During a speech last month for a diversity and inclusion event at University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media, Fox News host Shep Smith called for his home state to remove the Confederate flag from its state flag, arguing that symbolism should be “put in the museum.”
Mississippi is the only state that still incorporates the Confederate battle emblem on its flag.
“You can’t be much of an activist when your job is to report the news,” Smith told students and faculty at his alma mater. “But you can remind people what happened under that flag.”
“So it’s got to go,” Smith continued. “Put it in the museum. Don’t get rid of it. Make it part of your curriculum. Talk about it. But get it out of the stadium. Get it out of the Grove. Get it out of my state.”
Mississippi voted overwhelmingly last month to keep the Confederate flag on its state symbol.
Smith also championed the progressive example UM is setting. “Our institutions are our only hope,” Smith added. “Our government is regressive, and our institutions are progressive.”
“We have a special responsibility as people from this place to go out and show the world with our deeds … that we are very inclusive, and we want everyone who is good to be here, and the rest of y’all can go,” he said.
The Fox News host later spoke about stereotypes, drawing applause for arguing, “the big black guy in the back is not always the criminal, and the little white girl in the front is not always the victim.”
“That’s really ingrained in us,” he said. He noted stereotypes impact other groups, including Muslims who Smith said are being unfairly targeted because of 9/11.
“They didn’t do that,” Smith said. “People who bastardized that religion brought that thing down and started this conflict. It’s not about religion, but we’re turning it into that.”
Watch the video below, via YouTube: