Letter to the Editor: OFF Kilter, ‘Did I hear what I almost heard?’ Bunkertucky Slang; counter to ON Kilter

COUNTER OPINION to opinion of St. George News columnist Dallas Hyland (See: April 27 ON Kilter: Bundy, revolutionary or rebel? The changing nature of the West) – To be charged with racism in today’s America is a serious thing. So serious in fact, that to be labeled as such can destroy a person’s life. The news is constantly full of examples of people who get crucified for making statements or holding views that can be described as racist.

Last week, an obscure Nevada rancher who had been living rent free in the minds of millions of Americans for his courageous stand against a militarized bureaucracy, attempted to point out the harmful effects of America’s welfare state. He used language that drew immediate charges of racism–ironically, language similar in tone to language used by another Nevadan, Senator Harry Reid when he introduced the world to President Obama by using the words “light-skinned” and having “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”

Language being what it is, the ability to use it and interpret meaning from it is based completely upon the sum of a persons life experience. In Mr Bundy’s case, he speaks what his family affectionately refers to as “Bunkertucky Slang,” a very distinctive dialect that is found nowhere else on Earth.

At the speed of light, the world took issue with Cliven’s statements. His detractors ascribed him with a racist heart. His supporters groaned and wished he had the help of a PR expert before exposing himself to a hostile media. What he really needed was an interpreter. But his choice of words sounded enough like the same English that a majority of cosmopolitan Americans speak. So they missed the fact that they missed what he was really saying. Many voices gleefully encouraged the media to keep the microphone in front of Cliven so that he could discredit himself.

Having known many of the close friends and family of Cliven Bundy for several years, I am familiar enough with Bunkertucky Slang that I thought it my duty to stand up for the man and defend his real intent to the purveyors of racial strife who were casting aspersions on him. For several days, I waded into the conversations happening in social media. In my own blend of dialects that reflect Mona, Boston, Cambodia, St Louis, Roosevelt, Provo, the Arizona Strip, LaVerkin, and St George, I attempted expose the hypocrisy of using the language of racism to spin its hurtful web.

So did I hear what I almost heard? In an April 27 op-ed penned by Dallas Hyland titled “ON Kilter: Bundy, revolutionary or rebel? The changing nature of the West,” Dallas insinuates in strong terms that those who sympathize with the plight of Cliven Bundy, indeed the original culture of Southern Utah are inherently racist.

It is a rich irony that an esteemed social commentator with Hyland’s command of language is using the language of racism to demonize, demoralize and knock us “OFF Kilter.” Society’s aversion to the racist label is so strong, it can be used to instill shame, fear and loathing upon anyone who gets painted with it. Dallas reveals his own intolerance when he engages in the same bad behavior that he accuses an entire class and culture of people of engaging by inferring that supporters of the Bundy family harbor some form of racist mindset. To play on Shakespeare’s words, “A skunk by any other name would smell as rank,” which is to say, that what things really are matters more than the labels affixed to them.

It is my hope then, that we will be kinder to Dallas as we attempt to understand the distinctly different, native-to-himself dialect that he brings to our amazing community when he wields the power of language in his bully pulpit.

We can remedy the strife and division fostered by race hustlers when we reject their false premise. We must not be intimidated into silence by their mean spirited, self righteous accusations of blasphemy–which oddly, is still a serious crime in the age of enlightened-tolerance. Our own use of language can, and should, be used to lift, encourage and unite.

The native religious culture in our community teaches us that all are God’s children–our native political culture, that we children are created equally. And THAT is a culture worth celebrating with all the power of language we can muster.

Submitted by Dr. Paul Gooch

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.

Related posts

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • I BAPTISE TERRORISTS April 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Well said.

  • D Hodja April 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of Southern Utahans is astounding. The irony of course is they claim their faith makes them loving, peaceful, and happier. Sad stuff.

    • Bundyundy April 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Southern Utahans who are used to following and not questioning their own city rulers.

