On the EDge: The Dixie myth

Cotton field: Photo by casadephoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus; Cotton vector logo: Photo by mart_m/iStock/Getty Images Plus; St. George News

OPINION – There’s a reason why Southern Utah’s Dixie has such pitiful diversity numbers.

The notion that the area was given the nickname simply because of its warm climate and cotton-growing history is myth.

The man dispatched to help settle the region that would become known as Utah’s Dixie in 1857, Robert Dockery Covington, was not sent as a result of spiritual revelation or divine inspiration, he was sent to replicate the cotton industry of the Old South. It would give the Mormon settlers a cut of the lucrative trade that was in jeopardy as the nation crept ever-closer to the Civil War.

He was, according to historians cited in an archived 2012 Salt Lake Tribune story, sent because he and his father had run what historians have described as a “large successful plantation” growing cotton and tobacco in Noxubee County, Mississippi, where he served as a slave overseer. Antagonists and apologists have a divided view on Covington, who has, needless to say, become a controversial figure in Southern Utah history.

The cotton enterprise eventually collapsed, however the region would retain the moniker Utah’s Dixie.

Despite the romanticism and lore, the Dixie of the Old South was not a kinder, gentler or honorable place.

It was the name given to the 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union in 1860-’61 to go to war with the United States.

It was a defiant place where resentment towards the federal government was fever-pitched.

It was an arrogant place where landowners thought they could establish a nation unto itself based on an economy of cotton and tobacco.

It was a sorrowful place where slavery was allowed to flourish and human beings, torn from their mother soil, were raped, beaten and shackled to a grueling existence only death could relieve.

Some plantation owners and farmers offered a degree of humanity, feeding their slaves well, giving them adequate clothing, educating a few – mostly to teach them to read the Bible as a step in their forced conversion to Christianity.

The harsh reality, of course, was that no matter how well they were fed, how nice their clothing, how much literacy they attained, they were still slaves, entrapped by a life of enforced servitude.

Although there were few slaves in Utah, racism was a part of the culture, particularly when President Brigham Young of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declared in 1847 that African-Americans could not participate in temple ordinances, including the endowment ritual, celestial marriage and family sealing. The men were also banned from holding the priesthood. It was an edict that remained in effect until 1978.

Through all of this, the connection to the Old South was strong in Southern Utah where the schools in Iron and Washington counties would put on annual minstrel shows, with the supposedly educated faculty and administration decked out in black-face makeup entertaining the community. There were statues erected at the college to honor the Confederacy. It was common to see large Confederate flags flying over businesses across the region. The St. George mayor, between giving cheerleader speeches about the “Dixie Spirit,” would lead crowds in singing “Are You From Dixie?” We’ve got Dixie High School, Dixie State University and a plethora of businesses with Dixie in their titles. Until 2005, the college athletic teams were known as the Dixie Rebels.

So, is it a surprise to learn that the African-American population in Iron and Washington counties is a pitiful 0.6 percent? Is it any wonder why the Hispanic population sits at just under 10 percent? Is it a shock to learn that 2.2 percent of the DSU students are of African-American descent and 9.3 percent with Hispanic heritage?

Would you want to live, work or attend school where the numbers are so stacked against you?

If you come from Southern Utah, you are, undoubtedly white and firmly entrenched in the culture and customs.

You have not been exposed to diverse groups of people because, well, people of color just don’t come here in large numbers.

You will argue that if somebody doesn’t like it, if a person doesn’t go along with all the Dixie references, they should go back to where they came from because they are not welcomed here.

You would also be horribly ignorant of the fact that other people’s feelings matter as well, that just because something doesn’t offend you doesn’t mean it is not offensive. As we have learned, some people seem to be getting away with incredibly offensive behavior and words right now.

The nation is a racial powder keg with Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis marching on one side and social activists on the other.

Sign me up with the social activists.

There is no room for the KKK or neo-Nazis in my world.

There is no room for oppression or its ugly symbolism in my world.

There is no room for violence and hate.

And, there is no room for specious blanket condemnation that equates those who seek equality FOR OR WITH all with those who preach the hatred of bigotry.

It is incomprehensible to me that, after fighting the Nazi curse and the enduring battle for Civil Rights, we are revisiting this inequity.

The symbols of racism are constant reminders of the shameful behavior that took place in the United States.

Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson certainly have earned a place in our history books, but so have Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden who also were military combatants waging war against the United States.

They were important historical figures and we are compelled to study them to try to understand them, to learn from those horrible experiences.

But, neither these historical figures, nor the symbolism that represents them, should be memorialized or honored.

But, that is what happens with the perpetuation of the Dixie myth.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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94 Comments

  • John August 22, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Ed, again you come off sounding like a leftist fool ! BLM and ANTIFA are hate groups too ? Why did you not mention them?..Because you are a brainwashed Liberal chasing the carrot wherever the MSM tells you to go. History is history . If you erase what happened in the past you are bound to repeat it. Stick with deciding what bathroom you should use.

    • Navy_Vet_77 August 22, 2017 at 8:32 am

      That is the problem with people like you John, you think we want to erase history, we don’t. Do you think Germany has statues of Adolf Hitler? No, but they still remember it. You just fear change like much of white America. Walk in someones shoes before you judge them. Both sides have bad apples and that will never change. But there is more good in this country than bad. People just have to realize that it isn’t a white knight who will save them, but a multi-colored one.

      • John August 22, 2017 at 9:57 am

        BLM and Antifa are terrorist hate groups. I don’t have a problem.People like you who are all of a sudden afraid of statues because last week you thought Russia interfered in the election. Keep following that carrot and continue to be a tool of the left.. Ed drank the kool-aid and it looks like you have just about had your fill too. If you are going to talk about hate groups you have to include them all. If you don’t it’s just identity politics. Like i said, the statues were not a problem until the Russian collusion ruse petered out. You just follow wherever the leftist media leads you. I would expect more from a REAL vet..

      • blueford August 22, 2017 at 10:33 am

        See my comments below Navy Vet 77

      • 42214 August 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        Why don’t you just take your kids to the zoo.

        • Utahguns August 22, 2017 at 8:03 pm

          Ed, normally I would have several hundred words for you, but today, I’ll be brief…..

          You’re an idiot.

  • Mr. W August 22, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Ed is so angry. Thank you for the blanket assumption that everyone in our community is a narrow minded racist bigot…except of course the few socially progressive elitists who chose to move here for its charm and culture and now want to turn it into the pit they came from. It isn’t hate speech when people are shamed for being white or constantly told that just because they are white they are guilty of the sins of the past just don’t imply that same logic to a person who’s skin isn’t white.

  • Navy_Vet_77 August 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Thanks for the great story Ed! I don’t have any roots here in Southern Utah, but I know enough about its history to know that you are dead on with your story. I enjoy living in Southern Utah, but it is not for the diverse culture I can tell you that for sure. Lucky for my family we are of the Caucasian persuasion, so we don’t have to worry about being shunned except for our lack of religious beliefs. I take my children to places like Las Vegas, SLC, and other places in California and beyond to show them that the world is not a bubble that most think they live in here in Southern Utah. I want my kids to be diverse in every way. Keep fighting the good fight Ed, even if the few narrow minded fools that post reply’s on the website don’t agree with you. The internet doesn’t make you read his stories so just keep watching Fox news and stay in your bubble.

  • Craig August 22, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Very interesting history. But, inferring the only reason for secession was slavery is incorrect. There were other reasons beyond slavery for many, including Lee.

    Also, suggesting that secessationwas illegal is also incorrect. A good argument can be made that Lincoln violated the law, not the South.

    This is no way is meant to suggest I support the evils of slavery, because I do not. But, I do support history and it’s accuracy and reality.

  • Steve D August 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I very seldom read Ed’s columns because sewage is the only thing that comes out of sewer holes. But I read this article. It only confirmed my above statement. Ed is probably a nice guy. I don’t know maybe he is bitter and hateful. I’ll just assume that he is nice. But he certainly enjoys being antagonistic to our chosen way of life here in Dixie. Usually, if a gnat bites me I just swat it. In this case, I’ll ignore it. He won’t go away and he will always stir the pot. It’s just his stick is so small it’s hardly noticeable.

  • Sapphire August 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

    We must be doing something right here… St. George has a 39% lower violent crime rate than the rest of Utah and a 61% lower crime rate than the nation. It has a 41% lower property crime rate than the rest of Utah and 30% lower than the rest of the nation. Diversity is irrelevant. A sense of community is more productive. Anyone with a mindset of being community minded and considerate of others can get along. It is only those who force their lifestyle on others that make a community unpleasant. Too many forget that our rights stop with us. We have no right to force others to endure or enjoy our mindset. Our society has become riddled with screaming demanding toddlers instead of adults who exemplify respectful co-existance and self-sufficiency. And isn’t that a point of being an adult… to be a good example of civilized behavior?

    • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 11:21 am

      How are those statistics related to the moniker Dixie and the demographics issue Ed discusses (in a very problematic way)? I ask ad I doubt you think they are related but that is the topic at hand.

      I think we all know there are benefits and successes of the region. But I wager those are related to concrete actions of citizens and government not because of the name Dixie. Correct?

      If so, can those benefits continue to exist in a region that choices to abandon the nickname Dixie? I think so. If you think not, then what does that say about the area and people? I personally think the values are work of locals is stronger than some name and if anything constantly being associated with that dark past is a speed bump.

      • Sapphire August 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        I don’t think most people give a hoot about changing the nickname of southern Utah from Utah Dixie. All it means is that the Mormons tried to grow cotton here and it didn’t work out. It has some minor historical significance. Whatever. Many of us get really tired of people who have nothing better to do than look for unimportant things to be annoyed about and then spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money to change to their own whims. If agitators in this area spent more time working and supporting themselves, taking care of their families and homes, enjoying our beautiful outdoors on their time off and contributing to the community, there would be no time left for petty grievances like a nickname for the area. Racism is and always has been a part of every culture on earth so his reference to that is lame. People feel safer with their own kind. They only dare embrace those different who also have a willingness to live in peace. You can’t hysterically demand that. You have to earn another’s trust.

        • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

          Just to be clear, you are currently engaging with someone who takes the time to engage thoughtfully without hysteria. Why the heated rhetoric? I appreciate the honesty about it not being an important name to maintain in your view. I think that is an important Middle ground to share and focus on.

          How is a reference to race lame if the practice of it is inconsistent with local and national ideals. Don’t those ideals challenge us to do better in the face of an inadequate reality? I think we likely share similar middle ground here too. I think we are likely both willing to challenge ourselves to ignore the common perception “of our own kind” to make better communities. Am I right?

          • blueford August 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm

            Wow bikeandfish again just keep opening your mouth. You think that your reply and rhetorical answer was a nice way of talking and discussing and then like a liberal thru and thru you put down the person you just criticize and put the blame on them. You have not contributed to the discussion other than putting another participant down. If you look at any politics in general there is a money line. For Antifa its George Soros. A Jew who helped contribute to sending Jews to the Gas Chamber himself. He believes in No God, and feels that if someone is going to make money, Then it might as well be him, No matter the backlash. The Black Community is being used again by people running the moneyline, in a race war to further the agenda of Communism and Push for a all world government where free agency will be lost and you become a stooge. The Blacks who see through this agenda are voicing there narrative. Because we locals pride our history, does not make us racist or hate mongers. I am a transplant myself back in 1978 coming from the backlash of race riots of the 1970’s. I know the feeling of being persecuted for my white color. As well as being a Mormon in California at the time. Know the history and accept the community view of it. That is why your here isn’t it? Its a good place to grow up and live. There is reason and history to the values that make a community. If I moved to New York (which is named after a slave owner) than I would have to embrace its politics and values and history. I would not be walking down Times Square and denounce the place. Its history is written in Racial Tensions with the Irish and Italians, the Jews and the Catholics. But we are not erasing its history but we embrace its history. So accept where you live. Quit putting down those that love it. Contribute to it. —k

        • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm

          PS…I appreciate the time you took to reply. I am someone who happens to care about the topic because of how it affects people I care about. Its one of the many ways I try to better my community. I do that while taking care of my family and home and recreating. I do that and have time to work with others to facilitate change and uphold shared values.

        • NickDanger August 22, 2017 at 2:17 pm

          “You can’t hysterically demand that. You have to earn another’s trust.”

          Well said. What puzzles me about the current discourse regarding racism is that people believe it can be legislated out of existence, or that people will respond to government or media demands that they repress their feelings on the matter. All this accomplishes is to stop the conversation dead in its tracks. The only valid course of action now for a citizen with something to protect is to just stop talking about racism, period. I don’t ever talk about it – maybe occasionally with close friends. I’m sure I seem like the kind of person who could give you a real earful, and I could. But I don’t. Too dangerous. So who knows how people really feel about racism, they can’t express their feelings anymore. “Racism is bad, mmkay?” “Mmkay, Mister Mackie.”

          The full truth of the matter is, if you look hard at history, racism is mankind’s prime motivator throughout ALL of it. And Ed here wants to solve it via semantics.

          I’m not worried about St. George. For now. But I’ve seen several communities ruined over the years by influx of blacks and Mexicans. And when I say ruined, I don’t mean ruined by their presence. I mean a few moved in, then more, then whites started moving out at a certain unknown tipping point, then even more blacks and Mexicans moved in as property values declined, then suddenly a thriving community of middle-class white people becomes a struggling community of lower class “diversity.” “White Flight” is a real thing, and it happens every time, because all white homeowners know about it. No one wants to be the last out, they want to sell while they can still get a decent price.

          Anyway, I liked your comment and wanted to let you know.

  • Brian August 22, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Ed, I missed the point of your article. Are you saying that because we have low percentages of minorities we must be racist?

    I have no interest in white-washing history (for the snowflakes here that phrase has zero to do with race or skin color), but in present day Washington County the blacks and hispanics I know are readily welcomed and accepted in our neighborhood and community. We’ve welcomed them, not run them off. I’m sure the percentages will increase over time.

    I want to be judged for the content of my character, not the state of the world in the 1800’s.

    Out of curiosity, what do you think New York (city and state) should be renamed to? It was, after all, named after a slave trader.

  • blueford August 22, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Ed, You have your figures right but you have again used them as a liberal would to mislead people into believing that you spout the truth but when you look at the facts, you again spit out crap. The truth is this with your figures used. In the whole state of Utah the minority rates are as follows:

    Utah has 2.33 million non-Hispanic whites, making up 81.6 percent of the population. The next largest group is Latinos, with 393,267 people, or 13.8 percent of the population. Asians account for 3.1 percent of the Utah population; American Indians, 2.2 percent; blacks, 1.8 percent; and Pacific Islanders, 1.4 percent.Jun 13, 2013.

