Paul Kersey, American Renaissance, August 29, 2018
On August 20, “Silent Sam” was pulled down on the campus of the University of North Carolina by a mob of students. Erected in 1913, it was a memorial to the UNC men who fought for the Confederacy.
Earlier this year, there was another betrayal of Southern heritage: the introduction of the Tony the Landshark as the second new mascot to replace Colonel Reb at the University of Mississippi. The goateed Southern gentleman was officially retired in 2003 because he was a symbol of “racism.”
In 2010, Colonel Reb was replaced by the Ole Miss Black Bear, which was voted most popular by the students in a campus-wide poll. A campaign to make the catfish-like character Admiral Ackbar of Star Wars the mascot failed. Mississippi is home to perhaps 75 bears, but William Faulkner lived in town and wrote a story called “The Bear,” which appears to have been adequate justification.
So, what about the new mascot? As the press noted:
The Landshark harps back to the “Fins Up” gesture that Ole Miss athletes have been using since [black] linebacker Tony Fein busted out the move in 2008. The mascot’s name is also an homage to Tony.
After Fein’s death in 2009 [of a drug overdoes], Ole Miss carried on the tradition of the landshark.
As the New York Times explained in 2010, this is all part of Ole Miss’s attempt to live down its “racist” past.
School administrators say they want to balance tolerance with tradition at Ole Miss (itself a nickname for a slave owner’s wife). The school has discouraged Confederate battle flags at football games, discontinued “Dixie” as the unofficial fight song and raised enrollment of black students to 14 percent, from 5.8 percent in 1995 (though Mississippi is nearly 40 percent black).
But even a few mainstream writers were unimpressed by the Landshark. Clay Travis, a right-leaning sports pundit tweeted:
What the fuck, Ole Miss? Landshark Tony?! You killed Colonel Reb for this? Shameful.
In fact, the university has sacrificed its traditions in a quest to recruit black athletes to bring gridiron glory to Oxford and thrill well-dressed, white alumni and students tailgating in the Grove. Astonishingly, the team is still known as “The Rebels.”
Not only has “Dixie” been ditched as the fight song; the band can’t even play the pep song “From Dixie with Love“ because afterwards the crowd would chant “The South will rise again.” University chancellor Robert Khayat explained that wouldn’t do because it reeks of “segregationist baggage.”
Needless to say, the Confederate flag must never wave in the stands. Former coach Tommy Tuberville banned it more than 20 years ago, in 1997, explaining that the “flag tarnishes the school’s image and has hurt efforts to recruit black athletes.”
Since stripping the University of Mississippi of its Southern symbols, the football team has become almost entirely black. Caste Football notes that every year since 2006, four—at most—of the 22 starters have been white. In most years it has been only three, and in 2015 just two. Caste Football also notes that during that period, “the school had only one 10-win season, with multiple years of losing eight, nine and even 10 games. Since 2004, they’ve had only six winning seasons out of 14.
Houston Nutt, who was football coach from 2008 to 2011, explained that the University’s past kept him from getting a better record because he couldn’t attract yet more blacks:
“You recruit a young man from out of state and they come to Mississippi, the first thing that hits their mind is, you know, ‘I’ve seen the show Mississippi Burning.’ Or, there are questions from their mom: ‘Are there racial problems?’ Once they get here, you put that to rest, but that’s the perception,” Nutt said. “Once recruits visit the campus firsthand, they see it’s a safe place that doesn’t have racial problems.”
The psychological capitulation at Ole Miss illustrates the current state of “the South.” The late Sam Francis wrote in 2003 that what happened at Ole Miss had implications for the entire country.
Implication One is that when you admit racial and cultural aliens into institutions created by and for people of a different race and culture, you’re going to have problems.
The newcomers don’t feel comfortable . . . and if they gain power, which eventually they will, they will do all they can to abolish and eradicate those symbols that make them feel like the outsiders they are.
And Implication Two is that it’s not just fairly trivial symbols like Col. Reb, the flags at the football game, the name of the team, and the songs the spectators can’t sing.
A Landshark has taken over for Colonel Reb.
A mob of mostly white students pulled down Silent Sam.
There’s not much of Dixie left, and the North won’t be far behind.