Edit: Comments from the author of the ‘Protect Alabama’s Fight Song’ petition have been added and are in italics at the bottom of the article.
The campaign to change the lyrics of the University of Alabama fight song, a story first reported by Capstone Free Press, has publicly launched.
On Sept. 20, the group held their first public presentation about their goals, showing the same video from CFP’s original report and holding a discussion period.
“This whole thing is about student discretion,” said Elizabeth Prophet, the event’s host and chair of the Honors College Assembly’s Diversity and Cultural Engagement Committee. “We’re not here telling you ‘you need to do this.’ We’re having a conversation to gauge interest.”
Prophet is also the SGA senator for the School of Social Work and the narrator of the promotional video.
“We wanted to educate people–that’s the primary purpose of all this–on some of the other ideas that are out there and how the term has been used in the past,” Prophet said.
The campaign launched its website last week with a petition, a letter writing campaign, the promotional video, a Delete Dixie campaign history, a link to schedule a campaign presentation, and a letter from the Professor who is spearheading the project. The letter was sent in March 2021 to President Stuart Bell, urging him to consider the changes.
Under the “Endorsements” tab, site visitors can see the two groups that have endorsed the initiative: The Social Work Association for Cultural Awareness, a student group that the Professor advises; and the Black Faculty and Staff Association, for which the Professor previously served as an officer.
As of 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, the Delete Dixie petition sits at 222 signatures. The counter-petition, called “Protect Alabama’s Fight Song,” sits at 505 signatures.
Henry Roberts, the author of the counter-petition, said he was inspired to action because he loves the Southern way of life.
“When I think of Dixie, I think of the South, with the connotation of home and bring proud of your home.” He continued, “The South has always been sort of written off my northeastern and western coastal elites as a backwards, racist place. Celebrating Dixie is a way of responding to that animosity by celebrating yourself… It’s a way to respond to hate and ignorance with love… Will we succumb to the growing pressure in academia to erase our traditions?”