    Now when you read this, though outdated. Most of the minorities will migrate to areas with more job possibilities. YOU will find more MINORITIES living up north than down here in the south. However, There has been a steady growth coming for the minorities too the DIXIE area. Your opinion of Dixie is wrong. Dixie to the southern people is a fictional place of peace and tranquility. There is proof of this. Search it out. Its just like the Mormons looking for a Zion. Nothing wrong or raciest in using the wordage of Dixie. But Again, You were not raised here but came here because its better than where you were living before. I am a transplant (moved here in 1978) and I will take this place over anything given in California. You like living here based on the values of the people living here over all. Many of which have the Dixie Spirit. Quit lying and trying to change something good into something bad based on false impressions and false numbers. YOU write for a living. You tell only our side of things for a living. YOU do not study or make a living on the science of migrating populace. I DO. As a Realtor for 30 years and having spent 25 of those years in the St. George area as a practicing Realtor. I know who comes and goes in this area and why. I make a living doing so. And what this article of yours does is nothing more than RACE BAITING the populace and try to stir up trouble where there is none. This article of yours is crap and is filled with false impressions and false data. AGAIN—FAKE NEWS.

    • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 11:08 am

      First, Ed’s piece isn’t intended to be news as is explicit in its placement in the opinion section. Its an interpretation of current affairs so the #fakenews response is irrelevant.

      Out of curiosity, did you grow up in Southern Dixie (not Utah)? It seems not if you can write it off simply as a “fictional place of peace and tranquility”. Plenty of people equate Dixie with the states of the confederacy and see it as a real place with a real history and real culture. We can’t ignore those realities with a simple, manufactured nostalgia of “peace and tranquility” without expecting constant criticisms.

      The south has been battling for its identity for a century. But at the end of the day most moderate southerners (yes, they exist and in large numbers) have abandoned the Dixie moniker because of its painful and complex history that stands in stark contrast to the fictional realm of “peace and tranquility”. Words and myths constituted by them matter and the myth of Dixie is inherently tarnished by the reality of the historic place.

      People across the world are constantly challenged to change their icons, language and statues when confronted with their past failures. Will Southern Utah live up to the same challenge? Will a region that named teams “rebels” and “redmen”, who dressed up in black face until very recently own that the name and fictional place hold no water compared to the autracities of the south and its real racial legacy? Those legacies aren’t isolated to the south given the examples I provided.

      Talking honestly about race and its impact is not race baiting. Ed’s tone was definitely aggressive and I believe problematic. We know head on assaults more often than not galvanize existing views.

      So I ask, is Southern Utah able to maintain its sense of community and purpose without referencing a past that was never tranquil and peaceful for minorities? I think so. Its pretty simple to change names without losing history. Its also easy to remove statues without losing the history and culture modern citizens project onto them. Its possible to do that and its often needed to honor the diverse communities of our country. I think that aligns with the true, deeper values I hear espoused by residents of the region.

      • blueford August 22, 2017 at 2:26 pm

        False facts used to make a false narrative in public form or news site is FAKE NEWS. Again a Liberal trying to change what is written to something that mets their agenda?? Wow!!

      • blueford August 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        It was named “Dixie” because it was a place to grow Cotton due to the UPCOMING issues in the South. This is before the word Confederacy even took place. Its Utah’s
        South and place of Cotton. Please now your history. I by the way graduate from Dixie High and Dixie College. I am from Dixie way below that Iron County Line.

        • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm

          I am from the original Dixie and I know my history well. Yes there is an established “Utah” Dixie around 1857. But the history is clearly more debatable beyond that fact.

      • blueford August 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        Sense you have taken on the mantel of being the Voice person for all the Blacks in the U.S.A. and feel that you speak in their behalf. Take a look at these Three videos that show that Many and I say Many Blacks love the Dixie way of life in the South and take pride in its history. Just like the Civil War, Northern Money influences start telling the world what and how the South feels in hopes of making money. If it was a slavery issue only, Than why did Abraham Lincoln take 3 years to free the slaves, And then only in 7 of the 13 states that succeeded and the north still kept slaves to work also after the Emancipation. Why, you ask, Because the Slave issue was a catalysis for the deep trouble within, Who has more rights to govern its people. The States or the Fed. By Constitutional authority, it was the States and still is. Abraham Lincoln had to start the war in South Carolina but not giving the state of Carolina its rightful property and that was Fort Sumter. He fought the will of the states and the War was started. Fueled then by Banks from England who paid outrages sums of money to spur the war for the South and North creating debt in which the Banks of England and (The future banks of the Federal Reserve) could use to manipulate the Federal Government and destroy the Constitution. Thus taking our rights away. It took longer to do so till 1913 and 1919 when they took control of our ability to print money. Lincoln tried to pay the debts off using Greenbacks printed by us but the foreign banks would not accept that money. They wanted control of our government. Know your history before mouthing off.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNWh_Rldb70

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snGlGGvsB0s

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF-QIJyLhKQ

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ACGhgjLDf0

        • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          Demanding I defend a stance I never took is irrational. The rational and reasonable approach is to actually ask me my thoughts and expect me to defend those.

    • Chris August 22, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Your command of the English language is very poor.

      • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        Yep, I make noticeable grammatical errors when stuck using a smartphone keyboard on internet forums. This is especially true when there is not a standard 15 minute window to edit posts.

        Would you like to engage ideas or just insult me?

        • Chris August 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm

          I was responding to blueford, not you. Your posts are fine.

          • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            Sorry confusing your response. I better understand the visual layout of comments now. I appreciate the clarification.

      • John August 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        Looks like you missed the whole point Chris..you are not the grammar police !

        • Chris August 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          No, you are missing the point. If you cannot communicate clearly in our native language, you are reflecting your lack of intelligence.

          • John August 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

            Who appointed you the grammar police?..

      • blueford August 23, 2017 at 8:22 am

        This is a forum of thought not a place to determine spelling errors etc… Yes I write fast and sometimes my thoughts and words get left out or misspelled. But those that do not want to express their feelings on the Subject but decide to put down the spelling, tells me that they are low on the facts and high on themselves.

    • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      I would love to know what name I called Sapphire? That is currently an unfounded claim.

      Would you like to engage in s conversation or just assume my political alliance (i have left it unstated but my political views definitely don’t fit your label)?

  • blueford August 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    P.S. Too NAVY_VET_77——————Its nice you take your children to Las Vegas and California to keep them from being in a bubble socially. Why do you raise your children here?? I lived and went to School in Californian during the heights of Racial tension back in 1977. I was beat up for being white, I was hit and abused by school children because I had a different belief, and because of my color. My last day in 8th grade as I was cleaning out my locker, I was set upon by 6 black kids and beat up due to me being by myself and white. My father at that time gave up a great job and moved us here in UTAH so that I would not have to fear school itself. Yes, there is a majority of White people, but we as a whole do not treat minorities to the best of our knowledge and way of life with disrespect. A recent study showed that the white communities is the most trusted communities to live in and be treated well by Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. You want to teach your children. Than move back to California and try the school system for your kids and or grand kids and see if they miss the Dixie way of life here in ST. George.

  • NickDanger August 22, 2017 at 10:46 am

    First of all, this area is not suffering from a lack of diversity. Since when did “diversity” come to represent something categorically positive? It is neither a positive or negative word, merely a quantifier.

