When Fascism Came To Ole Miss

By Ryan S. Walters | @ryanswalters73

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech….” – First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

There is a war on-going at Ole Miss, a war on Southern traditions, a war on freedom of speech, and now a war on the Fourth Amendment. To be truthful, what has transpired at the University of Mississippi in Oxford is a violation of the American spirit, the idea that people are born free and equal, that we are bestowed with God-given rights of life and liberty.

In Oxford, Mississippi, of all places, with its famous square and the home of William Faulkner, Jefferson’s notion of an “empire of liberty” came crashing down, as officials at Ole Miss continued their extensive offensive on tradition and history.

Over the last few weeks, as the college football season got into full swing, many concerned citizens have watched as spectators displaying official state flags at Ole Miss games have had their personal property seized by police in clear violation of the First Amendment. Others had signs and placards – some with state flag images and some without reference to the flag – confiscated as well.

Of course, many sports stadiums, including the one on the Ole Miss campus, have rules about large signs, flags on sticks, and umbrellas, and such regulations are issued out of safety concerns and to make sure everyone can see the game and have a more enjoyable experience. But aside from the naiveté of excuse makers on the totalitarian left, we all know what this is really about. Anyone with more than a thimble full of common sense can see a dangerous pattern.

But the Ole Miss policy is actually much worse, with a public university that engages in “content selection” by callingole-miss-policies for the approval of banners and signs in their official stadium policies. And to approve some and not others is “content discrimination,” which has been going on at Ole Miss for more than 20 years.

Since the mid-1990s, and the start of the illustrious career of Coach Tommy Tuberville, Ole Miss has, slowly and methodically, began the process of dismantling Southern traditions at the school. Beginning with the infamous “stick ban,” which common sense-minded citizens knew was really about getting rid of the Confederate flag, to retiring “Colonel Reb,” to now banning the playing of “Dixie” by the band, we are seeing a Stalin-style purge of school history.

But it won’t stop there. Other symbols will soon be in the crosshairs of administration fascists. Let me go on record and predict that the team name “Rebels” and even the nickname “Ole Miss,” with its connection to the plantations in the Old South, will be the next to vanish.

beachballFurthermore, the problem with the stadium policy is that it seems to be selectively enforced. Photographic and video evidence shows other visually impairing objects in the crowd at recent games, such as inflatable sharks and even large beach ball type inflatables that were actually handed out by University personnel at the game.

Since items other than state flags and placards stating “Let the Band Play Dixie” were not confiscated, this is a major First Amendment violation and supports with evidence the notion of a “content discrimination” policy.  As Justice Abe Fortas wrote in Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Making matters much worse, a student at Ole Miss, junior engineering major Dylan Wood, was arrested at last week’s game for possessing a stick-less state flag. Under the guise of the flag being too large (it turns out by a scant three inches) and violating stadium policies, police officers, using foul language and threatening manners, attempted to confiscate Wood’s flag.

The officer can be seen and heard on video saying, “Gimme the flag!” Wood protested that it was within legal limits. The officer’s next words were “Bullshit!” He then gave Wood a choice: “Turn it over to me or leave with it.”

Officers then gabbed the young man by the arm, which is legally an act of detaining him, to escort him out because Wood says that he was leaving the stadium.

The officer then escorted Wood below the stadium where his flag was measured to see if it was in compliance with stadium rules.

Once the flag was measured and found to be three inches too large, one officer told Wood, “You can leave here never to return with that flag or be arrested.”  After briefly arguing with the officer, he was told that his choice was “jail for disorderly conduct or go out with it.” In response to the officer’s instructions, Wood asked about being arrested for the state flag:  “Officer, are you really going to arrest me for flying the state flag?” At that point the young man was arrested and handcuffed.

While handcuffed, the officers frisked him, and then found a flask of alcohol. So police ultimately charged him with public intoxication and possession of alcohol by a minor, since he is only 20 years old, and disorderly conduct, even though Wood was polite throughout the ordeal, referring to the officers as “sir” and saying he “respected” them, and never once used foul language like the arresting officers did.

Of course the Vitter administration, occupying the Ole Miss Ivory Tower of Babel, could quickly see the public relations disaster that might be ahead, put out the erroneous story that Wood was arrested, not for the flag, but for drunkenness.

But, understand, this is not legally accurate. He was detained, arrested, handcuffed and, presumably, on his way to jail before arresting officers ever discovered he had a flask or had consumed any alcohol. How they knew he was legally intoxicated, to be charged with such a crime, is not known. Having a flask does not mean one actually consumed any of its contents. Since no breathalyzer was used, clairvoyance is all one can speculate at this point.

So the real legal question is what was the original charge that placed him in cuffs to begin with? Failing to follow the instructions of a law enforcement officer? He was not charged with that and Ole Miss officials have not said anything about his original charge, nor should we expect them to.

Examining this situation from a legal point of view, Dylan Wood’s arrest was illegal. The moment the officer grabbed his arm, by definition, he was under arrest. What had he done at this point? He possessed an “illegal” flag.

The hostility of the arresting officer in regards to the flag, complete with use of profanity, demonstrates conclusively the school policy in regards to it. It’s about the flag and other items pertaining to Southern traditions and always has been.

So with this arrest, we have serious Fourth Amendment issues, to go along with the original First Amendment violations of “content selection.”

Sadly, most of our so-called legal “experts” get the Fourth Amendment completely wrong, not because they are ignorant of history and constitutional law, but because, as Jefferson warned us, the “natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

A simple reading of the text, with the understanding of its historical context, will show that no searches and seizures can be made without a warrant. Police officers have probable cause, but only to gain a legal warrant, not to make an arrest. The totalitarian left, and sadly some on the right, have stretched this legal protection beyond its historical scope and context.

