Rooting Out Racism
There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking about racism in the nation—and in Georgia specifically. Despite the political weaponizing of terms like "cancel-culture" and "PC," racism and its real-life manifestations are deeply rooted problems that we face every day. In monolithically white Utah, our racist past is hard to face, as can be seen with Dixie State University grappling to find a less divisive name. Meanwhile, the new state law—sponsored by Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City—attempts to make it easier for property owners to eliminate old covenants requiring Caucasian-only ownership. It was not too long ago when one of Salt Lake City's favorite restaurants—the Coon Chicken Inn—featured a doorway through the exaggerated lips of a Black man. City Weekly's Scott Renshaw reports on Sorting Out Race, a Leonardo exhibition of thrift store stereotypical items. This year's LDS General Conference even highlighted racism in a call to "root it out." The intentions are good, but Utahns will have to change the culture first.
Conflicted Is How We Roll
You can't live in Utah without worshiping at the altar of fossil fuels, even during the global climate crisis and the self-evident decline of the failing resource. It's no small wonder that a very conflicted state senator would sponsor a "simple" bill to do away with legal constraints on the Permanent Community Impact Fund. The fund was meant to use federal mineral royalties for "the alleviation of social, economic and public finance impacts resulting from the development of natural resources," The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Instead, the money could go toward extraction and a controversial rail line. The sponsor, Sen. Ronald Winterton, R-Roosevelt, has employment ties to the rail line project. But as legislators like to say: Conflicts are a way of life.
Conservatives Raising Taxes
Utah County is nothing if not a confusing mixture of Republican ideology and personal political ambition. The ideology: tax cuts good; tax hikes bad—that is, unless you're a former commissioner. The political ambition: The two remaining commissioners taking control of the county's $100 million budget, which Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson calls a power grab, according to the Herald Journal. Those two commissioners are steeped in the ideology of the Reaganomics trickle-down theory, which despite being an abject failure, resonates among conservative lawmakers. The confusing part: The two former commissioners who voted for a property tax increase are indeed conservative. While ideology is fine, it doesn't exactly pay the bills, and that apparently was what those former commissioners understood. The immense political pushback now seems to have persuaded the sitting commission to do an about-face even though they believe in the sanctity of tax cuts. That's not ideology; it's politics.