    • Rick April 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of liberals is astounding. The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of African Americans is astounding. The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of the liberal media is astounding. The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of Sharpton, Jackson, etc. etc. is astounding. The prejudice, paranoia, and angst of anyone you liberals disagree with is astounding. Isn’t it ironic ? Truly sad.

      • Bundy Boy? April 28, 2014 at 6:35 pm

        I bet you are from Dixie. Enough said about your perception of blacks.

      • Bender April 28, 2014 at 7:30 pm

        Rick, you’ve likely never met a liberal in Washington County. What you call a liberal the rest of the country calls an independent or a moderate Republican. Turn off the AM radio and read a good book.

        • Applejack April 29, 2014 at 5:44 am

          Actually I am a hardcore liberal. I hope I get to meet rick one day. I enjoy destroying arguments built solely on the bible or the Book of Mormon but I especially enjoy the reaction in the faces if people like Rick who have never been exposed to things like truth and logic.

          • Rick April 29, 2014 at 9:29 am

            I would like to personally thank D Hodja, Bundy Boy, Bender and Applejack for perfectly proving my point. You all seem a little “angsty”. Applejack I don’t need to meet you. I’ve already met too many of you enlightened people. I will, however, keep you in mind just in case I need some truth and logic.

    • Brian April 29, 2014 at 7:20 am

      And yet you choose to live here? Would you live in hell if it had red rocks? I love when people bash the people of southern Utah, but choose to live here because its such a great place to live and raise a family. Maybe the great lifestyle here is related to the type of people who live here, and not just to the climate, geology, and abundance of golf courses.

      • Parent April 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

        This place presents good examples of how not to raise your kids. This culture will smile to your face and then quickly stab you in the back. If it wasn’t for the climate, recreation, geology and geography for your family to enjoy, you’d have nothing but this warped abnormal culture. Not everyone comes here to be absorbed into that culture.

      • Rick April 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

        Brian, you’re wasting precious energy on trying to figure out the “enlightened” promoters of “truth and logic”. They will never get it.

      • JJ May 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

        No, it really is just the climate and geology. Without it, St George would be Kansas. I’m a transplant and I feel people’s bigotry towards me because I grew up different and have a different perspective on things, as if that is wrong or bad.

  • Chris April 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Did you really say anything here?

  • Kevin April 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Just another white Mormon male spewing bunk! I like how corporate welfare is all good. The bottom line is Bundy think he is above the law and is a bigot and racist. Trying to spin it anyway you like but facts are facts.

    • TARRELL April 28, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      He’s still an A.. Holes I tell us your facts moron

  • JJ April 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    To imply that any sort of race is so incapable of handling themselves that they are better off as slaves is terribly racist- my head is bleeding from all the scratching I am doing to it trying to hear someone justify that. Or is the point of this editorial that if people say stupid or hateful things, that they shouldn’t be called out for it? I’m confused. It is also hypocritical that someone who takes advantage of government assistance (illegally) can criticize other people for taking advantage of government assistance.

    • Brian April 29, 2014 at 7:24 am

      Clearly you only read the surgically altered version of his comments from the NY Times or this article. Read his entire statement, in order, and you’ll see his comments are completely in line with Bill Cosby, Rev. C.L. Bryant, and others in the black community that are mortified at the “new plantation” (their words) so many are embracing.

  • Skoorb April 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    So, wait.. It was just the wording people were offended by? I thought it was the idea that American blacks might be better off as property.

  • carrnel April 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    This from a man who thinks he can bully the city into shutting down his road to protect his way if life. They did not listen and neither do I.

  • Bundyundy April 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Well the supporters for the Bundyundy in the wad at Bunkerville represent corruption at its finest. Area politics also can be called “Favor for Friends” or “Positions for Family” or “Good Ole Boy Committee”, meaning despite how illegal, how immoral or regardless how much more qualified someone else may be (or even preferred by others), support goes to the Friend of Family. Case point is the Bundy situation in Bunkerville. Totally illegal and behaviors totally immoral, yet, give the support to Bundy, because Bundy is your Buddy. Other examples of corruption include selecting good ole boys (friends and families) to councils and boards. Bundy supporters must be looking in a mirror when they’re saying “Corrupt”.

