Governor Ross Barnett, still smarting from the defeat he suffered when the Federal Government forced the admission of James Meredith to the University of Mississippi last fall, has apparently not abandoned his intention to make Mr. Meredith's stay at the university as short and unhappy as possible. The Governor's latest ploy, still in the discussion stage, is to ask the Federal courts for permission to expel Mr. Meredith for having violated a university directive against "inflammatory remarks" by students.
It is quite unlikely that Barnett will be able to get the courts to go along with him on this one. Mr. Meredith's "inflammatory remarks" consisted of calling for a general boycott of "everything possible" by Mississippi Negroes; he made these remarks in the context of a statement on the death of Medgar Evers, state field secretary of the NAACP. Mr. Meredith was reprimanded by the appropriate Dean and has promised not to do it again. Although it would seem, then, that sufficient disciplinary measures have already been taken, Gov. Barnett apparently is not convinced.
The directive in question was issued to protect Mr. Meredith, not to remove him. Its target was the core of rednecked white supremacists at the university who continue to do their best to incite their fellow students to riot. Mr. Meredith's quite justifiable statement does not legitimately fall within the scope of the directive; even if it does, it is hardly cause for expulsion.