Last month the Missouri State University Pride Band was asked to perform at the dedication of a public park in downtown Springfield. During its performance the band played the song “Dixie.” In 1906, three African American men were lynched in the same location.
The president of the local chapter of the NAACP lodged a protest with the university’s interim president, Clif Smart. President Smart issued a quick apology and stated that the song will not be played by the band in any public venue in the future.
Wes Pratt, an equal opportunity official at Missouri State told the Springfield News-Leader, the song “was not appropriate, certainly not on the public square with the history. It’s an indication of lack of cultural competence, which we must continue to work on to improve at Missouri State and in the community.”