Carvan Letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letter to the editor

Enough with criticism of Ole Miss

Ah, yes. Good old “political correctness” raises its ugly head again. The phrase “The South Will Rise Again” is added to the list of words that shall not be spoken (or yelled) at the “Ole Miss” football games.

Schools, colleges and universities jump through all kinds of hoops to build school spirit, to have a winning sports team which down the road leads to alumni hopefully providing financial support for the school. And yet no one of authority at “Ole Miss” will say “Enough already with the criticisms of our university.”

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The University of Mississippi has a long and honorable history. It was founded in 1848 and the University’s nickname, Ole Miss, was chosen in 1896, when it was selected in a contest held to identify a new student publication, the yearbook.

The school colors, Red and Blue, date back to 1893 when it was suggested that the union of the Crimson of Harvard and the Navy Blue of Yale be chosen because of the respect held for these two colleges.

The nickname “REBELS” dates back to 1936 and was the result of a contest sponsored by the student newspaper and won by the Southern sports writers group. A  couple of years later “Colonel Reb” was introduced as an illustration by the yearbook.

“Colonel Rebel” has been gone for several years now. The Confederate flag no longer waves. Now it’s the phrase “The South Will Rise Again.”  Will the nickname “REBELS” be next to fall?  Will the playing of “Dixie” be outlawed? Will the “Ole Miss” side of the stadium be required to sit quietly and hold hands?  Worst of all: suppose someone finds out that “Ole Miss” was a term used by slaves for the wife of a plantation owner!

Yes, political correctness seems to rule the day. That no one should be offended, no matter how small the slight, seems to be the objective. And so traditions fall (or are pushed) by the wayside, not only at “Ole Miss” but all across America.

Wendell Carvan
Oakland, MS 38948