Dixie State College

From: gail.jarvis@gmail.com

Recently Dixie State College in St. George, Utah decided to eliminate the word "Dixie" from its name for fear that its allusion to slavery might offend certain segments of society. I found this so ridiculous that I sent a letter to The Spectrum, a St. George newspaper to express my feelings.

I was informed that the letter had been accepted and would appear in the paper within a few days. As the letter never appeared, I sent a follow-up email inquiring about it. This time I heard from another staff member advising me that she had decided not to print the letter because there was a slight inaccuracy regarding the correct name of the trustees – a minor error that did not affect the point I was making and could have been quickly rectified.

I responded that I should have been allowed to make the minor correction and stated that I felt that the letter was killed because of its content – which either the staff member or the paper didn’t want printed. This generated a very angry response implying that I was some kind of kook but allowing me to correct the letter and resubmit it. I chose not to. Instead I sent it to the College’s own newspaper (Dixie Sun) which made the minor correction and printed the letter on Wednesday 17. The letter follows:

"I am always amazed by the mindset of Politically Correct types. You know, those types who insist that “Christmas” be given the secular designation “Winter Festival” so as not to offend non-Christians. But PC people have limited vision, focusing their attention on popular targets while ignoring others. A case in point is the attempt by the Dixie State College Board of Trustees to change the name of the college because of fear that some people may feel that the word “Dixie” implies acquiescence to slavery. 
The college is located in Washington County, named after George Washington, one of thirteen of our presidents who owned slaves. Is it facetious to ask why a county named after a famous slave-owner shouldn’t be as offensive as the word Dixie in the name of a small college?

And what about the name of the state itself? The name Utah honors the Ute Indians who were notorious slave traders. They even kidnapped small children and sold them into the harshest kinds of slavery. Shouldn’t this allusion to slavery concern the Trustees as much as the word Dixie does?

The Dixie State College Trustees should explain why they feel that the name of the college offends whereas the county and state names do not."

We won’t hold our breath while we wait for the Trustees to offer their explanation.

Gail Jarvis