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Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and should not be assumed to reflect the views of Deep South Voice or its affiliates.

Elizabeth Cobbins is a student at the University of Southern Mississippi. After USM decided to stop flying the Confederate-emblem bearing Mississippi state flag several years ago, protesters began appearing weekly to protest the flags removal. Elizabeth has a message for them:

“They try so hard to ‘preserve’ their heritage, but what they are really doing is harboring hate and racism. When has the Confederate flag or Mississippi state flag ever represented all people equally? The state flag reeks of injustice, oppression, and inequality, yet they still wave it proudly.

Although Mississippi still has its flaws and skeletons, we’ve lived far past what the state flag represents. We are more inclusive than what that flag represents. We are the magnolia trees, catfish, football, ice cold sweet tea, and hospitality. 

To wave that in front of the University of Southern Mississippi sends a false message. We are the most diverse university in the state of Mississippi; the state flag is not.

Despite their efforts, I’m still on top. My peers are on top. My black, white, Asian, Latino, Native American, and LGBT brothers and sisters remain on top. Why? Because we aren’t our history. We aren’t the past generations. We know how to love and accept all.

We will always get the last laugh.

My mom always told me to take risks and live life. That’s exactly what I did, and I loved every part of it!”

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