close
close

GOP Rep. Mike Collins is taking back his praise for racist Ole Miss protesters

Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA) was forced to withdraw his praise for a group of pro-Israel counter-protesters at Ole Miss who were caught on video booing a lone black pro-Palestinian protester — including a monkey-making fraternity member noises at the woman as she uttered crude primate mannerisms.

Collins, who helped make the clip go viral by sharing it Friday with the caption “Ole Miss taking care of business,” admitted in a statement Monday that the video contained behavior that “none of us should try to glorify.” .

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

The video was taken from a chaotic scene on the University of Mississippi campus, where a predominantly white group of college-age men were seen clashing with a black, pro-Palestinian protester.

Other clips before the apparently racist outburst showed the same group of counter-protesters chanting “Lizzo, Lizzo” and “Fuck you, bitch” at the woman, who responded by shouting, filming and shooing the crowd away.

The NAACP identified the student behind the weekend’s monkey chants as James “JP” Staples. He was expelled from his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, which condemned his actions over the weekend in a statement to The Daily Beast.

“The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are contrary to the values ​​of Phi Delta Theta and the Mississippi Alpha chapter,” the national fraternity wrote in a statement. “The person responsible has been removed from membership.”

Fraternity boots Bro making monkey noises at Black Ole Miss Protester

In a letter to the campus community, Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said the university was aware of behavior that was “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable, including actions that conveyed hostility and racist overtones.”

Collins tried to justify his actions by saying he did not believe Staples’ questionable behavior was the “focal point” of the video, and that he was instead praising students for standing up to anti-Israel protesters on campus.

Despite apparently changing his mind about the Ole Miss clip, Collins had not deleted his post glorifying the incident as of Monday afternoon.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast’s biggest scoops and scandals delivered straight to your inbox. Register now.

Stay informed and get unlimited access to the Daily Beast’s unparalleled reporting. Subscribe now.