Ghosts of Ole Miss

Ghost of Ole Miss

The ESPN series 30 For 30, available on Netflix, is really great.  I think today I saw one of the best, if not the best.  It was called Ghosts of Ole Miss and it covered the undefeated Ole Miss football team of 1962.  More importantly, it also covered the bravery of James Meredith and the riots that ensued because of him being the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi.

However, if this was just a documentary about history, I don’t think I would be writing about it.  (Even though it is a completely enthralling piece of filmmaking that covers a time period that many Americans would like to forget.)  For anyone that doesn’t understand the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, or thinks that controversy is much to do over nothing, I think this is something you must watch.  The film is also great at providing the missing link between the Civil War and modern day problems dealing with race.  I also don’t think race is the only modern political situation this film is relevant to.  At a time when we are seeing local and state politicians try to stand up to the federal government on the issue of gay marriage, one can’t help but see their historical counterparts in this film.

There is also a positive element to this film.  Even though the film does not make the claim that all race issues are gone are settled in Mississippi, as they clearly aren’t there or anywhere else, the film does acknowledge that great strides have been made.  As dark as the history showcased in this film is, there is hope that, over time, people can change.

Stand Up for Something, Or Fall for Anything

“If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

I was reading an interview with Chuck D recently and he had an interesting theory.  It was that the powers that be are all too happy with the new status quo of seeing people remain in a state of prolonged adolescence.  Younger people are more progressive and more open to change by nature.  The civil rights movement, the end of the Vietnam War, all would not have happened if young people hadn’t gotten actively involved in politics.  Although we had Occupy Wall Street, that seems to have faded.  I’m not breaking any news when I say that in our culture people remain teenagers long after they stop being one.

Now I’m not saying this is part of any orchestrated effort to keep people in this prolonged state of adolescence.  I think it is a combination of cultural and economic factors.  However, if you want to see the world become different than it is, we need to become involved in it.  I’m as guilty of anyone of getting lost in the woods for long periods of time.  It’s in my nature to fly solo.  But we really need to realize that if we, and especially people younger than myself, don’t get involved, we’re going to end up in a world that we don’t want to live in.