'Hey Reb' (Pictured Above) Survives Attack
According to the International Business Times, the debate over Confederate symbols on American college campuses that reached the University of Nevada Las Vegas has been thwarted as UNLV's administration fights back. University President Len Jessup released a statement Monday backing the institution's nickname, the Rebels, and mascot, "Hey Reb!" He denied allegations that the character had any connection to the Confederacy.
A university report compiled recently by Rainier Spencer, its chief diversity officer, clearly shows that when UNLV was founded, they were seen as 'rebels' for starting a new university in Las Vegas and thus, the nickname. The idea of rebellion stemmed from a desire to be nonconformist and separate from the University of Nevada, Reno. While earlier versions of the mascot embraced the confederacy, that had long been eliminated over 40 years ago. The latest nickname and mascot attack emerged this past summer when violence at a southern church spurred states to began to remove symbols of the confederacy.
"It was coined as our young institution was fighting to establish its own identity, and it has come to represent the very independence and spirit that embodies both UNLV and Southern Nevada," Jessup, who took office in January, said. "Rather than trying to erase our history, we must accept it, learn from it, and as we move on, strengthen our resolve for equity and inclusion."
The first-year UNLV president held his ground and did not bend to the unfounded criticism. The key here is the logical argument that there was no intended connection between Rebels, Hey Reb, and the confederacy just like there is no intended connection between Pioneers, Denver Boone, and Native American genocide.