UNLV Removes ‘Rebel’ Statue in Wake of Protests

UNLV
Getty Images/Ethan Miller

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) has bowed to pressure from woke activists and removed its Hey Reb! statue, from its prominent position at their school.

The statue, donated to UNLV in 2007, sat in front of Richard Tam Alumni Center until Tuesday when it was removed by school officials fearful over accusations of “racism.”

Nevada Current writer Michael Lyle reported on the removal in a Twitter post;

UNLV President Marta Meana explained that the removal was discussed with the donor.

“In recent conversations with the donor, we mutually agreed it was best to remove the statue and return it,” Meana said via email. “Over the past few months, I have had discussions with multiple individuals and stakeholder groups from campus and the community on how best the university can move forward given recent events throughout our nation. That includes the future of our mascot.”

But while uninformed critics of the school’s “Rebels” nickname and the Hey Reb! mascot claim that both the name and the symbol are “racist,” and based on the Civil War-era Confederacy, the facts speak to the opposite.

Indeed, even the director of the school’s African-American Studies program did a detailed study of the history of the school’s name and mascots back in 2015 and discovered that the Confederacy had literally nothing to do with UNLV’s imagery aside from the basic concept of rebelling against something.

The school’s nickname, “Rebels,” had nothing whatever to do with the south or the Confederacy, but instead was a jab at the University of Nevada from which UNLV was “rebelling” and hoping to separate from in the late 1960s.

UNLV wanted to become fully independent from the University of Nevada, but local politicians were throwing wrenches into the plans. Hence the “Rebels” nickname was adopted. Confederate flag symbols were adopted merely to reflect the idea that they were “rebels,” not in celebration of the south or the doomed Confederacy.

Further, the Hey Reb! mascot was an earlier attempt to PC the school’s mascot. Previous to Hey Reb!, the mascot was “Beauregard the Wolf.” School officials felt the mascot was problematic because “Beauregard” is the name of a Confederate general and the mascot was festooned with a Confederate flag. Consequently, the original mascot was done away with, and Hey Reb! was introduced in 1983. Once again, neither mascot had anything to do with the Confederacy directly, and Hey Reb! was divorced entirely from any C.S.A. imagery.

Calling the school’s name and mascot “racist” and assuming it is an homage to the Confederate States of America is based on a lie.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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