A cartoon for The Independent.
I wish I was in the land of cotton. Old times there are not forgotten. Look away. Look away. Look away, Dixieland.
Do you know who picked cotton? Slaves. Do you know what about the old times that are not forgotten? Slavery. So why anyone wants to identify with one of the darkest histories of the United States is puzzling. It’s especially puzzling when the institution that wants to identify with Dixie is not in Dixie.
Dixie State University is in Utah. Not the Southern United States. There were 11 states in the Confederacy and none of them were Utah. Southern Utah likes to tag itself as the “Dixie of Utah.” Southern Utah, you are not in Dixie. Dixie is in Dixie. You’re an institution of higher learning. You have professors, calculators, books, rulers and other learny stuff. You probably teach history. Get a map. Educate yourself on geography.
I have a friend who went to DSU. It’s weird how many Utah connections I have. She doesn’t want the name to change. I understand not wanting to change the name of something from your past. The university in my hometown of Monroe, Louisiana changed it’s mascot and name. I didn’t mind it changing it’s mascot from the Indians to the Warhawks (most team names are generic. There are three Tigers and two bulldogs in the SEC). I didn’t like it changing its name from Northeast Louisiana University to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Why didn’t I like it? I find it more generic. There’s a University of Louisiana at Lafayette. NLU (which I’m still used to saying to refer to the university) could have just changed it to the University of Monroe, or Monroe University or had just left it he Hell alone. But at least there wasn’t anything to be taken as racist from it and it’s actually in Dixie. Utah, you have a bigger problem.
In 1987 “the Rebels,” a large bronze statue of soldiers with a Confederate flag was placed on campus. In 1993, Dixie State got rid of the Confederate flag as an official school symbol. Today their mascot is “Big Dee”, who was formerly referred to as “Rodney Rebel.” Now they’re trying to find a new mascot with some of the choices surveyed being Raptors, Mustangs, Wranglers and The Blazers (which is also the team name of my college, Belhaven University, which is also generic. Blazers? We’re a type of jacket?).
DSU needs to take the focus off their mascot hunt and focus on getting rid of “Dixie.” You’re not in Dixie. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re Utah. You have your own identity. You don’t need to glom onto one of another region.
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