But taking this situation further, it also entails what is known in constitutional law as the “exclusionary rule.” If a Fourth Amendment violation occurs, and a suspect is arrested unlawfully, any evidence gathered thereafter cannot be admitted in court. Or, as it is known in legal circles, such evidence would have to be excluded as “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

Of this “exclusionary rule,” Justice Byron White wrote in 1989 that it was “designed to deter police misconduct,” the kind that was on full display at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford last Saturday. It keeps police officers from arresting someone on a flimsy, trumped up charge, like disorderly conduct, and using it as an excuse to conduct a search to find evidence of other, more serious crimes. And in most cases, the original feeble charge is dropped in favor of the more serious one.

So, in this case, since Dylan Wood was unlawfully arrested, evidence gained during his detention, such as his flask and supposed public intoxication, should be inadmissible in a court of law.

largesignsRegardless of one’s feelings about flags or symbols, what is at stake here is the continued protection of our liberty and freedoms that are being eroded every day. The rights of the people, protected by the Constitution, are not subject to the feelings of others, nor are they subject to the whims of university administrators or their political benefactors.hottytoddy

Ironically, we should remember that all of this began because the university was pushing to be more inclusive in regards to the feelings of others. But constitutional rights don’t end where feelings begin.

Our Founding Fathers created a Bill of Rights precisely to prevent the exact situation we saw in Oxford. Though it may seem trivial to some, those who are more concerned about a silly game than they are about human liberty, this goes to the heart of American liberty. We take a strong stand now, or face massive violations down the road, and at that point resistance may be futile.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. C.W. Roden says:

    Absolutely well said! Great article!

  2. John Charles Cox says:

    Good Job Ryan! The Rosin Heels are Proud of you!

  3. It is CLEARLY a 1st amendment violation by Vitter and Bjork. (Bjork, who oversees the AD / stadium operations) Bjork’s vendors sell huge foam #1 products inside the stadium (of course to profit money on) and they are way over the size limit. You can wave these all game long and not a single UPD / MHPD / Rent a Cop or anyone else will say anything to you. However, since they have decided not to fly the Mississippi Flag, but yet has no problem receiving a paycheck each month from the state that bears the same flag they want to ban them from the stadium, much like they did the confederate flags in the late 80’s early 90’s. I was a part of that debacle as well. I would like to see Vitter and Ross not receive any money from the State for their salary and then see how long the ban would stay in place. Tochcè Every long-standing Red and Blue Bleeding REBEL knows exactly what these liberals are doing, however. they back off as soon as they hear the company line “This is hurting the athletic department.” Rebels, you need to look closely at the NCAA investigation, the ones hurting the Athletic Department are the ones in charge of it by turning a blind eye to things going on within it. The Administration is calling for a change, much like what we heard from Obama, now look at America. Would you want to attend THIS Ole Miss in a few years if it were you that was graduating? Not I, I would be looking somewhere that stands for something. Like long-standing traditions! Traditions are there for a reason, to be passed down from one generation to another. The ENTIRE History should be told, not half-truths, otherwise, History will simply repeat itself. STAND UP REBELS! What WILL Ole Miss Traditions be in few years? Think about it Rebels! It’s time to wise up, and RISE UP.

  4. Withhold State funds until that State Flag is Re-hoisted !

    • The problem is they will not make any demand to the governor to withhold any funds until its restored. They will go out and flag in protest. Make the demands and be serious about civil unrest as the media will call it. Push the governor to make a move or the state of Mississippi should make the move that no more state funding until it’s restored or face unrest. No sense paying money to these schools who are defiant against the state it’s receiving the funding from. Restore it or close it down. It can legally be done and should be. They are in clear violation of the state laws

  5. Arrested for flying the State Flag, better no let them know you are a veteran, be in Parchman. Was this a police officer or security guard?

  6. I hope the students speak out and protest!!

  7. lilyredrose says:

    Shame.

  8. Hey Ryan: You are absolutely correct on this one. Possession of a state flag is protected speech–a fundamental right preserved under the First Amendment. As a fundamental right, possession of the flag can only be abridged when the State can demonstrate a compelling state interest exists which can be upheld under a strict scrutiny analysis for the abridgement of speech. To be sure, the State has the right to enforce regulations to maintain the peace, law, and order. However, freedom of speech cannot be abridged unless the speech in question in its content is viewed by the “reasonable person” standard to incite violence or a panic. Therefore, “Black Lives Matters” notwithstanding, even though the possession and display of the Mississippi state flag, (or the Confederate battle flag for that matter) may be offensive to some folks, that fact is irrelevant under the First Amendment. Free Speech means having the freedom to offend others.

  9. It’s not just Ole Miss. It’s happening nationwide, and world-wide. The Left is now hard-wired, and if HRC had become President of the US, America would have become doomed. Hate Trump or love him, he will attempt to rein in this idiocy from the top down.

    I graduated from Ole Miss in 1969 with a BA. I watched in horror as my university became a breeding ground for the Cultural Marxist Totalitarian clam-down; but now it’s even worse.
    Our public schools, universities have become the same breeding grounds, all in the name of “diversity”. It’s the same in private schools, colleges, universities. And it’s not the Democrats, it’s not the Republicans. It’s us.
    The indoctrination is now almost complete. Almost, but not quite. Not quite.

    Hotty Toddy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: