The University of Georgia announced Thursday that the school’s marching band would no longer play “Tara’s Theme,” which was featured in the beloved classic film “Gone With the Wind.”
Brett Bawcum, the Redcoat Band’s acting director, said in a letter that the song has been on the chopping block for months but “the current social climate has highlighted the urgency of addressing it and made me conscious of the message that could be interpreted by delay.”
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He said that he values tradition, but values “creating a welcoming environment much more.” NPR reported that the song will be replaced by “Georgia on My Mind.”
Kirby Smart, the Bulldogs coach, he supported the school’s decision to review the buildings.
“This is an important first step in the right direction to help us evaluate our history and work to bring us closer together,” he said, according to ESPN.
The school also announced a new advisory group to review the names on school buildings to determine if any changes need to be made.
The decision to cut the song comes in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody. Protests—which have turned violent at time—have erupted in cities across the country about allegations of systemic racism that the African-American community faces. HBO Max announced earlier this month that it was pulling “Gone With the Wind” from its streaming library and shows like “Live PD” and “Cops” have been canceled. Quaker Foods North America announced this week that it would rename Aunt Jemima Syrup and pancake mix.
“Our beloved Aunt Jemima has been decapitated by the culture jihadists,” Todd Starnes, the host of the “Todd Starnes Radio Show,” said.
UNLV announced its removal of a statue of Hey Reb! after a “long process,” the Las Vegas Sun reported. The report said that there is a petition at the school with thousands of signatures for the school to change its mascot. The report said that in 1968, the school’s football helmet featured the Confederate flag.
The University of Florida also announced on Thursday that it is ending its “gator bait” cheer at football games due to its racial connotations, the Associated Press reported, citing a letter from the school’s president.
ESPN reported that Bawcum pointed out that the school has adjusted in the past. In 1971, the band removed “Dixie” from its “Dixie Redcoat Band” name.
“The Redcoat Band is an example of how an institution can create, and also how it can correct, an environment that is unfriendly for Black students,” he wrote.