Re: Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

John McCarthy (jmc@SAIL.Stanford.EDU)
09 Jan 1995 01:06:04 GMT

Richard Spear includes:

This isn't an exercise in assigning blame. We need to
determine *causes*. Interesting that you would view an
effort to determine a cause as assigning blame. Any
explanation that does not examine the relationship between
the particular historical situation of African Americans in
the United States will fail to understand the root causes of
their "failure" to be successful here. You continue to try
to distance yourself from the people around you by taking an
artificially "scientific" stance ... people *oppress* other
people and cultures interact to the detriment of one of them
by choice - by the choice of the more powerful culture. A
denial of this fact *is* racism, as your alternatives place
the *blame* on those being oppressed!

>From my point of view, Richard Spear has some things to prove:

1. Why isn't an "artificially scientific stance" appropriate for any
scientist - including anthropologists?

2. Are African Americans (blacks) a single culture, or are many of
them part of a general American culture.

3. Is there an oppressed African American culture? If so, what is the
sense of the word "oppressed" being used?

Question to anthropologists:

Is there some part of what Spear says that must be regarded as
accepted in order to be respectable among American anthropologists?

John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.