Rebel is symbol of hate and darkest days of our nation

Published 11:19 am Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I whole-heartedly support the movement to change the Boyle County High School mascot.

As a student at BCHS from 1966 to 1970, I worked on the school newspaper, which was called the Confederate. 

Why was it called the Confederate? Because we were the Rebels, and that didn’t mean rebel with a small “r,” it meant Rebel as in The Confederate States of America who tried to secede from the USA and fought a bloody war so they could keep black people enslaved.

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As a white person, the racism behind the symbol didn’t affect me directly. I’m sure that’s true of the vast majority of BCHS students and alumni. But some former students were sensitive enough to take the matter seriously. 

I realize now that the Rebel mascot is a small part of a very big problem: systemic racism that goes back to the founding of our country. Some folks reading this will no doubt say, “What the heck? It’s just a high school mascot. Big deal.”

But the Rebel is more than a mascot. It’s a symbol of hate and divisiveness, a reminder to past, present, and future BCHS students that some are more welcome than others. We need to make everyone welcome, and that means a new mascot.

Sallie Bright