By Ben Jones
The brilliant editor H.L. Mencken
had a way of being succinct that sparkled with wit. "There is no idea so stupid
that you can't find a professor who will believe it," he remarked. Mencken
would have a field day with the recent actions of the University of Mississippi.
If you have ever wondered why academia is often the butt of ridicule and humor,
you need only to read the report from Ole Miss President Dan Jones entitled,
"Action Plan on Consultant Reports and Update on the Work of the Sensitivity and
We are told that the Extended
Sensitivity and Respect Committee has decided that the new Vice Chancellor for
Diversity and Inclusion will work with the Institute for Racial Diversity and
the new Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement.
compatriots, I am not making this up. This is not a satire, this is what the
taxpayers of Mississippi are dishing out their hard-earned money to pay
President Jones further stated, "It
is my hope that the steps outlined here reflecting the hard work of University
committees and our consultants will prove valuable in making us a stronger and
healthier university, bringing us closer to our goal of being a warm and
welcoming place for every person, every day, regardless of race, religion,
preference, country of origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or
In my opinion, this is an as
astounding a demonstration of politically correct, "feel-good", unadulterated
hogwash as has ever been uttered by a man on the public payroll. And having
spent four years in the United States Congress, I have heard some world-class
hogwash in my day.
President Jones, sounding a lot
like Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, has listed every possible group that might be
sensitive to not being "included" in this unlimited "diversity", even one I've
never heard of: "gender expression." Well, whatever that means, I figure it is
o.k. if one expresses their gender at Ole Miss.
There is one very large group that
is not included, however. It is those of us whose ancestors fought for the
Confederacy during the War Between the States. There are over 70 million of us,
but it is as if we do not exist, or have deep feelings toward our
In fact, without a straightforward
explanation, the famous Oxford street named Confederate Drive is being renamed
by these academics in the name of "inclusion". That intentional insult puts the
lie to any pretense of "inclusion" or of respect or of diversity on the part of
the University of Mississippi.
The Confederacy existed. Thousands
of young Mississippians died for it. That conflict has been the crucible event
of American history. Everything before led up to it. Everything after has been
influenced by it.
The entire student body of the
University of Mississippi enlisted in the Confederate Army and those young men
suffered 100% casualties. That war is an historical reality and we do not flinch
from that reality and its consequences. Those men and their descendants built
the University and kept it going through good times and bad, and through the
social changes of the past 150 years.
That street was named for those
brave young students. The University, in its narrow-minded rush to be
politically correct, has banished that little bit of respect by renaming
Confederate Drive. In their sanctimonious zeal, they have demeaned the honor and
reputation of our ancestors.
In the last fifty years or so we
have witnessed a truly remarkable revolution in race relations in the South.
Where once there was Jim Crow and strict segregation, there is now a
multi-cultural society that has the fastest growing economy in the United
States. Men and women of good hearts have come together in brotherhood and
cooperation to enjoy racial relations that are an exemplar for other regions.
This "bridge-building" has been built on an acceptance of the past and the
promise of a shared future, not the divisive finger-pointing of the academics
and the politicians.
These politically correct crusaders are practicing a new
kind of bigotry. It is a movement that demonizes the Confederacy and lays the
sins of America entirely upon the South. If they continue to have their way,
they would eradicate every vestige of our cultural history. They ask for respect
but give none.
Once again, we must make our voices
heard in every way possible. We must demand the respect that our families
deserve. We are the last line of defense for the dignity that our ancestors