Ah, Ole Miss -- University of Mississippi in case you don't follow football or U.S. history. It has a great and storied past. Home of the Runnin' Rebels.
Some highlights from the school's annals which began with it's opening it's doors way back in 1848, are compiled by Wikipedia:
With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, classes were interrupted when the entire student body from the University of Mississippi enlisted in the Confederate army. Their company, Company A, 11th Mississippi Infantry, was nicknamed the University Greys, and suffered a 100% casualty rate during the Civil War. A great number of those casualties occurred during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.
Those were great, brave soldiers and citizens. On the wrong side of the war, but still to be honored and respected.
Desegregation came to Ole Miss in the early 1960s with the activities of United States Air Force veteran James Meredith from Kosciusko, Mississippi. Meredith won a lawsuit that allowed him admission to The University of Mississippi in September 1962. He attempted to enter campus on September 20, September 25, and again on September 26, only to be blocked by Mississippi Governor Ross R. Barnett,
After the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held both Barnett and Lieutenant Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr. in contempt Meredith, escorted by a force of U.S. Marshals, entered the campus on September 30, 1962.
Again, that's some great history. On the wrong side of justice and civil rights, but they learned from that and the school it totally integrated and has a fine record of acceptance and tolerance. So much so, it was chosen to host the first presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.
If you love football, you'll know the name Manning -- three quarterbacks destined for the Hall of Fame. There's Payton, Eli and their father Archie. Archie hailed from Ole Miss. He was so great a star for them that...
Why this preamble? It's to show that this school's storied past is a reflection on history. And it was made again this past week. But once again, on the wrong side of justice. And it ties in with bigotry and football. Toss in a bit of theater and you have the story. Now here it is, courtesy of Veracity Stew:
The play, [The Laramie Project] written by Moisés Kaufman, is based on the 1998 murder of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shephard, and details the events and individuals surrounding the hate crime that captured the world’s attention for its brutality and unimaginable cruelty.
Shouts of “Fag” and other anti-gay slurs disrupted a production of “The Laramie Project” at the University of Mississippi on Tuesday night. Most of the disruption came from a group of about 20 Ole Miss football players.
Now jeering (respectful kind, anyway) and shouts are commonplace in the outdoor athletics stadiums but have no place in a theater, so perhaps these football guys can be forgiven for getting carried away. But they can't be forgiven for what they shouted. It's HATE pure and simple.
Once again Ole Miss is on the wrong side of the issue. And it remains to be seen what action the school takes. Here's what they've done so far:
The school’s athletic department issued a formal apology for their players’ conduct, and Dean of Students Sparky Reardon offered said simply that he was “extremely sorry to hear” of the incident.
No suspensions from the team? No forfeiting of a game? No loss of scholarships? Football is a multi-million dollar program. Will there be any meaningful action taken by the school?
This is a real test. I hope they pass it. I'm going to be watching. Hate is hate. And what this gang did is inexcusable. It is a wake-up call to how times may change the issue, slavery, race and now LGBT rights.
You show your colors proudly, Runnin' Rebels. Now show what you're really made of.
HBO has just made a film based on the the play which will soon be coming out. Here's the trailer -- and based on this, the Ole Miss Football players felt is appropriate to yell out "FAG!!!"
So much for reaching out to women in the GOP's increasingly unsuccessful attempts to rebrand the party:
Where Republicans have taken the reins of state power across the country, they have used it single-mindedly to shut down women's health clinics just since the last election.
And it is not like we didn't have a national fight about this issue in that election. I mean, for their national ticket in 2012, Republicans picked an anti-abortion hard-liner ticket, a vice presidential contender who said he would even force a rape victims to bear a rapist's child against their will. And a presidential contender who, for his part, pledged frequently to end Planned Parenthood. Said he would cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, he would end it.
He said he would overturn Roe v. Wade. That's what he hoped for. The Democrats responded to the Republicans' initiatives by stepping up their support for women's rights....
...In the Republican/Democratic general election races all over the country, saying that Democrats would be the ones to defend women's rights and the abilities to decide their own pregnancies without the government. Democrats warning across the country that a vote for Republicans would be a vote to ban abortion in this country...
Republicans lost the last election nationally really badly. They lost the white house really badly. They lost seats in the Senate. They lost seats in the House. Nationally, in the last election, Republicans lost and Democrats won.
But, national isn't everything. And if Republicans are in control in your state, this is what they have decided to do with state governance now.
Since that election, that is what they have decided state governance is for now. If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life.
Iknow its not a beltway story, doesn't feel like a national story because nobody adds up what happens in the individual states to see how it affects American women, to see how it affects American rights in an aggregate sense, that's not the way we do beltway reporting in this country, but this is a national story that is significant in terms of the way it's going to affect women's health, women's lives, and American families for generations to come.
This is the national story.
Garry Trudeau's take on Mississippi finally getting around to ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment brings it right around to the civil rights of today's slaves, immigrant fieldworkers. Good twist, one that should be brought to light more often in that context.
And the "We were never told we were free" line hits on such an important point. In many ways, African Americans are still not free. See: Suppression, voter... among other things.
Trudeau covered a lot of bases in eight panels, more than many news outlets do in their 24/7 programming. And as is so often the case, humor makes vital points and communicates better and to a broader audience than serious commentary can.
The firearms puns just keep on coming. Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn says he welcomes gunmakers to his state with "open arms." Bygones, but when it comes to connecting Republicans and bad jokes, it's becoming more and more difficult to resist.
But back to Gunn: He feels a little put-upon on behalf of those poor, victimized gun manufacturers, so he's inviting them to relocate to Mississippi where apparently they're pro-Second Amendment... as opposed to other states, see, that are anti-Second Amendment, see.
Yes, in GOP minds like his, if you don't approve of serial massacres of children and other innocents and would like to see common sense safety measures put in place to prevent future ones, you're anti-Second Amendment.
(CNN) -- Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has invited gunmakers such as Colt to relocate to his state from others including Connecticut, where firearms have been a controversial issue since a school shooting there last December left 20 students and six adults dead.
The gun industry in Connecticut is being attacked and "demonized" because of national politics, Gunn said in a letter this week to Colt's Manufacturing Company CEO Dennis Veilleux.
He also invited gunmaker Magpul Industries Corp. of Colorado to relocate to Mississippi. Gunn, a Republican, said firearm manufacturers are "under attack in anti-Second Amendment states."
He's not only a job creator, he's a gun creator!
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) called the proposal "preposterous."
Connecticut residents support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, "far from demonizing firearms products made here," Blumenthal said in a statement.
"This preposterous pitch to companies with long, successful histories in our state shows the need for national standards and statutes to reduce gun violence," the senator said. "Competition among states for less protective laws is a race to the bottom that should be avoided. The poison of illegal gun trafficking respects no state boundaries and threatens to cause more horrific tragedies like Newtown and the 1,900 gun violence deaths that have occurred since then."
That pretty much says it all. Simply moving business to other locations would not prevent guns from being moved back and forth between states, nor would it prevent gun violence, nor would it protect anyone's constitutional rights (those would be the same constitutional rights that are not being violated, by the way).
So grow up, gun zealots. Face facts. Dip a toe into the real world. Wouldn't that be novel?
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