    I am just fine with my community being white. That doesn’t mean I hate Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. It just means I’m white, I grew up in a white community, I have always lived in white communities, I tend to socialize almost exclusively with white people, and I’m very comfortable in a mostly-white or all-white community. I don’t see a problem with that.

    A few representatives of other races and cultures doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I welcome it. But factually, the reason this community is so nice, to me, and to many others, is because it represents MY ideals, MY values, which are all based in white suburban culture. If St. George ever becomes a “diverse” area, in which whites are not the predominant voice, then I’ll move. I’m not asking for any accommodations, I will move to where I’m comfortable.

    So you can have your diversity, Ed. It’s everywhere, you don’t need to drive far to find the diverse community you seem to want so badly. I personally hope, though, that this particular opinion piece receives as lukewarm a reception as possible by the fine citizens of St. George, who are doing just fine the way things are, thank you very much.

  • 42214 August 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Southern Utah (Dixie) is about as diverse as Beverly Hills, Marin County and the Hamptons. Why don’t you trash them next week. You’d probably move to one of these diverse communities if you could afford it. Then you could spew your hypocrisy from the security of your walled compound like the other liberal elites.

  • mater August 22, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Well let me gues Ed is a white guy that has retreated from “the big city” to a small more remote city where he can prance and spout off rhetoric he knows nothing about( being a minority) and seem to be knowledgeable by the lowly locals. WELL YOUR NOT. Some of us have been outside the confines as you see it of our community,we know what the real world is like we know real people who have taken the opportunitys given them in this great country and made something of themselves in stead of walering in pity and dwelling upon the past we even know others like yourself whom instead of useing history as a learning tool as has been done by intelligent peoples throughout history you whine and point fingers, find blame and demand retribution. Move on man move forward not back be positive be productive be useful or be quiet

    • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Ignoring Ed’s inflammatory rhetoric for one second….

      Do you personally think Dixie is a positive, productive, and useful moniker for the area given the darker legacy the term has? If not, then why does the area hold onto it? Is there not a better way to identify itself in the modern world?

      • blueford August 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

        There is several theory’s that exsist, one that its short for a money from a bank in Louisiana that made its money and it was called “dix’s”, but that was not used in all of the south, the other Theory is that it was based off a Slave owner that lived in Manhatten that was very nice to his slaves and the slaves liked it so much that the wanted to be there at Dixy’s land. A place of comfort. The song Dixie came long after the name was termed. I feel that the following was the start of the name of Dixie as that of a Mason Dixie Line:
        he most straightforward explanation for the South-Dixie connection concerns the Mason and Dixon Line, a boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland that was drawn in 1767 by English surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. The line was originally crafted to settle a border dispute between the two colonies, but it later became an informal demarcation point between the southern slave states and the free states to the north. With this in mind, it’s likely that “Dixie” and “Dixieland” first emerged as slang terms to refer to the territory south of Jeremiah Dixon’s boundary line.

        • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

          We are both aware of those three origins. I think it is fair to assume all three have a relationship to the word in some form or another. But as you have highlighted, even your preferred narrative has been associated with slavery and the second id a direct reference to an assumed benevolent slave master. With those realities, from your own statements, why hold onto the term? Does it represent modern Southern Utah?

          • blueford August 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

            The name Dixie does reference the area of Southern Utah. It represents 2 schools with the name and it is a name that everyone local and in Utah reference as southern Utah. AS well as you want to know of yourself as being from the REAL Dixie. That is fine. I know where the REAL Dixie is and therefore know what you are saying and referring to. So as I said earlier, I feel that the word origin of Dixie came from the 1767 Mason-Dixon Line. And the word Dixie was in reference to an area below that line. So our Utah Dixie is of the similar origin and that is, we are Southern Utah. An area that at one time did try growing cotton. So it was never to be an area that Idolized slavery but an area below the Iron County line or South Utah. The word Dixie also did not mean Slavery in its original usage. Its like the word GAY was never intended to be used to reference Homosexuals. The word Gay was a word that meant to be happy. How many great songs were ruined when society decided to RE-Reference the Word. Quit putting your personal Reference of Dixie as Dark and a word usage for Slavery when in all essence many people Including people from the real South still use the Word Dixie as something positive.

        • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 9:39 am

          To your last comment…

          And that is our crossroads. Not once have I asked that people no longer have positive association with the phrase or that such an interpretation isn’t real. However, you ask “me”, which is actually millions of Americans, to ignore the centuries long implications of the phrase. I am sorry, but words come with baggage and often well earned, especially in this case. And in this case the fiction of Dixie is far outweighed by the reality that it so openly embraced and represented.

          And at the end of the day this in’t about how a person choices to view Dixie but about how a region chooses to advertise itself. No matter if the region wants to associate the term solely with cotton, which is not even part of the origin story you embrace, it is clearly a term that advertises something different to millions of Americans and even international visitors. The state has invested in a huge Big 5 campaign to attract tourists and St George works hard to attract businesses. So at the end of the day, do the citizens of southern Utah choose to hold onto and prioritize a very limited, regionally specific interpretation of the phrase Dixie or do they choose to find a new moniker that doesn’t come with the baggage of slavery that better represents the modern realities? For the time being, southern Utah has chosen to hold onto the phrase and every one of its historical meanings, slavery and all. The citizens of that area are stuck owning that reality. And it appears to be an active choice that is often passionate. That doesn’t make those who support it “racists bigots” as one poster wants to claim but it does mean that residents accept the phrases history and implications which inherently deals with one of the darkest and most blatantly racists parts of American history.

  • Lastdays August 22, 2017 at 11:31 am

    The best thing that could happen after one of Ed’s rants is to follow it with ZERO comments.
    Don’t feed the Troll. Maybe he’ll go away.

  • NotSoFast August 22, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Ed, the 19 of 20 comments thus far, indicate your views on ‘not in my backyard’ protest are kind of stupid. If you just write crap for the attention, you succeeded.
    Keep writing crap Ed. It’s entertaining. It’s what’s in your St. George News contract, right? Writing for respect will require you to be honest snowflake.

  • mctrialsguy August 22, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Ed writes these things just to upset the apple cart and to get everyone all fired up….which evidently works from what I read. I also suspect that he did far too many drugs in the 1960’s in the San Francisco Bay Area (hopefully I am wrong) and that he is a forgotten Love Child of that time. He came here to be outspoken against The Establishment and the so-called White Supremacy that he believes exists in Southern Utah. St. George is a wonderful place to live, do not let this man start what his intentions are and to bring everyone down, as he intends to plant the seeds of discontent and continue his propaganda.

  • comments August 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    PEOPLE MOVE TO THIS AREA AND PLACES LIKE IT TO ESCAPE THE MULTI-CULT HELL HOLES THAT SO MANY PLACES IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE BECOME. There’s a reason that cities like ours have less crime. People come here to escape all this “diversity” and all the problems that it brings. You leftists need to take your whiny little selves down to the Congo and live for a year. You want to feel how it is to be a “poor little picked-on minority” then go. Come back after 1 year and tell us how wonderful all that diversity was. You wanna live where there’s lots of blacks and mexicans there are plenty of places. It’s becoming more and more rare to find places that are majority white. Personally I didn’t move here to be surrounded by diversity, but I’ll admit I sometimes miss living around east asians, as far as blacks and mexicans–not so much.

