should not shout at elected officials, but instead focus on calling voters, knocking on doors and arranging voter carpools to help desired candidates win elections.

Thomas’ Twitter account has since been made private and the University has not released a statement regarding if there will be any further action in response to his tweet.