After watching the video, click here
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 13:43
Rebelling against Cries for Confederate slogans, mascots changes in Louisiana
Written by 

confedIn a frenzy to follow fad, should area government dissociate anything reeking of the Confederacy from schools and other public spaces?

 

Sparked in particular by savage murders earlier this summer, questions have risen anew about the appropriateness of symbols identified with the long-gone Confederate States of America serving as names of streets, buildings, monuments, and nicknames and/or mascots of public schools’ competitive teams. Bestowing such attention on these items in the public space risks conveying the impression that the less salutary aspects of the Confederacy continue to receive endorsement even to this day.

Of course, the idea that having some Confederate-associated label disgraces irredeemably the object is terribly oversimplified. The controversial monument celebrating the last Confederate national government located in Shreveport that (for now) sits proximate to the Caddo Parish Courthouse serves as a valued historic reminder, for example. Yet, at the same time, the historical record makes clear that, of the several reasons why the southern states rebelled, their governments’ desire to preserve slavery was paramount, lending evil to the treasonous enterprise, thus making invalid any argument that to fly before any other choice the (Third) Confederate (Battle) flag celebrates certain virtues, for the present American flag does the same without the baggage.

However, the situation becomes murkier to judge in the instance of public school mascots and nicknames. This explains why conversations have ensued in Caddo about North Caddo High School and in Ouachita Parish concerning West Monroe High School, with the scholastic and athletic teams of each carrying the moniker “rebels.”

Recently, North Caddo has started a process to change its nickname/mascot, having already removed a “rebel” image from its football helmets and Vivian where it is located having removed the symbol from its water tower. It looks to follow the path of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas by keeping the name partially, which in the 1980s adjusted its nickname to the “Runnin’ Rebels” and modified its mascot to a military figure less identifiable as Confederate.

In West Monroe, following somewhat the lead of the University of Mississippi, also the Rebels, almost two decades ago, the Confederate flag no longer will be permitted to be displayed on campus, although unlike Ole Miss the district will not prohibit its appearance on clothing nor the flag’s appearance at home athletic games. No plan seems in the offing to change the school’s nickname nor mascot, which resembles the mascot once at Ole Miss, which was replaced with a bear in recent years.

While the flag iconography seems particularly evocative of the Confederacy as a concept and justifies decisions to remove it from these public institutions, changing names or even mascots does not seem warranted. Certainly true, Confederate armed forces were termed the “rebels” and called as such across the continent, and mascots do represent a vague caricature of an officer of the forces attached to a government repressive on the basis of skin color.

But caricatures are just that, caricatures: deliberately distorting something away from its essential nature, and in this instance into something both genial and representing a fighting spirit many degrees removed from enforcing slavery. And not only has the term “rebel” been used in American history in contexts far removed from the Confederacy – after all, the in the Revolutionary War the British called breakaway colonists “rebels” – but also a number of other sports nicknames attached to public educational institutions utilize figures perhaps even more unsavory than those who supported white supremacy to the point of operating slavery: the Vikings particularly utilized butchery of civilian populations regardless of color, as did to more selective numbers bands of Pirates, and nobody seems upset about them (if my family lore is correct, I should be as one of my great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers was taken by a press gang during the French and Indian War).

Sensitivity to symbolism goes too far when it involves nicknames and mascots. People feeling offended by these kinds of issues perhaps have a bit too much time on their hands and blessedly few other worries in life.

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Website: jeffsadow.blogspot.com/
Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • Deja vu for Louisiana high-speed a Internet Broadband project, once again
  • Republicans Gatti, Crews vie for Louisiana House to replace now-Congressman Mike Johnson
  • Retiring Louisiana State Police Chief Edmonson retirement $ back in news
  • Trump, Ryan going to BAT for tax reform, economic growth

jindal broadbandIt’s déjà vu all over again for a broadband access project in Louisiana that saw the same mistakes repeated, leading to its demise both times.

Read More

lou gehrig burnettby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net

   Raymond Crews and Robbie Gatti are headed to a runoff in state House District 8 on April 29 to fill  the seat left vacant when Mike Johnson was elected  to Congress.  Both are Republicans.
    Crews came in first with 41% of the vote, followed by Gatti with 37%..  Two other candidates in the race were Duke Lowrie, who finished with 16%, and Patrick Harrington, who had 6%.

Read More

edmonson2by Tom Aswell, Publisher of Louisiana Voice

It must be nice when you can get the rules written just for you.

There must come a time when even the most disinterested, blasé, apolitical person living has to look up from whatever else occupies his interest and say, “Wait a damned minute. This just ain’t right and we’re not gonna do it.”

Read More

trump greatIt has been over three decades since our country’s last major tax reform was passed during the Reagan administration. Since that time, America has increased tax rates on businesses and individuals and become less competitive. 

Read More

latter-blum2

TRUMP TALK

Trump Talk: Ryancare, Russia, Investigations, Travel ban--with Jeff Crouere

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1