Letter to the Editor: Removing monuments and renaming Dixie State wouldn’t ‘erase history’

Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Nov. 21, 2019 | File photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News

OPINION — This is a rebuttal to the “Finishing off ‘Dixie’ in 2020” opinion piece published on St. George News July 1.

I keep hearing people say that by removing monuments and changing names of various facilities is the equivalent of “erasing history.” If you believe this, I have a few questions for you:

  1. How many of the following people have you never heard of? Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Jeffery Dahmer, Genghis Kahn, Napoleon.
  2. How many of the people in the previous question do you know only because you saw a monument or facility named for them?
  3. How many of the following names of Confederate supporters do you know only because you saw a monument or facility honoring them? Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. If so, please name the location of the monument or facility that informed you of these people.
  4. How many of you knew most, if not all, these names from history books or museums?
  5. Name all the confederate monuments and facilities that were not erected during the Jim Crow era or the Civil Rights Movement.

I have no doubt that Dixie State was named with the most innocuous intentions. But we live and we learn. The Latter-day Saint settlers meant no harm to black people by calling Southern Utah “Utah’s Dixie.” They had no ill will because racism was so accepted that it never crossed our minds that we were identifying with a region that literally went to war so they could own black people. They rejected the constitution we hold dear and killed their brothers.

They lost. Tell me one other nation that honors the traitors to their country. Show me the monuments and facilities that weren’t named during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era

Show me one person that will be forgotten by history because a statue, monument or facility is renamed.

History is for books and museums. Monuments and names are nothing. As we listen and learn we adjust. Dixie State will not be less if the name is changed, but it may very well become less if it does not move forward with the world.

Submitted by DAVE CAMERON, Southern Utah.

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.

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