The University of Mississippi Rebels football program has always had a delicate relationship with race and history. Through the years, Ole Miss officials have slowly erased what many perceive as racist reminders of the past: fans waving Dixie flags at games, a mascot named Colonel Reb, singing anthems dedicated to the Old South.
So when Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones said the school fight song “From Dixie with Love” couldn't be played until "the South Shall Rise Again" phrase was removed, the Ku Klux Klan responded. The White supremacist group is planning to protest at this Saturday’s
Ole Miss-LSU football game in Oxford.
“We are coming to Ole Miss to say enough is enough on attacking our
Christian, southern heritage and culture, and it’s time for every person to have
a right to freedom of speech,” Shane Tate told the LSU student newspaper, The Daily Reveille. And who is Tate? He's the North Mississippi great titan for the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Klan says it will protest in full robes -- but peacefully. “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
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Ole Miss spokeswoman Barbara Lago says the KKK has a right to a peaceful protest at the game.
Will it remain peaceful? We shall see. But the subject of race at Ole Miss runs deeper than the Grand Canyon. Hard to avoid it when visitors can still see bullet marks on the administration building from the time James Meredith integrated the school in 1962. Mix in history, culture, free speech, the KKK, rowdy students, beer, crowds -- and it could be a contentious afternoon on the Ole Miss campus.