Here's a little bit of what "they" say about the pending presidential debate: Tom Brokaw is already here, housed in an unknown hotel location. Katie and Matt are on their way as are a flock of some other 3000 media types. O'Bama got on a Oxford yellow dog school bus this morning (as told by an over zealous fourth grader). McCain plans to eat at the local Ribcage, a manly place. They say it's going to be maddening, the traffic, the college students who are accustomed to yielding to no one, the restaurants, the tourists, the peripheral invited guests. They say the price tag blossomed into over five million - - to house this international shindig.
Here's what I do know: I will be on the sidelines, behind the chain link fence, scooping up this moment, when the world settles into a hamlet of about 12,000 folks.
Will the hopes of this university, the expectations of viewers and voters and townspeople, and the clinging media hit a focal point just as those $20,000 dollar a pop robotic lights outside the Gertrude Ford Center do, casting a moonlight glow on Mississippi?
Can anything change the world's opinion of us? Maybe not. But regardless of intended or unintended outcomes, we've come a long way, baby.
The last media frenzy flurried around James Meredith, and we have the preserved bullet holes lodged in the Lyceum to prove it. But this time, this time, Ole Miss has a black man as a center table guest running for the highest office in the free world. The University invited the world to watch.
We may never be free from our sins of the past, but we have come a long,long way.
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