PAC works to put Colonel Reb on 2012 ballot - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

PAC works to put Colonel Reb on 2012 ballot

The Colonel Reb PAC says the Rebel Black Bear has to go. The Colonel Reb PAC says the Rebel Black Bear has to go.

(WMC-TV) - There's a new initiative to re-instate Colonel Rebel at Ole Miss after he was replaced in 2010 with the Rebel Black Bear.

Arthur Randallson is the Director of the Colonel Reb Political Action Committee to restore Colonel Reb as the official Ole Miss mascot.

"To remove something that enormously popular and replace it with something just drawn up from a public relations firm seems unfair, un-American, and contrary to the will of democracy," Randallson said Monday.

According to Randallson, the initiative has been endorsed and certified by the Mississippi Secretary of State and a petition to get signatures is underway.

"We now have the green light to proceed to collect the necessary 100,000 signatures with the intention and hope of having it appear as an initiative on the presidential ballot of 2012," he said.

Meanwhile, students at Ole Miss remain torn between tradition and offending those who may see Colonel Reb as an image of racism.

"I mean a black bear, it's good, but I would rather go back to what we use to be," Ysabel Abalos said.

"I guess as far as tradition, I think it offends a lot of blacks,"  Derrick Mathis added.

Others say the whole controversy is bringing a bad light to Ole Miss

"I don't think we need this kind of attention right now," Shay Vickers said. "We need a good football team before we're so worried about a mascot."

Randallson said he has already collected 2,000 signatures. Colonel Reb PAC plans to collect additional signatures at Ole Miss home games and by traveling across the state in the Colonel Caravan.

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