Friday, October 15, 2010

Confederate memory and Ole Miss

Some thoughts on Confederate memory and Ole Miss' New Mascot- The Rebel Black Bear:

Confederate memory, like southern history (and indeed all of American history) is complicated. And that complexity comes through even in the figure of a seemingly innocuous black bear. We aren't just dealing with a mean animal that can potentially intimidate opponents or that little kiddies will enjoy at football events; but something that is meant to represent the essence of Ole Miss, as an entity that is bound up with the traditions of locality and state.

The lore surrounding the black bear is deeply tied up with the South's complex racial past; it is by no means a figure uncomplicated by race. While this racial association is not visibly written on the figure of the black bear - it is there, embedded in the stories which give the symbol its life. And in an ironic twist it even manages a backhanded paw swipe at those who would dethrone the Confederate symbolism of Ole Miss.

from the Manhole Music Tea Room blog


Dick Stanley said...

Holt Collier, Black Confederate? OMG.

My Ole Miss-graduate cousins are, as you might expect, contemptuous of the whole backing-and-filling the university is doing on these symbols.

Like most American universities these days the UofMiss is run by toadies of no distinction, intellectual or moral. And this is the result of that.

1389 said...

Whatever anybody says, it bothers me that the old Rebel mascot/logo has been sacrificed at the altar of political correctness.

1389 said...

I realize that this is off-topic, but here is another instance of a venerable Southern academic institution selling out to political correctness:

Virginia Military Institute sells out to the jihad

I am beyond disgusted with this.

Tim Kent said...

Has anyone else noticed the billboards that bring up the fact that the mascot is a Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolus). I have to agree with Dick. Is this what they have named as their mascot? An animal from a completely different state.