Local Athletics Welcome to Ole Miss

Published on August 17th, 2014 | by Carver Rayburn


The State of Ole Miss, err, The University of Mississippi, err TSUN?

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Chancellor Dan Jones and his staff have released a report outlining changes to the 166 year old institution of higher learning.

Notable changes include commendable honorary signage changing the name of Coliseum Drive to Chucky Mullins Drive. What has ignited a debate among the masses is the inclusion of an intent for the University to distance itself from its nickname, Ole Miss, or at least “use it in the proper context.”

The far right will tell you actions like these are aimed at stripping the university of its heritage and traditions while aiming to achieve an agenda of extreme political correctness. 

The even more far right will dust off that Confederate flag and march around Oxford in the name of Heritage, not Hate challenging the policy makers to justify their pay grade. “Dey took R jobs!!”

The far left will stomp and scream about how intolerant and ignorant the far right is, and how everyone and everything is racist except them.

“Look at me! I’m so tolerant with my Facebook links and comments,” they’ll sing.

All while sipping on a Venti 6-pump, non-fat, no water 190 degrees, no foam Chai Latte in a Made in China Col. Reb T-Shirt they bought from Rebel Rags on Andrew “I owned 160 Slaves while I was President” Jackson Avenue.

The point is this: Really?

Change is inevitable, and sometimes for the common good. Public Relation disasters seem to be inevitable at Ole Miss too. Just another drop in the bucket for the PR All-Star Team at TSUN. When discussion stops, the progression of a people, an idea or a culture stops. However, a hot stove will burn your hand every time.

Mississippi has a past. Some of it bright, some of it dark. We tend to focus on the dark in attempt to gain exposure for a progressive apologetic agenda in what we as a people deem “right and just” in order to sleep better at night.

Or for self-gratification via social media. Or maybe because it’s the right thing to do, but according to who? A bunch of white people? The jury is still out.

The names Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas and the like all have racial undertones. The discontinuation of Ole Miss as a nickname in an academic setting will likely achieve nothing.

Is it worth a shot? Probably. Will the debate get more heated? Yep. Will ‘good press’ come from this? No.

If the changes recommended in this report are an attempt to shine a positive light on Oxford, it failed. If the report released is a smoke screen for something bigger, touche’.

In Jackson, comments on the proposal for the name Ole Miss to be used in the proper context were abundant on WLBT.com.

Agree or disagree, this is what people are saying:

“If purging our country of things that some believe to be racist would end racism then I believe everyone would be 100 percent for it,” Geri McLendon said. “You have to change a man’s heart, not symbols, and taking away things that are history is only adding to it.”

“Oh hell no, what is wrong with Ole Miss?,” said Balusek Hearn.

“This man (Dan Jones) has lost his mind and needs to go find it,” Vanessa Allen said. “Mr. Chancellor, whether you understand this or not, what you are doing is like stripping a person of their identity. The only change The University of Mississippi needs to make is removing you and your ‘sensitive’ panel. When people ask where you went to school, you say Ole Miss. When you write our you resume to look professional, you write “University of Mississippi.” “

The only thing Ole Miss needs to change is its Chancellor…from an MSU Grad,” said Tim Prewitt.

“Land of the Offended,” said Jamie Thompson. “I’m a staunch MSU fan, but this is ridiculous in my book. Leave Ole Miss alone! Geez. I guess we should close all the National Parks that are dedicated to preserving the history of the Civil War too. Maybe even tear down Jefferson Davis‘ Biloxi home.”

“Leave the name, mascot, etc. alone,” said Tasha Sallie. “If it wasn’t changed back in the day, then don’t change it now.”

“Two or three people should not determine the spirit of a school,” Annie Warnock.

“We are Ole Miss! Get the hell over it!” said Kelli Jenkins.

“That damn bear will be the end of us all,” mumbled Col. Reb.

We are still Mississippi. The same Mississippi that produced good and evil. Reputation changeable. Situation tolerable…handle us with care. The Local Voice Ligature

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About the Author

Carver Rayburn was born and raised an Ole Miss Rebel in Oxford, Mississippi. He has worked for many newspapers and magazines in both editorial and advertising, including OffBeat Magazine, The Hattiesburg American, The Meridian Star, The Neshoba Democrat, The Madison County Journal, The Clarke County Tribune, The New Albany Gazette, Southeastern Football Saturdays, and Rebel Yell. He currently lives in New Orleans and has a four-year-old son, Hart. You can contact Carver at carverrayburn@hotmail.com.

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