DM staff editorial
On Friday, the University of Mississippi removed another tradition from its collection. Athletics Director Ross Bjork announced his request that the band “create a new and modern pregame show that does not include Dixie and is more inclusive for all fans.”
“Dixie,” an unofficial anthem of the Confederacy, was once played every football game on campus, but that has changed with the entrance of a new generation of Rebels.
In 2009, then-Chancellor Dan Jones asked Ole Miss’ marching band, The Pride of the South, to stop playing “From Dixie with Love,” a Southern hymn similar to “Dixie.” Since, only bits and scraps of “Dixie” has been played at games.
Many are angry that the song has now been officially removed from the band’s roster. Some say it is indicative of the university’s continuous push towards being “politically correct” or a forced attempt at inclusivity. Some feel it is a direct attack on the history of the university and on it’s fans. Removing the symbols of the Confederacy disrespects those who fought in the Civil War, they believe.
Others feel this move is not enough. Voices on this campus cry out for change and are not satiated by the removal of a single antiquated tradition among the hoard that Ole Miss possesses.
The Daily Mississippian would not like to attack or invalidate either of these opinions. We alone cannot change the views of either person, but we would like to express our opinion.
The oldest natural seniors on campus were young when Colonel Reb walked off the field. We were not here when “From Dixie with Love” was played for the last time in Vaught-Hemingway stadium. We never saw Confederate flags waving in the hands of thousands of fans from the student section. These traditions are not our own; they are a relic of an older time.
The oldest seniors were here, however, when a noose was placed on the statue of James Meredith in 2014. We were here when the Ku Klux Klan came in 2015 to protest the removal of the Mississippi state flag from campus. We have not experienced the traditions older generations loved, but we have seen their aftermath.
The era of students who grow up immersed in the vestiges of Ole Miss’ illustrious – and often dark – history is ending. The toddlers who learn to walk in the Grove today will grow up knowing a different Ole Miss than their parents and grandparents did. We must ask ourselves now what Ole Miss will mean to our children.
Did we intend for our university to be a unchanging thing? Have we already made all of the traditions we will ever uphold? For whom does the university stand? For its history or its future?
We, The Daily Mississippian staff, did not come to the university for its songs.
We did not come to this campus hoping to tear down every symbol of its history but rather to create our own traditions in a place that welcomes us, our friends and our community. We came to make Ole Miss our own with the hope and knowledge that one day our children and grandchildren will do the same.
We came to make history, not to relive it.
We, the undersigned editors of The Daily Mississippian, agree with this editorial.
Assistant lifestyles editor
Brian Scott Rippee
Assistant sports editor