  • Kilroywashere August 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Hey Ed, you just compared my great great great uncle to Hitler. Thanks much. Now Robert E Lee can have a Nazi stigma too. I suggest you read a biography of General Robert E Lee one day. OH by the way I guess I must be racist and a neo nazi for sticking up for one of my ancestors. Tear down all his statues, I don’t care, but spitting on his image, kicking his effigy, playing guitar on top of his fallen statue, is the group you are representing. Do you really think this will bring America together. If you want a reality check on diversity, try living on Ball road in Anaheim California for a year or more as I did once upon a time. There are two sides if not three sides to a coin. I guarantee you, that the historical aspects you have cited regarding Dixie are not the reason for the current demographics. How about job availability ? Do you think that has an impact, especially considering the rural roots of the region. You owe me an apology but my guess is your righteousness will not allow that to happen. Burn the books Ed.

    • ladybugavenger August 25, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      I lived near Ball RD for a couple months lol that was 25 yrs ago. Scared the crap out of me

  • fightillogic August 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I certainly hope this article generates a lot of comments as it is very inflammatory to those of us that reside in this little corner of the world. First, Mr. Ed (which is a very fitting name for you), what exactly is your point? It is true cotton was grown here in southern Utah during the time of the civil war. May I add (since you conveniently forgot to mention) it was grown by white people – not black slaves. So, long before any of our present residents were born, the nickname “Dixie” was a adopted to the area. You attempt to use this very thin tie to suggest that “Dixie” this and that (Utah’s Dixie, Dixie H.S., DSU, etc.) is the very reason we have a “pitiful” low percentage of blacks and Hispanics who reside here. Hmm… What of neighboring states such as Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming where black people are also less than 1%? Those states don’t have the Dixie nickname and yet, like southern Utah, black people do not flock there. Well, golly, our neighbors to the north must also be a bunch of racists but you just haven’t cracked their racist code word yet. I’m sure you will try though. I guess I’m also going to have to point out that in the southern states where the word “Dixie” is a common thing, there is a much, much higher population of black residents. So, again, I am really failing to see the point of your article. You state that it is incomprehensible to you that we are revisiting inequity. Well allow me to help you out. It is quite clear that articles such as yours are strong propaganda from the left to stir up feelings of resentment and shame. You don’t want to live in the present nor look to the future. You are firmly grounded in the past and any thin tie to past atrocities emboldens you to spew your own brand of hate and intolerance. Get over yourself Mr. Ed.

    • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      I also don’t think the lower number of minorities in the region is solely related to the moniker “Dixie”. That said, I know first hand of minority citizens it has rightfully left concerned when interviewing for jobs. Its clearly not the only reason for choosing a place to relocate but it is one. Is that really the first impression the region wants to make?

      • fightillogic August 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm

        Bikeandfish: Maybe I’m not seeing things clearly today, because, once again, whatever point you’re trying to make really isn’t coming across. You claim to know minority citizens who are “rightfully” concerned they will experience job discrimination because of… the word Dixie? Show me a factual reference that the term actually translates into “racist bigot” and I’ll back down. I’ve lived in this city for 30 years and that big D was on the black hill long before that. I have a feeling if we changed the D to SG (for St. George) there would be people who would say it means “slavery is good” or some other ridiculous thing. The point is this: there are people who CHOOSE to be offended – even who WANT to be offended. They seek out things that could possibly offend because it gives them purpose in life, I suppose. They can then climb up on their little soap boxes and get high on their own self-righteous indignation and feel like they are correcting all the evils of society. I’ll not kowtow to people like that and I hope this city doesn’t either. It doesn’t change anything for the better and those people will never be satisfied.

        • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 9:05 am

          Why aren’t you willing to admit “Dixie” inherently references the old slave-holding states, mostly the south? People have projected other meanings onto the term over the years but its not controversial at all to accept the 2 of the 3 origins directly deal with slavery, either an actual slave holder plantation or the northern boundaries of the southern slave states.

          And you just need to look at Nick_Danger’s and redbud’s comments to understand how racism exists in the region and is often comfortably admitted when Dixie is discussed. There statements clearly meet the definitions of racism. So it should come as no shock that racial minorities have concern about moving to an area that openly uses and embraces the moniker Dixie. Especially when I have had minority friends that were clearly profiled in traffic stops.

          And you never answered my question. No matter a personal view on the word Dixie, does the area and its economy actually want to be associated with a moniker that inherently deals with slavery to anyone educated in American history?

      • blueford August 23, 2017 at 8:45 am

        Wow again you amazed me, You finally said something about the Article that these posts are about. And you mentioned the most persuasive argument that ED had as being something you disagreed with. Out of all the posts you did in this section. You disagreed with ED. By the way, as a Realtor in this area and having been one for 30 years. I have never, never, never had a buyer new to the area be concerned with the name DIXIE. That was not their first impression, Their first impression was how beautiful it was here, and the lack of Crime. I think I would have a very first hand knowledge on this topic. And your wrong.

        • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

          You do know our experiences can be different and we can both be right, blueford, correct? The weight we put behind such anecdotes is a different conversation.

          Do you really think by the time someone has chosen to actually buy a home that they haven’t come to terms with the phrase? Did I state that it always stops or is even the most important reason? No, I have stated consistently that is a concern of some folks, including white Americans. I think Ed’s conclusions and interpretations of data are overly confident and his tone is extremely harmful. It seems most people who oppose him agree. That said, I don’t think its a stretch to recognize that southern Utah is largely white and that our minority populations are much smaller than the national average. I also don’t think its a stretch to recognize such a racially loaded term has an influence on how many minorities live here. How much that influences people is uncertain and there are folks who clearly don’t care as people move for a myriad of reasons that eliminate the name even being a worthy consideration.

  • tcrider August 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    good article Ed,
    I think you are spot on.
    the only thing different I would try to point out more would be like,
    how the majority religion judges anyone that is not majority religion.
    other than this small detail, this place is hard to beat.

    • blueford August 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Sounds like your passing judgement on the majority religion. It can easily be Catholic in New York or Jewish in Israel. Either way, I know of a lot of people in the majority religion that do not judge others. In fact they would be happy to invite you to join and send two missionaries over to your door at anytime to help you learn about the religion.

      • tcrider August 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm

        I would not have a problem with this, as long as the missionaries are black , native american, jewish and so on. I have already met some local reps and want no part of it. I am sure there are some really good people, but the ones I dealt with have made me choose any other religion than the majority religion.

  • mctrialsguy August 22, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Ed, I see that you also work as a free-lance journalist in Baja Mexico, and I as well go down there and assist those less fortunate. While down there, do you write about the atrocities associated with Mexican child labor, the murders by the various Cartels, etc..? There are real atrocities going on down there and free speech as you know it here…is not allowed down there. And yet, you come back home here and condemn honest, law-abiding, and decent people….why? Also, Dixie cannot be associated with the Confederates just by being in the same location. You fail to mention that the KKK was started by liberal Democrats to counteract the North attempting to free the slaves. The Spanish came from Spain up through Mexico and killed Indians, inhabitants and Inca’s, and took over Mexico. Please keep that in mind.

  • Henry August 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    In your column last week Ed, I included a comment about the origins of “Dixie” as the term for southern Utah. Glad to see you expanded it to your subject for this week’s column. LOL

    Judging by the volume and passion of comments with this week’s column, perhaps Ed should quit writing books about Plygs and switch to this topic for future books.

    • comments August 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      The topic “why we need more mexicans and black people in So. UT (and maybe even some arabs)” … why not just make that the title of a new book? hmm

      I say we package up ol’ Ed and the other leftists for a trip to the Congo for a year. He’ll get enriched with vibrant diversity.

