CL – Ole Miss: ‘New’ South rose long ago

University of Mississippi fans who feel led to perpetuate the Reconstruction-era notion that the South somehow needs to “rise again” badly miss the point.

The South has long since risen and moved on – and Ole Miss is an integral part of that journey.

Ole Miss football fans who refuse to stop chanting “the South will rise again” are on the verge of losing one of their favorite fight songs, the school’s chancellor said Monday. Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones said From Dixie With Love will no longer be played at games if fans continue the chant. Last month, Jones asked the band to abruptly end the tune to discourage the chant, but he says that didn’t solve the problem.

Jones said fan reaction at Saturday’s game against Northern Arizona would decide the fate of the song, which blends the Confederate Army’s fight song, Dixie, with the Union Army’s Battle Hymn of the Republic.

For many in the national and international media, the image synonymous with this state and Oxford was of the bloody 1962 riots that accompanied the enrollment of James Meredith as the first African-American student at Ole Miss and the two deaths that ensued from those riots.

This inane chant now threatens to devalue the gains Ole Miss made for the image of the university and for the state, where the true rise of the South isn’t in doubt.

Clarion-Ledger
11/4/9