Ole Miss 'Dixie' Haters Secret Weapon: The KKK

↵Things have been a little tense about race on Ole Miss's campus since the school was founded. Wright Thompson's ESPN centerpiece on the integration riots and the last great Rebel football team is required reading for anyone with an interest in the subject matter; suffice it to say that there are a lot of old wounds that aren't going to heal any time soon. ↵

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↵But times are a changing, and Ole Miss recently banned their band's traditional playing of From Dixie With Love because people keep shouting "and the South will rise again" at the end of it: ↵

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↵This, if you know the context—it's a favored KKK slogan of the sort that ends up on burned churches in Mississippi—is at least kind of racist, if indirectly so. I don't think anyone doing the chant thinks of it as racist, but they don't get to decide. (Remarkably, Wikipedia says the chant started in 2005(!!!). That's [citation needed], ↵though.) ↵

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↵Enter student protest and a chancellor ban: ↵

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↵⇥[Chancellor Dan] Jones released a letter to the university community Nov. 2 that said if students did not stop chanting "the South will rise again," he would ask the band to stop playing the song because of its role as a "trigger" for the chant. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"Consequently, I have asked the band not to play 'From Dixie with Love' at upcoming athletics events," Jones said. "The absence of this song will send a clear message that the university is neither facilitating nor indirectly condoning the chant." ↵⇥

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↵If I know pissed-off, petulant student sections—and as a Michigan hockey fan, I certainly do—this is going to lead to a thousand kids with this song as their ringtones and random bursts of "the South will rise again" much more frequently than would otherwise occur. That's what students do. ↵

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↵It's also leading to a ... wait for it ... KKK rally! ↵

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↵⇥Shane Tate, the North Mississippi great titan for the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, confirmed via e-mail the KKK will rally on Ole Miss’ campus in protest of the Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones’ decision to remove "From Dixie with Love" from the Ole Miss band’s song selection. ↵⇥

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↵I bet you're thinking this guy has a spectacular quote on the way. You are 100 percent correct: ↵

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↵⇥"We aren’t coming there to cause problems or cause trouble," Tate said. "Trouble has already been caused by a handful at Ole Miss, including the black student body president, who wants to shape Ole Miss into yet another liberal sodomite college." ↵⇥

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↵There is no way that guy said "aren't." No way. ↵The concept "liberal sodomite college" can't exist in a brain that doesn't interpret that word as "ain't." ↵

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↵So the KKK swoops in to protest the elimination of a chant that people eliminated because they think it's racist, dropping bombs about the black student body president's goal of having every Ole Miss undergraduate buggering hobos by 2012. This is almost the only thing that can overcome a student section's tendency towards pointless belligerence. Dollars to donuts this is the act that kills the chant once and for all; it could be the fan behavior equivalent of the 37-member Houston Nutt recruiting class that finally shamed the SEC into limits on oversigning. ↵

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↵If the KKK was secretly a parody group working to eliminate racism nationwide, would they act any differently? ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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