      • Just Bob August 23, 2017 at 9:47 am

        That is a racist remark in itself. Why does one have to go to Africa get vibrant diversity. This just shows your narrow mindedness.

        • Henry August 23, 2017 at 11:17 am

          I took what “comment” (= Bob) said to be a sarcastic remark about how Ed would survive in a tough yet diverse Third World environment, not a cushy American setting. Having personally lived in the Third World (including Africa), the answer would be – not long.

          For you to direct such a vehement, oblivious comment toward Bob makes you appear petty and shallow.

  • Jack August 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Kociela’s OpinIon piece is just what everyone in media is saying about the “Charlottesville” riot.

    But why is this now being pushed out into the public dialogue? Victimhood idenity politics has been part of the social scene in the US since the Revolution.

    The colonial settlers thought they were ‘victims’.

    British foreign policy regarded the colonies as dependents who survived at the time of a World War (Seven Years War) only b/c of British protection. They should expect to pay a share of the cost for their own defense.

    But by playing ‘victims’ the colonists could excuse their unreasonable and illogical refusal. Irrational behavior is often used to hide amoral, unfair, and inconvenient situations. A creditor tries to collect a debt, but the debtor ‘plays the victim card’ and the courts ‘buy’ the excuse, cancelling the debt.

    When ‘victimology’ actually works in one sphere, its tried in another.

    victimhood works so well it become a way of living. Blacks – kill – blacks in greater numbers than any other group per capita. They can claim a ‘victimhood’ idenity so it is allowed to continue.

    Maybe the Civil War ‘statutes’ are a symbol of black victimhood? Shouldn’t they want them to remain? Well, yes they did, so long as it was ‘working’ for them. But recently, with a new President who likely ‘gets it’ as to the victimhood scam, they need something more dramatic.

    This wouldn’t be happening if a Democrat had won, you realize. The Democrats are the ‘victimhood party’. They use this to energize their class warfare politics. So expect the riots to continue until a Democrat is elected President.

  • Kilroywashere August 22, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Ed , ESPN just pulled a football announcer because his name is Robert Lee. Although that name is part of my brother’s name, this guy is Asian. IS THAT RACISM or Bigotry? Or is it political correctness? Or is it an over reaction to a media meme blown out of proportion which you are a part of? Let’s hope you’ve elevated the collective guilt here locally. Or have you truly made things worse ? I have stood up against blatant racism in this community where it comes through the cracks uncensored on Craigslist Rants for a couple of years, but as a white Caucasian it doesnt count. Can’t you see there are 3 sides to a coin. NOT 2.

  • comments August 22, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    JUST WANTED TO ADD: when we finally get all of you diehard multi-cult supporters and leftists down to the congo IT WON’T BE JUST YOU GETTING ENRICHED WITH DIVERSITY. YOU will be enriching the Congo and africa with your diversity. I think everyone can agree: the biggest problem with africa is there just isn’t enough diversity; it’s basically all black people. They’re not being enriched and they desperately need it. Another fun idea is if we gather up a few million of our illegal mexicans and use them to enrich central africa. We’ll charter a big boat or whatever it takes and basically just dump them into cental africa. It’ll be amazing. Eventually africa won’t be suffering from lack of diversity any longer and they will thank us for it. It’s the same story with China and the arab states. Just flat-out no diversity. Why is it only expected that the US and europe be blessed with diversity? Why only places with majority white populations?

    • Just Bob August 23, 2017 at 9:54 am

      Wow how much more of a racist jerk can you be. I’am guessing you are one of the demographics that keep Fox news on the air, which means you will soon to be put in a home needing help to go to the bathroom and I hope your nurse aid is of foreign dissent. Karma will catch up with you my friend.

      • John August 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        just keep chasing that carrot….hahaha!

      • comments August 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        can any leftists out there answer the question truthfully: WHY IS IT EXPECTED THAT ONLY MAJORITY WHITE AREAS BE FORCEFULLY INFUSED WITH “DIVERSITY”? Why not areas dominated by other racial groups?

        • ladybugavenger August 26, 2017 at 7:01 am

          Because the white people came over and fought and killed and took over the land and had slaves soooooo we must be punished for it forever because we are white

  • Redbud August 23, 2017 at 2:21 am

    This is the first time I’ve ever read an article written by Ed, but after I finished reading it, I wondered to myself how someone could be so foolish as to write an article that proves how immature and childish they are. If you hate St. George so much, then yes… leave!

    Now, if you want the truth about blacks and Mexicans, here you go:

    There are blacks and Mexicans who are educated, raise their children with respect, aren’t automatically hateful of white people, don’t let their kids run around Walmart like they are wild animals, they obey the law, they treat people with respect, they have common-sense and decency, they aren’t willfully unemployed trying to game the welfare system, they don’t litter, they have class, they are respectful, they are respectful towards law enforcement because they are smart enough to know they aren’t out to “get them.” The list goes on….. I personally have a LOT of deep respect for blacks and Mexicans in this category. They set the example that SHOULD be set. They are VERY welcome here, and I have absolutely no problem with them whatsoever. They are true Americans who represent the USA.

    In the opposite category, are blacks and Mexicans who deliberately CHOOSE to be uneducated, raise their children to hate white people, start fights, bully other school kids, run around Walmart, they think it’s ok to steal, commit robberies, disobey the law, they only treat their own race with respect, they call each other the “N” word because they can, they have no class whatsoever, they automatically hate law enforcement, and they think everyone is racist. The list goes on for this group too. THESE types of blacks and Mexicans have no place in our community, and can LEAVE if they don’t like it. In fact, Las Vegas is only 120 miles south of St. George, and there you will fit in PERFECTLY. Las Vegas has turned into the trashy “little Mexico” they so crave, you will fit right in. There you will find your trashy pawn shops, filthy grocery and food establishments that fail health inspections, filthy schools, littered streets (you can literally throw your garbage anywhere, they won’t care), you can count on getting in a car accident about once every other year whether it’s your fault or not, a security system on your home will be a necessity, not an option, you will not feel safe anywhere you go, watch your back at all times, you can rent a tiny 2 bedroom apartment and pack in ALL your family including your uncle, aunt, grandparent, nieces, nephews, ex-girlfriend, etc… the list goes on! These are the kind that ruin communities, ruin homes, ruin families, they ruin good values, they do nothing to contribute to society or the human race.

    Now people might respond to my comments and say that I am racist for what I have written, but I am really not racist, because I also realize that there are trashy white people who shoot up heroin, live in trailers, and also do nothing to contribute to society. I also don’t believe in white supremacy. No matter what your opinion is though, you know it is true. If you are black or Mexican, you are either in the first category I described or the other. There is no in-between! Anyone who has any common sense knows EXACTLY what I am talking about! Enough said.

    • NickDanger August 23, 2017 at 11:37 am

      I agree with you, Redbud. But consider this: Would you say publicly what you just said under cover of internet anonymity? Maybe you would, it’s not THAT provocative, but it certainly could get you in trouble in some places under some conditions. You could be publicly branded a racist, and if that happened you would be struggling to find any of your fellow Americans who would say, “Actually, he’s right you know.”

      One thing you are not taking into account in your post is that the good minorities – the ones who work, pay taxes, have some class, and contribute to society – are the ones who attract the bad minorities to the area.

