Re: >Decolonizing anthropolo

Todd N Nims (nimstod@MAIL.AUBURN.EDU)
Fri, 3 Feb 1995 23:50:57 -0600

well my point is what makes anybody so special? I agree that humans have
committed horrible crimes against other humans for as long as we have been
such, but instead of sitting around whining about our "pain"try to
educate and enlighten people about their wrongdoing. Most rights
activists have not progressed past the whine stage. Or if they have they
fill their "educational" rhetoric with hate and bigotry. Such as "all
(insert the enemy of the cause here) are bad and evil and all your
problems erupt from them and to solve your problems you must make them
pay and/or subscribe to your belief system." I agree that Anthro has a
place in this, we must begin to educate people so as to stop future
problems and persecution, but we cant force people to pay for something
they had no part in or subscribe to someone elses belief system.
Throughout history when the people who at one time where the persecutors (or
happened to live in the same geographical area as the persecutors) lost
their "battles" and were then forced down and were told that they were
some kind of low animal not fit to live came back with a greater vengeance
and hatred the second time around. You cant cure persecution with
persecution, especially if the person now being persecuted had absolutely
nothing to do with the original act.

Todd N. Nims
Auburn University, AL

On Thu, 2 Feb 1995, Anthro Students wrote:
> I'm sorry. I see all this as a rather insensitive depoliticisation and
> trivialisation of what are, to my mind, valid and important concerns raised
> by Robert Johnson. Robert's suggestions were very similar to what Australian
> anthro's deal with in respect to indigenous Australians. I simply don't
> think it's good enough to respond with. "So you think you suffered, well
> tough we all suffered."
> Anthropology, as I see it, has a definite responsibility to respond
> critically, but with sensitivity to these issues. The future of anthropology
> as a discipline depends on it. The head in the sand approach won't work.
> Why for instance should native Americans, if you see no need in offering
> some sort of compensation for their colonial history, be at constrained by
> the demands of US citizenship. Are you going to write it off as a valid
> historical process when someone bombs your dept. or will you suddenly decide
> that this is inhum,ane and demands reparation,
> Regards
> John Cook.