We're hearing conflicting reports out of Oxford today that a riot—or a protest—occurred last night after President Obama was re-elected to a second term.
The Jackson Clarion-Ledger paints a frightening picture of racial slurs, burning signs and students throwing rocks at cars. Here's a sampling:
Students were heard shouting racial epithets about Obama and African Americans in general. One Ole Miss student, a freshman, said some 200 male students were gathered in the parking lot at Stockard and Martin freshman dorms at about midnight yelling racial slurs related to Obama and African Americans. The student said the 200 or so gathered fled when the police arrived around midnight.
The Daily Mississippian, the student newspaper, reported students were throwing rocks at cars and using racial slurs.
But, as The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett points out, the worst of the behavior was mostly uncomfirmed. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger put "riot" in scary quotation marks, yet many Tweets and video of the incident point it just being a few drunk kids hanging around.
Judging by the raw video of the incident it seems more like a few drunk college kind acting like idiots alongside even more kids who just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Twitter user @BIGSMOOV012 posted a picture of "riot breaking out," but it mostly just looks like a bunch of kids standing on a street corner.
And this other report by the Oxford News takes the cake for confusing, conflicting info. At the top, it states, "While you were sleeping, riots were happening on the Ole Miss campus in Oxford, Mississippi." Then, nine paragraphs down, we get this:
However, Nicholas Carr claims no rocks were thrown and the majority of the people at the protests were there to see what was going on.
"I was there the whole time. No rocks were thrown. There was 1 sign lit on fire. For about 45 seconds," Carr said. "Mostly, it was 100s of college kids who heard the word riot and ran to take pictures and see what it was about. Again, no rocks or missiles thrown."
He said, she said, throw a rock, didn't throw a rock. So, we put it to anyone in Oxford last night or today: Race-fueled riot? Or just a bunch of media-fueled hype?