Thank you for posting on the DSUHC page and expressing your view, and probably that of many of your faculty colleagues on the Dixie State name issue.
I suggest you read the July 29 post on the DSUHC public page of Ryan Shudde, a DSU grad in computer science from some years back. His writing style and analysis tells me that you have done a very good job in educating him during his years at DSU. His essay will help you understand why your messages, focusing narrowly on the name issue, are of marginal relevance to the Dixie name issue. You can to learn from him. I think that the many responders to your post have also focused on the key issue – this is about far more than just a name.
One thing that I am sure you know, but seemingly are not effectively taking into account, is that Dixie State is not operating in a bubble. It is the prime target by Cancel Culture purveyors that deem it necessary to take down the history, heritage culture and traditions of the area to instate their own version of a new society. As the principle institution of higher learning, Dixie State is their easiest target to purvey their cancel cause. They want to cancel the name Dixie. They have declared the term “Dixie” word – nongrata, and there is not much chance that they are going to listen at this point to the our true narrative as to why Utah’s Dixie has substantially nothing to do with the confederate south of a distant past.
It may also be reasonable to assume that rational folks in our community might even consider buying into a name change for DSU, as hard to swallow as it would be, if the purveyors would then be satisfied, just go about the normal business of life and discontinue any further agitation. But you and I both know that such would not be the case. Their goal is to continue the pursuit with the iconoclastic furor of the Taliban, to take down and destroy anything in the community that challenges their narrative. They threaten to destroy statues, demand removal of resource officers from our schools, want to reduce the ability of the police to protect the community and spew such lofty slogans at as “Heritage = Hate” and promote total revisionist dogma about the founding of our country with the intent getting curriculized into the public schools, and they promote destruction and replacement of the traditional family etc . I am sure you recognize, that these are but a few of the essential steps for them in forcing acceptance of a new collectivist social order and ultimate race – based transfer of wealth, payment of reparations for matters as far back as 1619 ( the list is quite exhaustive) on you, your family, your community and the entire country as well.
And so the question arises, why are you making posts and in effect carrying their water for them? With your broadly recognized knowledge and your greatly appreciated wisdom, why are you effectively advocating for them?
To suggest that our pioneer fore-bearers would somehow suborn to such an affront, or to suggest that we, in our actions now to resist are somehow inconsistent with our past, is a fairly wounded argument. And I think you know that.
The tough gritty people of the land who made this place for us, and more than once saved the college from extinction, would surely never have given – in, nor would they have coddled in fear looking for the prime moment to jump on their oppressor’s band wagon – just to end up on the winning side as is so often the practice today. They would have stood their ground and made it very hard, if not impossible, for their oppressors to prevail.
The suggestion that the only route to a great university is to accept the current purveyor’s Ideology as prerequisite to success is likewise quite narrow. There are many roads to success for Dixie State , as is the case with any dynamic growing university. And, I suspect that if the name were the issue and our pioneer ancestors had a say in the controversy, they would likely advise the university to stay the course, stick with the name that has branded itself over time, and further to engage in a very ambitious marketing strategy to tell the story. They would seek to distinguish the name, to in effect, firm – up the brand so that the critics understand, and those that are willing to listen and are acting in good faith will ultimately accept it for what it really is.
I do not accept the premise that students and faculty are suffering due to the name. If so, then in this world of heighten social sensitivity, certainly the graduates of Brigham Young University would be the most imperiled. BYU does almost everything that the purveyors love to hate. Yet you and I both know that BYU grads are in many respects some of the hottest applicants for jobs and for seats at grad schools in the county. If the problems at Dixie are as profound as you suggest, you and your faculty cohorts may be in need to engage in some sincere introspection as to how effective the teaching really is at this point in the history of the school.
And finally, why draw the line at the name Dixie? That clearly has you and your likeminded folks bothered.
Perhaps one of the best reasons is because we think the you – Bill Christensen matter. I think you know, but probably are unwilling to admit that the purveyors look to the day when Dixie State on the transcript is a disqualifier. It is not to that point. But, you clearly express fears that it will. What you need to also realize is that many of those same purveyors who have caused you to think this way also look to the day when a name like Christensen, especially with a first name like Bill is likewise an automatic disqualification because it suggests a person who derives from Northern Europe white ancestry which should, as a matter of fairness and equity, now suffer discrimination to make up for the racial ills of the past. We are drawing the line at Utah’s Dixie. We could wait and draw the line at Bill Christensen. But by then, it may be too late.
Since much has been spoken of tradition, universities have traditionally stood for a wide range of ideas and growth of knowledge. Yet now we see that tradition suffering cancellation as well. We see bright people who we once looked up to as great independent thinkers and creators now cowering in fear and stepping in line in a sort of goose stepping parade to a narrowly defined ultra – liberal narrative. Recent polls show that the majority of faculty members and students at most major universities do not feel that they can speak freely.
And you, as an educator , find yourself having to look right and left and take great care not to step over the line in any respect, in word or behavior, that might offend the purveyor’s narrative. You know that it has a very good chance of cancelling your reputation, your life’s work (which we all appreciate as very fine work) if you go too far or step out of the prevailing drive for conformity. And so out of that fear, in a new world of, in- effect, liberal McCarthyism, you try to advance these less-than- quality arguments within the narrow avenue of a name change as if it was just some wise business strategy and marketing decision.
You don’t want to be cancelled. We get that.
One thing that I have learned as I study the meaning and history of Utah’s Dixie is that it is a welcoming place and concept. It is a place and a concept where independent and universal thinking is ok.It is a place where people, with all points of view are still migrating to from all over the world to enjoy as their new home. And they come here knowing that there is a “D” on the Black Hill and “DIXIE “ in the Sugar Loaf, and a great educational institution by the name of Dixie State whose mascot is now the Trailblazers, which among other things, signals a willingness to go its own way. Not just follow, but lead. Cancellation is not part of the culture of Utah’s Dixie. We are ok with neighbors who see things differently.
So, we are drawing the line at Utah’s Dixie. It is a battle that many in the community, are willing to fight. Now is not the time to change names and subject ourselves to the intellectual slavery that a name change would would signal, just as the adversaries are at our gates. But we are willing to be open and listen. We have a great deal of awareness and sensitivity to the awful history of inequality and unfairness that is a part of the negative side of our nation’s history, and also great respect for those who have stood for change and those that do so now as well. We are not so narrow as the purveyors of the Cancel Culture. They are not the respected promoters of change. They are just trying to find another way to leverage their hatred of those who stand in their way.
And since we know that it is but a matter of time that the Cancel Culture will also find a way to seek to jettison you, that you should have courage – courage to put on the full armor and join us at the barricades in defense of our liberty, our families, our heritage, our history, our tradition and our culture – all the good things that are Utah’s Dixie. And, also be willing to stand strong against the new scourge of intellectual slavery that the Cancel Culture purveyors are now attempting to dictate against us.