I just wanted to add my two cents about the latest controversy from Ole Miss. The new Chancellor, Dan Jones, is not wasting any time in getting his feet wet with controversy. This difference with this mission, as opposed to getting rid of the Rebel Flag in the mid-90s and Colonel Reb in 2003, is that I believe he has the backing of the Ole Miss faithful.
Chanting “The South Will Rise Again” at the end of “From Dixie With Love” is not old, or tradition. I believe is started in the early 2000s. By the time I was a freshman in 2003 it was the popular thing to do in the student section. I don’t think anyone really knows exactly why or how it started. There were times I joined in, times I didn’t. The truth is I never really thought much about it. While the story has now made national news, the debate has been brought up before. At least once when I was a student the ASB passed a resolution condemning it. I believe that was after a TV mic picked it up and it was broadcast loud and clear on television.
The summer before my freshman year the school did away with Colonel Reb. Early in the fall of 2003 there were all kinds of protesting and calling for AD Pete Boone’s head. However, something happened midway through that year and the former mascot seemed less important- the Rebels started winning. By the time LSU came into town with the SEC West on the line, I could care less about Colonel Reb and all about winning. Winning cures everything.
I think in the short-term students will rebel against the administration and we might hear TSWRA even louder tomorrow. That said, I believe it will slowly fade away like many things do.
In a way I wish Ole Miss could operate in a bubble where this story did not make the national news. Whatever happens I doubt there will be a follow up story. The person in New York or California will just think we’re a bunch of rednecks based on yesterday’s news. But Jones did what he had to do to lead “A Great American Public University.” Ole Miss will be better off.