      What does a person do before they move to an area? They visit, of course, explore neighborhoods, view homes for sale, learn about the schools, shopping, recreation – everything. And what if a family of – for lack of a better word let’s say “undesirable” – minorities comes to St. George to check it out. They spend the day here and see very few blacks or Mexicans, and plenty of police monitoring an alert citizenry. They know immediately this city is not for them – they’ll end up in jail and ostracized.

      But what if they visit and they see many of their kind? Maybe not their kind, but at least their race. They know they won’t stand out, and they also know a city like St. George is perfect for their lazy and nefarious lifestyle. After all, we citizens of St. George do not expect to encounter criminals in our streets.

      Point being, it actually IS a racial issue. Blacks bring more blacks, Mexicans bring more Mexicans, and the quality of the migrants goes down exponentially as the flow increases.

      So we need to be careful around here, about how we conduct ourselves. Citizens of St. George need to understand that there is NOTHING WRONG WHATSOEVER with a lack of diversity. We are not racists because we prefer the company of whites, or to live in the kind of beautiful, high-quality, stable, prosperous community that is historically only attainable by a responsible, middle-class, majority-WHITE citizenry.

      That’s not racism. That’s the new American reality.

      • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        What you espouse here meets every definition of racism. Its interesting that you openly call this the “new American reality”. I actually want to believe you express a view held by a minority of local citizens but its sad to see such open talk of racist ideology not challenged more aggressively.

        • NickDanger August 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

          And you, sir, are a mere ideologue who doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “racist.”

          “Racist” means I recognize your race. It means that through a lifetime of experience I have learned certain common characteristics of your race. It means I believe I know things about you before you even open your mouth, based on the color of your skin.

          So I am a racist. But here’s the difference in me, and the racists you don’t like: I WILL let the person open their mouth before I draw conclusions. I will give the benefit of the doubt. You say you’re black but not a n_____? Okay, I’ll take you at your word, and you will have to do something awful to earn my disrespect.

          Then of course there are other racists who never give that benefit of the doubt, and act on their assumptions. Maybe those are the racists you are mad at. If you’re mad at me, you may as well be mad at yourself. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if I hold the exact same views as you. I bet it would surprise you though.

          As far as my description of how White Flight takes place, and a town or neighborhood goes practically overnight from being beautiful and prosperous to a struggling eyesore, it is 100% accurate and factual, and I have witnessed it personally several times. It has nothing whatsoever to do with racism, only the reality of property values as they relate to influx of minorities.

          You really should learn the difference in math and racism, bike.

          • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 8:05 pm

            What’s my ideology other than not valuing actions that are based on race? If that alone makes me an ideologue than I will proudly own that label.

            Never challenged the facts of “”white flight”. Making decisions solely based on assumed race or ethnicity is inherently racist by definition. Judging a person on their race and not their actions is racist. Making gross generalizations and judgements about entire group because of an experience of with one individual who happens to be that race is inherently racist. These boundaries have been defined and set for ages.

            So if people leave neighborhoods because minorities move in, even if its fear of home values, then that is inherently racist.

            Those are actions and ideas that are racist. People who subscribe to those values and intentionally practice them are racists. Is that you? That is only a question you can answer. But I have no problem labeling ideas you voluntarily share as racist. We as a nation chose to define that line decades ago and the time for openly welcoming racist actions and values is long past.

            I personally don’t value racism, you are absolutely wrong in that assumption. Do I unconsciously engage in racist behavior on occasion? That is a different conversation and one I openly engage with people who value eliminating racism, not those who want to maintain it and justify it publicly.

          • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 8:10 pm

            PS…in no way am I mad. Just being consistent with my values when I see racist ideas being shared in public. I value integrity even when it requires challenging types of honesty. Overt racism gets stronger when unchallenged.

          • Redbud August 24, 2017 at 2:18 am

            NickDanger, I will confess and admit that no, I would not say what I wrote in public or attach my name to it. Also, you gave me food for thought, I never really thought about the “good” minorities attracting some bad ones too, and after thinking about it, there is truth to what you say. (Ok, ok bikeandfish, you may now call me a racist LOL!)

            I too give no apologies for the lack of diversity in St. George, it is what it is! To those that cry out “but…but….where’s the diversity???!!!” Let me pose a question this way: At what percent of blacks, whites, Mexicans, Asians, etc… would it take for you to stop whining about diversity? Are you going to wait for the day that St. George becomes 25% white, 25% black, 25% Mexican, 25% Asian before you say, Ah hah! Now St. George is finally diverse! Maybe that wouldn’t satisfy them at all who knows? Maybe it would have to turn into %10 white, 40% Mexican, %30 black, and 20% Asian, so you can say, Ah hah! Whites are finally the minority, and now I can finally stop crying for diversity!!! What would it take? I knew bikeandfish would respond to my comment and call me racist before he even posted. That’s fine though bikeandfish, if you want to call me racist, there’s nothing I can do about it, and I don’t even take offense. Bikeandfish is one of THOSE liberals who will point their finger at anyone and anything they can, and find literally ANY excuse to call someone a racist, whether it’s racist or not. They can’t be appeased, they lack common sense, you can’t argue with them because even if they know their wrong, they’re always right, they have the answer to everything, and WAIT, not to mention, you are also racist! Shame on us for living in St. George and being white I guess!

            Last thing I have to say is NickDanger’s white flight description is 100% factual, and anyone who disagrees, that’s ok because you are allowed to disagree, and more importantly, we know you are filled to the brim with ignorance and see RIGHT past your B.S.!

    • bikeandfish August 24, 2017 at 7:40 am

      Red Bud,

      I think it would help if you comments with more detail. I never called you a racist nor denied the concept of “white flight”.

      I described behaviors and ideas that are racist and those that value them as racist. Only you can ultimately decide if you truly value those things.

      White flight may exist but it does so because of the perceptions of those fleeing and buying homes. And perceptions that devalue housing prices because of assumptions regarding minorities are, you guessed it, racist. This isn’t a new description and its accuracy is long established.

      The idea of associating individual behavior with an entire group and them holding that group accountable for those generalizations is a type of prejudice that has real influence on others. It flies in the face of human dignity.

      The way we frame ideas matters. Its not about an ideal number of minorities but a willingness to understand how our ideas and choices limit the presence of others. Danger has made it clear he sees value in not even attracting “good” minorities, whatever that means. Engaging in behaviors that discourage racial and ethnic diversity in our communities is problematic and ignores American ideals. A neighborhood safe and inviting for one person should be safe and inviting for anyone that shares those fundamental values, no matter their race. When we see such obvious racial disparity in our demographics we are challenged to figure out why. And one obvious question is what are we doing or what ideas are being presented that could contribute?

      From responses here and in similar articles we know people are actively discouraging diversity. They associate desired behaviors and outcomes with whiteness and undesirable ones with minorities. And St George isn’t unique there. Our county has a long legacy of such racism that didn’t magically end with the Civil Rights Era.

    • bikeandfish August 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

      * read comments with more detail

      • NickDanger August 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

        As I said, you are an ideologue, bike. I threw in the word “mere” to add a condescending flourish, true, but here’s my definition of “ideologue” – A person who has a good vision but a poor grasp of human nature; who therefore wants to push ideas that lead to nothing tangible and waste a lot of time.

