University Of Mississippi Introduces New Mascot
MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:
As Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Sandra Knispel reports, not everyone is happy with the choice.
SANDRA KNISPEL: Yesterday, several thousand people were on campus waiting for an appearance by former President Bill Clinton in an unrelated event. On stage, former Oxford mayor Richard Howorth just couldn't resist testing the crowd's reaction to the brand-new mascot.
RICHARD HOWORTH: I just want to try this out and see how this feels for everybody. I want to say I'm proud to be a member of the community of the Black Bears.
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KNISPEL: To many, their first choice was not an option - keeping Colonel Reb. Law student Caroline Castigliola(ph) didn't even bother to vote.
CAROLINE CASTIGLIOLA: I don't know that we need to replace the mascot. I don't think there's anything out there that I agreed with or thought would be representative of our school.
KNISPEL: But political science major Cardell Wright(ph), who is African- American, says while Colonel Reb did not offend him personally, it was time for change.
CARDELL WRIGHT: It will actually help and attract more African-American students because I have had previous conversations with senior high school students, and I try to get them to come to Ole Miss, but they were kind of scared because of previous racism that has occurred here on the campus.
KNISPEL: For NPR News, I'm Sandra Knispel in Oxford, Mississippi.
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