Thomas McCormack (TOMITS@AOL.COM)
Tue, 7 Feb 1995 16:49:54 -0500

Goodness! Breast beating? Hair shirts? Nonsense. Anyone reading my post
regarding Mr. Lieber's tirade against Mr. Johnson is quite aware that I was
not advocating for guilt, but for awareness....and agreement as to a common
A simple review of history will reveal those occurrances which
contribute to the state of affairs about which Mr. Johnson speaks.
But what do we hear in reply? Some argument that it happened a long time
ago...and it doesn't happen now...and besides, we can't do anything about it
now. Those replies simply avoid real discussion.
In fact, it's hqappening right now in Mr. Johnson's posts (another point
I tried to make), but I think he's aware that he's as complicitous as the
rest of us. His proposals are couched in the language of the colonialist
power. The responses made to him are in the same language. There is even talk
of "property rights", as if the current state of 20th century American
property law is of any relevance to the discussion.
You're anthropologists, for goodness' sake. Your profession, I thought,
presupposes some ability to exit your own cultural context and to deal, in
some "objective" sense, with others. So pretend your doing fieldwork. Stop
beating your informants and telling them they're stupid for not understanding
the "real world" and "how it really works" and discuss.
Finally, I think we all accept some level of government services
provided by the fed. Some of that money comes directly from the Flint Hills
(for example) which were stolen from certain indigenous peoples. We benefit.
They continue to suffer. No, you should not feel guilty! No, you should not
don your hair shirt! No, you should not beat your breast! But your should
willingly enter a discussion with them or those who purport to represent them
about the state affairs and how they feel about them if only for the increase
in knowledge it will afford.
Thomas A. McCormack
Our firstness is thirdness...