OP-ED: Final call to action; Washington County Minority Coalition on Dixie name change

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – The debate on whether the name ‘Dixie’ should be changed for Dixie State College as they prepare for their transition to University status has been a heated one.

As many of you know by now, the movement for a name change ,and any other progress for that manner, has been met with tremendous resistance by the alumni and the community at large. Recently, the Washington County Commissioner’s Office and the City Council have both unanimously passed a resolution ins support of keeping the name Dixie. The Mayor has been quoted as saying he doesn’t appreciate ‘outsiders’ coming here and trying to change everything.

The group founded by several students on campus, known as the Southern Utah Anti-Discrimation Coalition, has hosted several candlelight vigils and worked hard to raise awareness around campus as to why the name Dixie should be changed and why Confederacy themes isn’t right for a school that’s about to become a University. They have also been met with horrendous resistance from the alumni, community, and now it seems, the city leaders.

One would think that perhaps a call for progress in a situation that Dixie State is in would be fair. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Quite frankly, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly discouraged with the rhetoric I have been hearing and witnessing at the hands of the community. It seems as if any kind of progress being called for by minorities is unheard of and frankly disgusts some individuals.

(Today), the new name will be revealed to the community. It’s the final meeting being held before the Board of Regents votes on the new name as well as approval for Dixie State to become a full-fledged university. The decision has already been made, Sorenson Advertising has finished their research and will announce the name tomorrow. We are being told it will not be a public forum, but simply a name reveal.

And so I’m sending out this email to make a personal appeal to you. As an individual who supports progress, equality, and racial sensitivity; I’m asking you to please try to attend. We need to show the community, as well as these brave students who have worked hard to raise awareness, that we are still here and will not turn around. We need to show the minorities that their voices are being heard, especially since the City Council has apparently closed the page on that book by their unanimous resolution. One would think after what we have been witnessing, that this community could careless about minorities. However, we need to show that this isn’t true, and that there ARE folks in this city who care about the minority communities.

The meeting will be at 7pm (Wednesday) night and will go on until about 8. It is being held at the Cox Auditorium. I have suggested to the Southern Utah Anti-Discrimination Coalition that if it announced that the name Dixie will remain, we should all walk out, and stand outside for a final candlelight vigil. I think this would make one last final statement that although we didn’t get what we wanted this time around, we’re not giving up. Please, I personally encourage all of you reading this email, to attend the meeting (tonight). I hope to see you there.

P.S. To see some of the images from Dixie State College yearbooks of individuals performing in Blackface, please visit our website below, I have attached them on there to show why all this Confedracy themed Dixie stuff is offensive

Sincerely,

Jon Martin

Washington County Minority Coalition

Cell: 702-423-7028 (se habla Español)

Email: jtkalehua@live.com

washingtoncountyminoritycoalition.wordpress.com

“Advocating for the minority communities of Southern Utah!”

•••

Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor are published as received and without edit. In this case, references to the day of the announcement have been corrected to today / tonight per subsequent email by the submitting writer.

Related posts

Dixie State College launches name change survey, seeks public input

Name change forum, Dixie State College encourages public input on university transition

Dixie State students convene over school name change

Letter to the Editor: Minority Coalition stance on college name change

ON Kilter: Dixie State; there’s more at stake than a name

Perspectives: Dixie State College, resisting the tyranny of the minority

Confederate soldiers come tumbling down; Dixie State College feeling the heat?

ON Kilter: When a sculptor shapes public perception, who speaks for whom?

Letter to the Editor: Restore Dixie; bring back the Rebel and the Confederate statue

On the EDge: Be a ‘real’ Rebel, accept Dixie name change

Perspectives: Reading old books, an antidote to thought control

Silent vigil focuses on Dixie State name change; STGnews videocast

Dixie-ites dead set on name retention at Sorenson forum; STGnews Videocast

What the HAYnes? White Elephants and firemen

Dixie State College announces name change survey results

Council resolution recommends ‘Dixie’ remain in university name

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10 Comments

  • Dan Lester January 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Jon, your information above is not totally correct. They will reveal THREE proposed names. The Board is not obligated to choose one of those suggestions. The Board will make a choice. The Legislature is not obligated to accept the Board’s recommendation.

    So there will NOT be an “announcement of a new name” tonight.

  • Mark B. January 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    What’s going to happen is there will be a new name that attempts to satisfy everyone and it will be so ugly that the institution will become a joke for decades to come.

  • D. Rex January 9, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    The blackened faces and slave capture/auction events were extremely racist and hateful. Anyone claiming they weren’t meant to be racist & hateful, but consider the how those activities are viewed by others, particularly those whose ancestry was impacted by slave captures, slave auctions, lynchings, etc… Claiming those activities were not hateful would be the same as saying gas chamber extermination events are not meant to be insensitive. Or closer to home (Dixie) would be events depicting old men in funny underwear capturing child brides for their harems. No insensitivity intended, of course. So don’t be offended.

    • Dan Lester January 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Yes, D. Rex, at various times in the past some students did stupid and insensitive things. If one wants to look for such, you can find them done at Harvard, Yale, the U, the Y, and anywhere else. Put a bunch of 18–22 year old kids together and all sorts of weirdness can happen. Of course it can happen with those of that age who aren’t in college/university as well.

      Let’s get over any sins of the past. God grants forgiveness. Can we do any less for sins of 20 or 50 years ago that had NO personal impact on any of us?

      • D. Rex January 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        Penn State was subjected to serious penalties for flagrancies by a few which the school itself was suspected of having overlooked. Severe action was taken to ensure such transgressions would never take place again. Same with those blackened faces, slave captures and auctions at Dixie College. The school itself should never have let it happen. Therefore, the school can never again wave the Confederate flag and emulate the Confederacy in any form. That would be despicable, indicating it might again allow future slave captures/auctions, blackened faces…. activities that do offend and that are racist and hateful.

        Your single voice saying it does not offend you does not speak for the thousands that it may offend. Listen to their voices, and you will hear that it does offend them.

  • WILLIAM January 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    JON MARTIN, I HAVE JUST ONE QUESTION IF IT IS EVERYTHING YOU SAY IT IS? WHY DO YOU GO TO SCHOOL THERE???

  • Langer January 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Racism will not end until we allow it to end! I am not saying forget the past, I am saying learn from it. Those of you who want to take the name Dixie out of existence, keep bringing up the past and it’s reference to racism. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. Dixie is southern Utah and will remain that way no matter what outsiders come in and try to change. BTW-I am an outsider who did not attend Dixie College. I just happened to love the heritage of southern Utah.

    • Adolph January 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Sieg Heil! to what you said!

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