The Ku Klux Klan protested before a University of Mississippi and LSU game today. The focus of the Ku Klux Klan’s protest was a line that is chanted at the end of the University of Mississippi’s fight song: From Dixie with Love. The line that is chanted is, “The South will Rise Again.”
The song From Dixie with Love has its roots in the civil war and has been used as the Ole Miss fight song for many years. At the end of the song, however, many chanters openly shout, “The South will Rise Again.”
The chant has been deemed racist and offensive by the many African American students who attend the University of Mississippi. In fact, the chant has become so troublesome, that University of Mississippi Chancellor, Dan Jones had ordered students to stop chanting. After they continued chanting, he ordered the song From Dixie with Love to cease being played. The Ku Klux Klan came out to rally in lieu of the chant “The South Will Rise Again.”
Chancellor Jones sent an address to the student body of the University of Mississippi. It reads, “We cannot even appear to support those outside our community who advocate a revival of segregation. Consequently, I have asked the band not to play ‘From Dixie with Love’ at upcoming athletics events. The absence of this song will send a clear message that the university is neither facilitating nor indirectly condoning the chant.” The order to stop playing the song, From Dixie with Love, was issued on November 17, 2009 to stop playing the song.
As if there were any doubt that the chant was associated with racism, the Ku Klux Klan verified Chancellor Jones’ statements referring to the symbolism associated with the chant. In attendance with the KKK, was the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan grand titan, Shane Tate. Shane Tate had confirmed the KKK’s presence at today’s game in an E-Mail message to the Daily Reveille. It read, “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.”
During the Ku Klux Klan’s rally today, they were seen waving flags, and greeted each other with Nazi style salutes. The Ku Klux Klan was not to have their voices heard without opposition, however. Students immediately held a shouting rally of their own.
Ole Miss students stood in front of Fulton Chapel wearing shirts that read ‘Turn your back on Hate’ and countered the KKK’s presence with shouts of ‘White Trash’ and other insults. As the Ku Klux Klan protested the student’s right to free speech by shouting the South Will Rise Again, students shouted at the KKK members, “Go to Hell, KKK! Go to Hell!”
Shane Tate had said that he expected up to 100 Ku Klux Klan members to attend the rally, there were approximately twelve Klansmen in attendance. According to Shane Tate, his KKK group is a member of the Southern Alliance of Klans which boasts approximately 7,000 members.
The Klan members were escorted away from the University by police, approximately five hours before the game began.