BY ALEXANDRA WILLIAMSON
I’m so tired of picking up a copy of The DM and seeing people outraged about absolutely inane topics, like “Dixie,” the mascot and the name bestowed upon the winner of a campus popularity contest.
I swear, people on this campus sweat the small stuff so much that they’re far too dehydrated to do anything when it comes to things that are actually going to impact people’s lives. So I’m going to do my best to settle everything, and I’m sure I’m going to make a lot of people angry, but I think this needs to be said.
No one cares. No one outside of this campus cares whether the campus position is entitled Colonel Reb or Mr. Ole Miss. Or whether or not we play “Dixie.” Or what the mascot is. It does not matter one bit. Your griping is not going to change that. And getting rid of these old “traditions” is generally for the best.
Maybe you’re not offended by Colonel Reb or “Dixie.” I’m not either, but some people are. And while I think that being offended about things is a waste of energy, I can’t really argue that it doesn’t alienate a significant portion of our student body, in that it alludes to a time when our state was fighting, in part, for the ability to enslave other human beings. That’s not exactly what this institute of higher learning wants to be associated with anymore.
“Dixie” is a beautiful song, and I wish we didn’t need to get rid of it, but the fact is that we do. Just because something is a tradition doesn’t mean it’s not also bad. If you say that you don’t care what other people think of your school, I invite you to try to find a job with someone who associates your university with racism and neo-Confederacy. I’m going to bet it’s harder than if they don’t. So it’s really in your best interests to care what others think of your school.
Maybe if the students of this campus and its esteemed alumni focused more on the game of football going on in Vaught-Hemingway and less on which foamy cartoon character was roaming the sidelines, or who’s taking the field at homecoming, or which songs the band was playing (not that we don’t appreciate your hard work, band), our team could have another impressive season like last year. Would you really rather your “traditions” come back over another Cotton Bowl win?
Everyone, and I mean everyone, making a big deal out of this, no matter which side you take, please, for the love of god, drop it. It’s all, no matter how important it is to you now, completely unimportant in the long run. Instead of wasting your time keyboard-smashing each other on Twitter, perhaps you could navigate on over to a website that reports national and international news and check out what’s going on in the world outside of Oxford. There’s a lot out there, and Colonel Reb pertains to approximately none of it.
Apply your passion to productive purposes. Do something that can actually improve others’ lives. Go volunteer, or start a club, or a protest or even just do your homework. There is no reason to get worked up about tired mascots and songs when people are getting droned to death every day.
Alexandra Williamson is a senior accountancy major from Frisco, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @alyxwi.