Most Tolerant: University Of Mississippi

Affectionately known as Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi in Oxford proves that old habits die hard—particularly racist ones. When chancellor Robert C. Khayat tried to "reexamine" the school’s mascot, a character named Colonel Reb that’s based on a poor, peanut-vending son of a slave, he received so much hate mail that security around his house had to be tightened.

Though it’s been banned on campus for years, the occasional Confederate flag still pops up at football games. And you’ll still hear them singing "Dixie," despite what anyone says about the racist undertones of lines like "I wish I was in the land of cotton/Old times there are not forgotten."

Before the school’s minority enrollment skyrocketed to its current level of 19 percent, Ole Miss was best known for honoring the arrival of its first black student with a riot that resulted in two dead and 300 wounded. It was a day that one segregationist alum recalled fondly to the New York Times: "That got my blood flowing pretty good."

Earlier this year, when a video of a knife fight between two black students surfaced on YouTube, one purported student commented, "Oxford is becoming more like Memphrica

[Memphis + Africa] every day." Still, Ole Miss pride, at least for one graduate, isn’t so easily shaken: "If God went to college, he would surely go to Ole Miss."

© Copyright 2008, Radar Magazine

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