Re: Was Boas...?

28 Oct 1995 21:46:16 GMT

I received this neonazi propaganda by Email in September.
One reaction was that I had to read along a while to be sure this was not just
another GOP position paper!!

My next reaction was that the author is obviously out of his mind, thinking that
there even IS a coherent field of anthropology these days, dominated by Boas
or not!

Leslie White, among other notables WITHIN anthro, suggested derogatory things
about Boas's "foreign Jewish influence) [Kroeber? Mead? ], and it was weird then
--altho this screed is far worse than anything White ever said, of course.

For those too young to know any better, by the way [like the nazi author here?],
Gene Weltfish was a woman, not a man, as he writes!

An irony in this craziness is that Boas DID in fact work very hard to reach out
to the public--unprecedented for a scholar of his prominence in the US. He DIED
at a lunch he had organized at the Columbia Faculty Club to raise support for
the French resistance in WWII. From WWI on, he worked endlessly on public edu-
cation (co-teaching course with John Dewey, for example) and anti-racism; many of
his students I interviewed did not even know this aspect of his career!

Obviously, he was not overly successful in eradicating racism....

--John R. Cole