(an old school image of Colonel Reb)
My kind father called me this morning to ask about the latest controversy on the Ole Miss campus: the selection of a new mascot. He brought to my attention that you folks who don't live in our neck of the woods may have read something here or somewhere else in national media, but probably don't have a clue as to what the fuss is about.
Seven years ago, the University of Mississippi abolished Colonel Reb as our "on-field mascot". Basically, we've been functioning without one because the Colonel is considered racist (he supposedly represents an "antebellum white plantation owner"). Now the administration is holding a vote to see if the student body would like to participate in the selection of a new on-field mascot.
Yes, Chancellor Khayat was correct to ban the Confederate flag at football games. Yes, chanting "The South Will Rise Again" at the end of Dixie is ignorant and just simply untrue.
All of that said, I think in creating a new mascot the administration and/or the student body just won't be able to do anything right. I hardly think any die-hard Rebel fans out there are going to support anything but the Colonel. So much tradition is rooted in our sweet mascot. And if we're banning him because some see him as a "white plantation owner" then we'd better change the name of our school too. Because "Ole Miss" is what African-American slaves would call the white woman of the plantation pre-Civil War.
And some people may be interested to know that the man who inspired the mascot originally was in fact African-American himself!
Read more about him here.
Essentially, I don't think we should vote to establish a new mascot. Too much has changed in Mississippi to still honestly see Colonel Reb as a racist figure.
What do you guys think??
To read up on other opinions and keep up with the latest mascot drama check up on The DM.