    • Brian April 29, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Are you referring to Bundy, or Harry and Rory Reid?

  • Bundyundy April 28, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Your statement: “The native religious culture in our community teaches us that all are God’s children–our native political culture, that we children are created equally.” Then you should be aware of Doctrines and Covenants 134: 3) We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign. 5) We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective bgovernments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and inalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and crebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly; and that all governments have a right to enact such laws as in their own judgments are best calculated to secure the public interest; at the same time, however, holding sacred the freedom of conscience.

  • LadyK April 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you Dr. for taking the time and being a good example. I find it interesting how people can complain about someone using “hate speech” or “racist” views by using hate speech and raciest speach. One could simply say to them pot meet kettle. Good grief people grow up.

  • Bender April 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Dr. Paul Gooch, Optometrist – In case anyone else is wondering what kind of expertise or training Gooch infers by titling himself in this op-ed piece.

  • Melissa April 28, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    The fact that he said “negro” has no bearing. The fact that he thinks some human beings would be better off as slaves simply because of the color of their skin, has all the bearing. It saddens me to think he still has supporters after those hateful comments.

    • Applejack April 29, 2014 at 5:37 am

      It saddens me too but it does not surprise me one bit. This is Utah after all. The land where God changed his mind about black people in 1978 and pedophiles roam free while homosexuals who harm no one get persecuted. And Why? God said so. Did I mention that I can predict the future? Here is what I see:

      3 years- equality wins in the SCOTUS.

      17 years- God will change his mind again, this time about homosexuals.

      20 years – the Mormons who are so against it today will deny they ever were.

      Just like they are with Bundy and friends. Notice how many supporters Bundy has now compared with two weeks ago? The proof is in the comments. Or lack there of. 🙂

      • NCAA Revelation April 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

        Was it the NCAA or IRS that changed God’s mind about blacks in Utah?

        • Applejack April 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm

          Both actually. It was because if them that the Mormons concluded that they could make more money which, in turn, led to God changing his mind.

  • JAR April 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Dr. Paul,
    After reading your opinion / contribution to the current Bunkerville story, I was about to make the comment of, welcomed additional viewpoint. Thanks.
    Then I read those who commented before me and wow! was I surprised, People were throwing some very large stones in you direction buddy. From being a supporter of the Good old boys– to– Jack Mormon–to–racist–to– stupid local–
    to– only a bone doctor, etc.
    Made me go back and re-read you opinion again. But like before, I thank for your viewpoint. I agree with your point that sometimes, Mr. Hyde and Dallas neglect to eat their Smart Pills before write some bad, really out there B.S.
    As far as the comments us readers throw to the forum on occasions , ‘Put it where the sun doesn’t shine’ Doctor Paul. And remember to eat your smart pills before you go cracking bones in your office.

  • cranky May 18, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    interesting reading “Rick’s” defensive comments , first anyone who disagrees is a
    liberal, when challenging a point he usually uses an example that has nothing to do
    with the statement.Oddly all his name calling and adjectives in his refutes are exactly what is the matter with the Mormon Cult.Hard core cult members have been so ingrained with these values from 1870, it is part of their breathing.They have absolutely no idea how offensive their bigotry and racism is. Dr Paul explains it is a language misunderstanding, and really his friends are not all that bad. Language had nothing to do with the way Mr. Bundy expressed his ideas.He spoke very clearly and directly about his views concerning the Government and Martin Luther King, and what he thought people of color should have done or did. Like
    D.Hodja ” sad stuff “

  • bishpoul October 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Washington County, Utah – Assessor’ Office is Off Kelter. We need a revamp
    of the whole office.

  • bishpoul October 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Assessor’ Office has abused it’s authority and we need some help from a county
    commissioner to hold them accountable.

  • bishpoul November 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    We need to stop the Washington county assessors office abuse of authority.
    Call the new assessor and tell him we need change.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.