Re: Amerindian resistance mode (was: amerindian an offensive

Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax (
Fri, 09 Aug 1996 13:14:54 -0800

Paula Sanch wrote:
Paula Sanch writes:

[massive rebuttal of the Firlish one removed for sanity's sake]

> I have friends from "every nation and tribe and tongue" I have ever
> encountered. Among them are Israelis and Iraqis, "real" Indians and
> Pakistanis, Chinese and Japanese, Irish and English. Making friends,
> and appreciating them and the cultures which produced them has never
> been a problem for me, or any other NA of whatever tribe whom I have
> known. As a group (or groups), we tend on average to be *less*
> xenophobic than most other ethnicities. I will not pose the obvious
> question.
> -----------------------------

Well, Paula, I have one: When deciding who must assimilate, who has to
be the assimilated?

In discussions of "the immigrant" or the "native American" "problem",
two formulas seem to be used to fit the schema:

* Whoever came here second should be assimilated.
* Whoever has fewer people should be assimilated.

Out here in Gerold and my state of California, the first solution
works very well for Japanese, Tongans, Chinese, and French Canadians.
But if we take it too far back, we either have to learn Spanish or
the tongue of one of California's many native American groups.

The second one seems to work better -- provided we cut the pie right.
If the area for assimilation is Los Angeles County, then people like
Gerold and myself may need to learn Spanish. If we cut it a bit smaller
and place us in East Los Angeles, then we will be required to learn

For this reason, most assimilationists prefer to cut the pie larger, to
the size of the United States.

But why stop here? The idea that the assimilationists have in mind is
that we should have a common ground for communication. So why keep
this common ground to ourselves? Why not make it the world? Well, then
we run into the problem of what language to use. English, of course,
has many speakers who use it both as a first language and as a second
language. But, for the sake of fairness, let's eliminate from our
equation those people who speak it as a second language. After all,
the whole point of the assimilationist equation is to create a population
which uses the language of choice as a first language -- in fact, to
eliminate all other languages so that there are no misunderstandings
in communications.

The language of choice must go to the largest population and that means

Are assimilationists such as Gerold willing to go this far, to apply
a completely fair and equitable test for determining who must assimilate?
No, because what they really follow is a third principle:

* Might makes right. If you don't learn English, we'll punish you
by denying you resources, using our police to harass you, and
forcing you to live in a ghetto.


Joel GAzis-SAx

Joel GAzis-SAx

> My object is to be perfectly frank, without hurting anyone's
> feelings. My next impossible goal is . . . I dunno yet.

___ ___
/\ _|_ /\ Joel and Lynn GAzis-SAx
/ /\_|_/\ \
/ / /\|/\ \ \
\ \ \/|\/ / / "If we try to flee from our human condition into
\ \/_|_\/ / the computer, we only meet ourselves there."
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