GOP lawmaker grovels after being criticized for sharing Ole Miss ‘Lizzo’ video

An attempted narrative shift over campus protests saw one Republican lawmaker appear to bend the knee amid calls for an ethics investigation for sharing a viral Ole Miss video.

Chants of “Lizzo” marked the scene late last week on the campus of the University of Mississippi opening the door to disregard weeks of violent terrorist sympathizing protests in favor of accusations of racism. Failing to heed the oft-repeated lesson against apologizing to leftist outrage, Georgia Rep. Mike Collins did exactly that Monday after he had been accused of “celebrating” the actions of a select few in a crowd of fraternity members.

“I understand and respect the feedback that’s been shared regarding a single individual during the Ole Miss protests,” said Collins in a statement Monday. “If that person is found to have treated another human being improperly because of their race, they should be punished appropriately, and will hopefully seek forgiveness.”

“Frankly, I did not believe that to be the focal point of the video shared at the time, but I recognize that there certainly seems to be some potentially inappropriate behavior that none of us should see to glorify,” the GOP legislator concluded.

As had been reported, during a counterprotest to the anti-Israel movement on the campus of Ole Miss, a rotund woman, identified as graduate student Jaylin Smith could be seen filming the patriotically bedecked crowd of anthem singers. During a back-and-forth that saw her step around a barricade to approach the group of mostly young men, her physical appearance sparked a jeering chant as they likened her to the entertainer Lizzo.

Collins had shared the latter portion of the interaction Friday with the message, “Ole Miss taking care of business.”

The NAACP saw fit to capitalize on the post with the help of corporate media and issued a statement demanding the House Ethics Committee open an investigation of Collins.

NBC News went on to report that one student seen in the video had been kicked out of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity for “racist actions,” described by the outlet as “ape-like sounds and gestures.”

NAACP President Derrick Johnson used that outcome to urge similar action against Collins and argued, “If a student can be expelled for racist taunts, a congressman…can be held accountable for celebrating their behavior.”

In a message to The Hill, NAACP spokesperson Alicia Mercedes had said, “Black America refuses to accept blatant racism from any representative sworn to uphold our constitution.”

“Representative Collins’ decision to publicly condone, and perhaps even celebrate these racist taunts is not only shameful but also reprehensible,” she added.

The apparent apology overshadowed a broader message in the congressman’s statement where he contended, “The vast majority of students do not want the American flag disrespected. They do not want to see their fellow classmates being harassed for being Jewish. They do not want statues of founding fathers defaced. They do not want their campus to be trashed and destroyed.”

As he clarified that any school “that does not allow the occupiers to run roughshod over the 99 percent of students who are there to learn and enjoy college are taking care of business,” he had also expressed, “Let me be very clear. I believe in the First Amendment right to free speech, peaceful assembly, and expression. I do not, however, tolerate any form of discrimination–racism or otherwise. It’s the opposite of what my faith teaches and it’s not personally how I treat people.”

Kevin Haggerty

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