Friday, March 19, 2010

Slip-sliding Away

Political Correctness is the slippery slope down which those with an agenda push innocents unfairly pre-judged. It is the greatest of ironies and yet an inarguable fact that prejudice and bias exist as much in the heart of the pusher as the pushed. It is also an inarguable fact that once the slide begins, its momentum carries away with it all intelligent discourse.

Oh, and if you think you are safely politically correct in your new terminology and belief system, just wait. What was deemed politically correct yesterday, and with which the silent majority apathetically resigns itself to acceptance, will be found today to possess some flaw, some "incorrect" component, requiring those who believe themselves superior, to impose their will on the rest of us, all in the name of fairness. But, because LIFE is NOT FAIR, cannot be, and never will be, the Agendaratti will never rest.

As any one who has wasted precious rod and cone time reading posts hereon knows, the Colonel did not go to college--he went to Ole Miss. The Colonel's alma mater, formally known as the University of Mississippi, is a relatively small public university at the northern end of southern nowhere that has suffered the indignity of decades of national attention far out of proportion to the school's importance.

The University of Mississippi was founded in 1848. When the university began fielding sports teams, they played as the Mississippi Flood. On the occasion of the publishing of the first yearbook in 1897, a student contest chose the name Ole Miss for the publication and soon the University adopted Ole Miss as nickname. In 1936, when the editor of the school newspaper proposed a contest to produce a new nickname for Ole Miss teams, the duty was assigned to Mississippi sportswriters who overwhelmingly chose the name Rebels. Two years later, Colonel Rebel appeared for the first time as an illustration in the university yearbook and by the late 1940's had achieved its present form.

By the time this Colonel began his matriculation at the Harvard of the South, fans at football games were vigorously waving Beauregard's Battle Flag and a student in Confederate uniform exhorted the Ole Miss faithful from the sidelines. Your writer, dear reader, waved a Rebel flag as vigorously as the next fan. There was no racist intent on my part--unless you consider Yankee a race.

During the Colonel's service in the Marine Corps, it became painfully clear that the Rebel Flag was insulting and offensive to some and considered a banner of racial hate. The Colonel didn't see it that way...well, that is unless you consider Yankee a race...but he ceased flying and displaying the flag out of the sense that his leadership responsibilities and effectiveness required him to respect the sensibilities of others.

The Colonel believes that the University's 1996 decision to cease and prohibit flying the Rebel Flag at Ole Miss ball games was a correct one. The Colonel has heard, and respects, the Southern Heritage and free speech arguments for the "right" to fly the flag. But, the Rebel Flag was NOT ever an official symbol of the University, and was in fact flown beginning in the 1950's as a reaction to Yankee meddling in the politics of the South.

But, the slide had begun.

The next target of the prejudiced, self-righteous, political correctness crusaders was Colonel Rebel. Much more innocuous than scores of Yankee university mascots, Colonel Rebel was deemed to have arisen out of the slave-holding ante-bellum South.

Yep. He was.

Much of these re-United States' most cherished symbols and beliefs reflect back to a time when, in both the North and South, people enslaved other people. We have transcended those errors of inhumanity and now assign more proper, egalitarian virtues to the symbols we have retained from those times. And, just because an evil minority usurp a popular symbol or phrase, the good majority should not be deprived of that symbol or phrase's innocent use. Mouth-breathing, village-idiot white supremacists carry crosses and use the term "God Bless America." Shall we ban crucifixes and discontinue asking God's blessing on our land?

Believe it or not, there are prejudiced, self-righteous, political correctness crusaders who think we should.

The Colonel warns you, if you allow Colonel Rebel's banishment for that reason, the prejudiced, self-righteous, political correctness crusaders will not stop there. The Washington and Jefferson Memorials and their likenesses on our currency will be deemed inappropriate for the same reason. And once the chorus of prejudiced, self-righteous, political correctness crusaders take up YOUR treasured tradition or cherished belief in denouncing chant, you too will find yourself pushed down the slippery slope by those with an agenda you do not share.

Remember, what is deemed politically correct today, will not be tomorrow, despite the assurances of those who imposed the new rules that this is the end of the crusade. There is always the next crusade, else the pitiful lives of the prejudiced, self-righteous political correctness crusaders loses all meaning.

At the University of Mississippi, the administration has banned Colonel Rebel and taken steps to ensure he never returns. Because fans were chanting innocuously "the South will rise again" at the end of Elvis' "From Dixie with Love," that song was banned by the University's liberal elite bent on appeasing other liberal elitists. But, they assure those of us who love Ole Miss that "...the University of Mississippi will always remain the Ole Miss Rebels."

The Colonel's intelligence has been insulted, and that takes some doing.
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