Frat Member Kicked Out Of Group After Making Monkey Noises At Black Woman During Protest

“The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are antithetical to the values of Phi Delta Theta," the fraternity wrote this weekend.

A fraternity member who directed monkey noises at a Black University of Mississippi student during an anti-war demonstration was kicked out of the organization on Friday after video of the encounter spread on social media.

“Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters is aware of the video regarding the student protest at the University of Mississippi,” the organization wrote in a statement on Sunday. “The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are antithetical to the values of Phi Delta Theta and the Mississippi Alpha chapter.”

“The responsible individual was removed from membership on Friday, May 3.”

The confrontation took place during student demonstrations at the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, on Thursday. Protesters gathered to voice their opposition to the U.S.’ support of Israel during the country’s ongoing war against Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks, part of a growing wave of demonstrations on university campuses around the country.

As a small group of students chanted “Free Palestine” and “Stop the Genocide,” they were confronted by a far larger bloc of counter-protesters. Videos of the encounter showed the counter-protest group growing aggressive, surrounding and yelling at the demonstrators. In a disturbing moment, a white student is seen making monkey noises directed at a Black woman as others taunt and cheer.

Videos of the counter-protesters were shared widely on social media and prompted support and adulation from Republicans. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said the response “warms my heart.” Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) added his own cheers as the Black student was jeered, writing: “Ole Miss taking care of business.”

Jaylin Smith, 24, told CNN she was the woman in the video. The Daily Mississippian, the university’s student newspaper, reported she was called “Lizzo” and various obscenities, with some chanting “Lock her up.”

“One thing that will never break me is people taunting me or making monkey noises at me,” Smith, a graduate student at Ole Miss, told CNN.

No one was arrested on Thursday. The university said it had opened an investigation into student conduct following the protests, adding it would look into the “hostility and racist overtones.”

“While student privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on any specific student, we have opened one student conduct investigation,” university chancellor Glenn Boyce wrote to students and staff on Friday. “We are working to determine whether more cases are warranted.”

“To be clear, people who say horrible things to people because of who they are will not find shelter or comfort on this campus,” Boyce said.

Pro-Palestinian protests have taken place on nearly 50 college campuses in recent weeks as Israel and Hamas have failed to reach a cease-fire agreement. More than 2,100 people have been arrested nationwide.

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