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Yesterday, Bosshogg mentioned that the racist-tinged Election Night protest at the University of Mississippi has several football recruits rethinking their commitments. Well, there might be yet another cause for concern. Jamal Woods, a freshman from Olive Branch on the Mississippi side of the Memphis area, has been the target of racially motivated vandalism. The story was mentioned in a comment in Bosshogg's diary, but this is so outrageous it merits a diary by itself.
According to his mother, Mary, Jamal is so shaken up by it that he's not coming back to Ole Miss in the spring.
Mary Woods says it started on Aug. 24 with racial slurs written on her son Jamal's dorm room door at Ole Miss.
The first time the perpetrators did it, they wrote "Blacks are known to steal," followed by some profanity, and they smeared his door with globs of lotion.
According to a timeline of the investigation provided by Ole Miss to the Clarion-Ledger, the Ole Miss police department has been investigating this from the beginning, and there didn't seem to be any further problems for two months.
However, on the morning of the election, somebody did some pretty severe damage to Jamal's pickup--a going-to-college gift from his mother. His tires were slashed, the outside of his car was keyed with racial slurs and his radio and radio antenna were stolen. According to Mary Woods, this was the first that she heard about the attacks in August.
Wood is quite mad in that Ole Miss failed to notify her of any of the attacks against her son.
Woods said Jamal, who did not want to speak on camera with FOX13 News, is distraught and is having trouble sleeping in the wake of the personal attacks. It's also affecting his grades, his mother said.
"I have reports to back me up and I just don't feel that he is safe there," Woods said. "I honestly don't think they really care about him."
It's hard not to blame Mary Woods for being upset. Unless I missed something in the timeline, it doesn't sound like the Ole Miss police encouraged Jamal to tell his parents about what was happening. Which is too bad, since the Ole Miss police department did almost everything right here. They even called in the FBI, suspecting that what happened to Jamal might very well be a hate crime. So far, the FBI has determined that no federal laws were violated.