Letter to the Editor: ‘It’s pretty sad to rewrite history’

This Letter to the Editor is a response to Ed Kociela’s column “On the Edge: Time to decide on DSU name,” posted on July 14, 2015.

OPINION – I thought Dixie was a rather quaint call back to the unique history of the region. I liked that when I heard Dixie I thought of the first cotton farmers that were rather brave in settling a desolate place like Southern Utah. (Its not without notice that the temple ceremony uses shots of Southern Utah to represent the “lone and dreary world”.) I understand removing the Confederate flag as the school’s logo. Outside of actual civil war battlefields and graves I think that is inappropriate. But it’s pretty sad to rewrite history because it might be a little unpleasant to remember in today’s society.

This author seems to argue that people don’t want to remember history (which is odd considering that’s the exact reason people like me want to keep it). And the author tries to hang some sort of vague accusation of racism on Southern Utah. I believe racism still exists, but you need much more than the being under represented in statistics to show it. I know some pretty white towns in the North East for example who have memorials to the first abolitionists. There are far more reasons than racism for small black populations. Its also pretty annoying when people keep demanding a conversation. We talk about race all the time, and usually the conversation consists of sanctimonious liberals lecturing white people. So no thanks.

This article isn’t as bad as removing the bones of NB Forrest, but it’s just as silly and dumb for trying to rewrite its history, even as the author claims to honor it.

Morgan Deane,
Las Vegas

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  • NotSoFast July 14, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Couldn’t agree with more Morgan.

  • Brian July 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    While its true there is still plenty of racism left in America (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDb2byj74oY), getting rid of the words “Dixie” and “Rebel” at DSU won’t change that in the least. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it. And the only real way to change the future is by changing your own heart, then helping others to do the same, and not looking the other way when others refuse to (by calling terrorism “workplace violence” or pretending that racism and crime is only white-on-black).

  • Hunter July 14, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    I don’t disagree with you. But, I think what most people are going for when they suggest removing these symbols and changing the names isn’t to rewrite the past. Rather I believe the intent is to show that we’re no longer celebrating that past and moving forward with a different future. You’re absolutely right that changing the name of Dixie State does nothing to change racism of the past. But, what it does is show that we’ve learned from that past and are no longer going to put it front and center, celebrating it by naming what is seen as a place of honor (a university or a region) with a name that is so intricately tied to that past we’ve moved beyond.

    • DavidH July 14, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Exactly what HUNTER said. This is about what makes sense and what is best for the lives of all students, current and future. Dixie needs to be respectfully retired.

      Proud employee of the University.

    • AnnieMated July 15, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I agree with you completely Hunter.

  • radioviking July 14, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Whose trying to rewrite history here? Well, it is true: there was slavery in Utah, AND ol’ Brigham Young taught that slavery was ordained of God! (See link from Utah historical source: http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/pioneers_and_cowboys/slaveryinutah.html
    Quoting source from historytogo.utah.gov: “The Mormon church had no official doctrine for or against slaveholding, and leaders were ambivalent. In 1836 Joseph Smith wrote that masters should treat slaves humanely and that slaves owed their owners obedience. During his presidential campaign in 1844, however, he came out for abolition. Brigham Young tacitly supported slaveholding, declaring that although Utah was not suited for slavery the practice was ordained by God.”
    Mormons today try to downplay how the LDS Church sadly institutionalized racism for almost 100 years beginning under Brigham Young’s leadership until 1978 (read his teachings in the Journal of Discourses! And apostles sermons up to the 1950s – Yikes!), BUT the church really does need to do some explaining and major apologizing to blacks in and out of the Church!
    In other words, there are some unfortunate racist doctrines in the LDS history and scriptures (according to the Book of Mormon “dark” skin is the curse for wickedness and their other scripture The Pearl of Great Price, the ancient murderer Cain – the one who killed his brother Able – as cursed with black skin and Brigham Young took it from there, teaching that a death penalty should be given for any who marry/have children with “negroes”. Etc. etc. I could write more, but feel this is sufficient.
    Sad stuff there for modern Mormons and apologists to try to explain or even get around. Good luck. You have a fit to your feelings and opinions, but NOT THE FACTS.

  • fun bag July 14, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    waste of time, blathering idiotic letter. why don’t the author stick to his own local news and quit wasting our time?…

  • DavidH July 15, 2015 at 12:01 am

    First, I am not sure that the author of this letter offers any rational argument for keeping the name Dixie. Give me a concrete reason NOT to change the name. Lot’s of good arguments for dropping Dixie have been offered, and while I might not agree with all of them, they are based on some kind of reason and logic. As far as I can tell, the only arguments being offered for keeping the name are based in emotional connections to the past. Is that really the best argument?

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