At Majority White University Of Alabama, Black Students Push For "Dixie" To Be Removed From School's Fight Song
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Was it worth basing your life and identity on a predominately black football team, people you otherwise spend your entire life working to avoid? Even if it meant losing your civilization?

 UA group wants ‘Dixie’ out of Alabama fight song, says perpetuates ‘harmful language and ideals, by Ben Flanagan,, October 4, 2022

A University of Alabama group wants to take “Dixie” out of “Yea, Alabama,” the popular school fight song.

The Delete Dixie Initiative is “a coalition of students, faculty, and friends who wish to create a more inclusive campus culture,” according to the group’s website. “Our mission is to remove the word, ‘Dixie’, from the Alabama Fight Song (’Yea Alabama’) and replace it with a more appropriate term, such as ‘Bama.’”

The group says because of the term’s ties to the Confederacy, racial subjugation and a time of racial slavery and violence, they decided to call for change.

“The University of Alabama considers itself the place where legends are made,” the group’s site says. “We must now decide the kind of legend we hope to leave behind. We are not the pride of ‘dixie,’ or of the ‘Old South,’ but instead, the pride of the state of Alabama. We encourage you to explore the webpage, utilize the resources and action items, and reflect and share.”

As for the fight song, which is sung during football games, UA’s official website states: “Few tunes are more recognizable on campus than The University of Alabama Fight Song. From scores at athletic events to class presentations, the Alabama Fight Song is well-represented in campus culture. This song will give you a sense of pride in your campus and team that you never had before. If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry – you’ll pick it up quickly because it is played after every score at a sporting event, and the Tide tends to score a lot!”

The group calling for change said they are not an official student organization.

“This is not an official student organization that is registered with the University,” the group told “Delete Dixie Initiative is a social movement made up of students, faculty, and community members that are advocating for change on UA’s campus. The Delete Dixie Initiative is one step toward changing the culture of our campus and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Official campus organizations who endorse the initiative include the Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) and Social Work Association for Cultural Awareness (SWACA).

The group’s website says the term “Dixie” is used “in a direct or indirect reference to the Confederacy and the institution of slavery,” and also references the song, “Dixie,” which was performed by minstrel groups in the 1850s. The site’s home page includes an informational video outlining the initiative and referencing historical context behind “Dixie.”

“The performance was intended to represent a freed Black slave longing to return to the plantation of his birth,” the group’s site says. “Soon after, the song became wildly popular in the south and was used as a Confederate war song. In fact, after Jefferson Davis took his oath of office to serve as the president of the Confederacy, the band played ‘Dixie.’ The term ‘dixie’ grew in popularity between the 1860s-1900s, often used in tandem with the Confederate flag, Ku Klux Klan groups, and other racially insensitive iconography. This was only the beginning.”

The school fight song was written in 1926 by Ethelred Lundy (Epp) Sykes following Alabama’s 1926 Rose Bowl win over Washington. Sykes was editor of the school newspaper “The Crimson White” at the time, when he wrote the song for a contest sponsored by the school magazine “The Rammer Jammer,” according to the book “College Fight Songs II: A Supplementary Anthology.” He won a $50 prize in the contest to create a new football song to replace the “Swing,” which belonged to Washington & Lee, according to The Rammer Jammer.

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban annually invites the Million Dollar Band, UA’s marching band, to the end of a fall practice wherein his players learn how to sing the song. “When we win a game here, we count the number of points we scored, and everybody on the team learns and sings the fight song,” he told his guys prior to the 2019 season. “It’s a tradition. It’s been going on here for a long, long time. So, the band is going to teach you how to teach you the fight song. When we win the game, I expect everybody to sing the fight song.” Watch a video of the 2022 squad learning the song.

The group specifies they are not seeking to remove or ban the country music band Alabama’s song “Dixieland Delight,” a song commonly associated with the Alabama football gameday experience and often played inside Bryant-Denny Stadium during games. “That song is not officially associated with The University of Alabama, unlike the use of ‘dixie’ in our fight song,” DDI says. “By leaving the word ‘dixie’ in our fight song that is supported and backed by the University, UA continues to perpetuate harmful language and ideals.”

The university has yet to comment on the initiative.

In 2020, reported the university removed Confederate plaques from campus, a decision made by the Board of Trustees of the UA System, in consultation with UA president Stuart Bell. The three plaques were located on and in front of the Gorgas Library, and they were relocated to a “more appropriate historical setting.” The plaques originally commemorated the UA students who served in the Confederate army and members of the student cadet corps. The relocation of the plaques marked the beginning of a group of trustees effort to review the names of all University of Alabama System campuses, including the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama flagship campus in Tuscaloosa.

The lyrics to “Yea, Alabama” are below:

Yea, Alabama! Drown ‘em Tide!
Every ‘Bama man’s behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That’s a shame!
For Bama’s pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we’ll win then.
Go, roll to victory,
Hit your stride,
You’re Dixie’s football pride,
Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!

The DDI site says, in 2013, Dr. Cassandra Simon and the Black Faculty and Staff Association sought to raise awareness on potentially removing the word from the fight song. On March 10, 2021, BFSA officially contacted the administration about the issue.

Millions of white people in Alabama (and tens of millions of more across America) base their identity and mental well-being on how the University of Alabama performs on the football field every Saturday in the fall. Now their civilization is being uprooted just to placate those blacks who make up the majority of the participants in a child’s game.

To wake up from the nightmare that is 2022 America means forever allowing your college football to dictate your mood or have any impact on how you live your life.

Integration meant losing your civilization. The Civil Rights Act of 1965 erased America, ensuring all white people have left is to cheer on the carcass of their nation with exceedingly unpronounceable black first names representing their colleges and universities on the collegiate football field.

Pathetic, really.

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