As the heated debate over the University of Mississippi's loss of "From Dixie with Love" to end the chant "the South will rise again" continues, the school's campus found it self with less than a dozen unwelcome guests this past weekend.
Members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan protested in favor of the chant on the Saturday morning of UM's football game against Louisiana State University. But just as quickly it had began, students and fans made it clear that the 11 KKK members protesting were not wanted.
Klansmen in full red, white and black uniforms, silently waved Confederate battle flags and the KKK flag as they stood in front of the Fulton Chapel while a mostly student crowd of more than 250 people called them various insults.
At one point the crowd began chanting the phrase, "Go to hell, KKK, go to hell!"
Responses to the crowd from klansman Shane Tate, grand titan of the Mississippi White Knights, were lost to the intensity of the crowd's boos and jeering. Within the first 10 minutes of their hour-long protest, the Klan left in defeat.
As the KKK dispersed and the booing of the crowd died down, an echo resounded throughout the air as a group of more than 100 students could be heard about 30 yards away from the chapel. Organized students read over and over the university’s student creed while wearing white T-shirts that said “Turn your back on hate” and “I live by the UM Creed.”
The day was a defining moment for the University of Mississippi and its public image as well as the view of the state of Mississippi. It was an incredible display that hatred and racism are no longer tolerated ideals of our peoples and that we are making progress and changing perceptions.
The University of Mississippi has been at the forefront of progress in racial eqauality. From the couragous risks of James Meredith in 1962, to the 2008 presidential debates featuring the United States' first African-American candidate and elected president; we are changing for the better. This past weekend was a continued sign that that change is happening.
As to whether the song "From Dixie with Love" can be reinstated is still uncertain but "Ole Miss is marching on."
* The Facebook Group to save "From Dixie with Love"
SAVE OUR TRADITION, SAVE "FROM DIXIE WITH LOVE"
* An Article from Knoxnews about the protest
* A youtube video from the protest
* Chancellor Dan Jones letter to the Ole Miss Community