        But I’ll tell you this, bike – there is a way to virtually eliminate racism from society, over time. There really is. Want to hear it? Eliminate POVERTY! Because racism is and always has been more about class than race. I.E., if you didn’t have all these young black thugs running rampant in the streets and making music about selling drugs, murder, rape, hatred of white people, etc., white people would be much more tolerant of blacks. If it weren’t for mass poverty in ghetto slums, we wouldn’t have these hoodlums dominating the streets and the media with their criminal rhetoric. And maybe a kid like Dylan Roof wouldn’t have to grow up in a world in which every day brings him more news of a race of people that hates his race, wants war with his race, will kill him on sight if he wanders into the wrong part of town. No one is born a racist. There are two sides to that leftist meme.

        So you know, go to the source. Read between the lines. Poverty breeds racism. Racism comes fully-equipped with an underlying cause that must be addressed before racism itself can ever be addressed successfully. People like you, virtuous and righteous as you may be, are just dreaming an impossible dream until you figure out HOW to do what you are hoping to do.

        Good luck to you, sir…in your pursuit of your agenda to eliminate racism, but not in your pursuit to bring racial diversity to an area that doesn’t want it.

        • bikeandfish August 24, 2017 at 7:12 pm

          Did you really just try to explain away Dylann Roof’s mass murder of innocent church goers as being related to him being a victim of a gross stereotype of black culture? Do you sincerely believe that? I have to think deep down you know that is inconsistent with any ethical or moral boundaries. I have to think somewhere within your humanity you know Dylann Roof’s desire to start a race war, affiliation with white supremacists and ultimate domestic terrorism has everything to do with his own perception, action and values and not minorities. Because your statement and series of stereotypes are some of the most inhumane comments I have read in a long time. I have to think they don’t truly represent your ideals or values.

          I think you would benefit from investigating the roots of racism more. Its definitely is influenced by class but a perception of racial superiority isn’t solely or even primarily rooted in that element. I also think you would benefit from investigating your own ideas and how dangerous they are to others. I believe you have the humanity and ability to treat others with more dignity, no matter your past experiences with other individuals. I will hold onto that assumption unless you tell me otherwise.

  • UtahPatriot August 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I hired a guy to come build a fence for me. He has signs all over Enoch and NW Cedar City. He came, gave me a bid which I accepted, then a few days later he shows up with a van full of kids. Some were pre-teen and some were a little older. These kids were all white. This was during school season. I guess the plygs teach their kids differently – by making them work like mules using shovels and picks instead of learning to read and write. Sounds eerily like slavery to me.

  • CHJ August 23, 2017 at 8:43 am

    I would simply note one point that I did not find mentioned here. Many people recognize, acknowledge and appreciate that one of the strengths of the LDS people is that because of their missions or military service, many have served in diverse parts of the world and in fact lived where they were the minority. Those experiences and the second or third language they learned, have provided a much broader acceptance of other cultures and races than many other Caucasians in the US. Southern Utah is slowly changing, perhaps slower than other locations, but my personal experience of living throughout the US, has taught me that we are not too different from many locations. Depending upon the location in the US, you find other religions are predominant and it is not surprising that their “culture” is dominant and shapes their communities. Southern Utah is being visited by the entire world and what they experience here is bringing more and more cultures and races. Many welcome those changes; I know I do. We should not paint with too broad a brush.

  • Rodney August 23, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I whole heartedly agree with Ed’s condemnation of what supremacists and the KKK. The rest of his article is a great bit of revisionist history. Robert Covington was a controversial man because his father owned slaves? Did Covington own slaves?

    That would tell us much more. In the area, people put on minstrel shows in the 1800’s. They must be bigots, except for the fact that blackface shows were common even on TV in the 1950s. Ever heard of Al Jolson? I don’t believe he was from Southern Utah. In the 1800s, minstrel shows were everywhere.

    Because the early people named the area Dixie because of trying to grow cotton does not mean they accepted the racist sentiments of the South also.
    I do not accept the premises of the article and I am not from Utah.

    • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      You are correct, the inherent racism of minstrels was clearly not limited to the south. They may have been everywhere in the 1800s but the country was extremely racist in the 1800s as a whole. I think that is well established fact by now.

      I witnessed black face at private parties in the region until at least 2010 in southern Utah. That is pretty recent past.

      If I read the opinion piece correct, Ed cites a study that showed Covington actually managed slaves and was not just related to a slave owner.

  • Real Life August 23, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Say what you want about Ed Kociela, but one thing that you can’t argue with, is he sparks debate like no other here. 70 comments and counting.

    • NickDanger August 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Yeah, it’s not too difficult to spark a debate when you have a local media platform and are, or certainly appear to be, a pure contrarian on every hot-button issue.

      It’s starting to become pretty obvious to me that Ed is more of an attention-whore than a journalist.

  • Henry August 23, 2017 at 11:59 am

    ESPN just pulled a veteran college football announcer from the season-opening broadcast between the University of Virginia and William & Mary because of the announcer’s name – Robert Lee.

    This Robert Lee’s only offense was that his parents named him Robert Lee. An interesting fact: Mr. Lee is actually – Asian.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/23/business/media/robert-lee-university-virginia-charlottesville.html

    • Henry August 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      My last sentence cut off. This Robert Lee is actually – Asian-American.

    • bikeandfish August 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Sources are claiming it was a mutual decision between ESPN and Robert Lee who is claimed to have stated he is more comfortable with the new decision. Poor optics either way.

      • Henry August 24, 2017 at 12:37 am

        It was termed a “collective decision” in the linked NY Times article.

        As was asked in a Twitter question – what happens if one of the players in the football game is named Robert Lee? Will ESPN refuse to broadcast the game?

        • bikeandfish August 24, 2017 at 7:17 am

          That question is a red herring as the team lineup isn’t ESPN’s choice.

          Did you read the follow-up announcements from ESPN yesterday? People act in haste with limited information. If you read the follow-up releases yesterday you will see he was removed to avoid hostility towards Lee, which is a valid response given the way trolls have taken over discourse.

          • Henry August 24, 2017 at 8:53 am

            That’s a non sequitur response. Team lineup isn’t ESPN’s choice; whether to carry a broadcast is ESPN’s choice.

            Yes, I read the follow ups. Yes, people act in haste with limited information. But corporations also act quickly to dispel public relations missteps. “You will see that he (Lee) was removed to avoid hostility towards Lee” is an interpretation that would probably be the one desired by ESPN leadership.

            Trolls of any political background try to twist news items to their specific advantage.

  • SoUtahObserver August 25, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    What a ridiculous piece. It comes off sounding like Ed wants to shout something loudly enough, and for long enough, that people will believe it, regardless of the fantasy spouted. The long-time locals will recognize it for what it is, but, for the unfortunate new folks, they’ll believe whatever this crank spits out. Unfortunate.
    For whatever reason there’s a “lack of diversity”, examine the history: it was hot, dry, and poor. Who would stop here? No one. It wasn’t until the 1970s and the Interstate came through that “furriners” (folks from So. Cal.) started thinking this area was a cool place (so to speak) to move to. The boom here left the poor “inner-city” dwellers (mostly pioneer descendants) in the middle of town. Of course, the new wealth wants to tell the inner-city dwellers what’s wrong with them. Sounds too familiar.
    As others have pointed out, many of the current (and past) inhabitants were missionaries that left and returned having lived in places all over the world, learning and speaking foreign languages, learning about other people, and living in the humblest of situations. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for narrow-mindedness and racism.
    It’s a shame that viewpoints such as Ed’s hateful rhetoric have any kind of place here.

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