As the five of you who regularly waste valuable rod and cone time perusing posts hereon are painfully aware, the Colonel wasted his opportunity for a quality college education and attended the University of Mississippi instead. It could have been worse, the Colonel supposes--he could have gone to Mississippi State.
Ole Miss grads are a conflicted lot. An Ole Miss grad rarely refers to his alma mater as the University of Mississippi. He is an Ole Miss Rebel.
Ole Miss grads are, by and large, fiercely patriotic Americans, in spite of and to the horror of the decidedly liberal, America-despising administration and faculty. An Ole Miss grad loves the Union more deeply than any yankee who sneeringly still refers to southerners as unreformed Confederates. You want proof? The Colonel will stack the list of Ole Miss grads who demonstrated true love of country by service in uniform against any school north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Ole Miss grads are, for the most part, dyed in the wool traditionalists, in spite of and to the horror of the largely liberal and tradition-despising administration and faculty. Yeah, an Ole Miss grad would wave Beauregard's battle flag at a football game if allowed. He doesn't attach a desire to return to the horror of slavery to that gesture. It is more a matter of regional pride and yankee hate. The Colonel knows hate is a strong word. That's why he used it.
Ole Miss grads, tradition-loving to the end, are in mourning this morning. The nearly century-old symbol of Ole Miss, Colonel Rebel, has been replaced by a Black Bear. The Mississippi--Black Bear connection is tenuous at best. Teddy Roosevelt, while on a Mississippi Delta hunting trip, refused to shoot a black bear whose status was not exactly in accordance with the ethics of "fair chase." The media of the day reported on the incident and a capitalistic toy maker capitalized on the story and marketed a small stuffed bear doll--calling it "Teddy's Bear."
This Ole Miss grad bemoans the idiotic headlong rush that the University of Mississippi has taken--straight into the arms of the liberal elitists whose tyrannical bent is to force all to conform to their opinion of what is proper, correct, and inoffensive. The Colonel has said it before, but it bears (pun intended) repeating: The line beyond which something is considered politically incorrect or offensive incessantly encroaches on tradition and common sense. The line never remains static. There will never be an armistice of accommodation agreed to by the elitist minority who believe themselves socially superior to the majority.
The sad thing is, the University of Mississippi's administration has taken its "politically correct" steps of sidelining Ole Miss traditions to ingratiate themselves with liberal elitists who will, in fact, never be satisfied until every vestige of the unique traditions of Ole Miss are taken down. The nicknames Ole Miss and Rebels are odious to them. They will not rest until those are gone, as well.
"Reconstruction" officially ended a century and a half ago. The liberal elitists who denounce hate with every other breath are so consumed by their hatred of every American tradition that they, if allowed, will eventually reconstruct America to the point of self-destruction.
It's enough to drive this unreconstructed Rebel to drastic measures--the Colonel is going to put his Ole Miss Alum ball cap on his head and go drive his tractor.