Re: Robert Johnson -- now beyond the bounds?

Patrick Shawn Miller (psm2@CORNELL.EDU)
Tue, 14 Mar 1995 16:42:10 -0500

On Sat, 11 Mar 1995, Luca Boscardin wrote:

> Dr Thornton:
(some deleted)
> As far as censorship is concerned, your suggestion that RJ be thrown off
> the list is truly indicative of the moral morass of today's anthropology.
> I want to remind you and others of the many contributions that RJ has made
> to this list, and particularly of the Chiapas reposts he has sent us, of
> the "Declaration of Indigenous People on the genome project", of the "
> Balinese Tourism Development Resistance", of the "Amazon Indians being
> evicted in Brazil", of the "Crow Canyon Disneyland and real Estate
> Development", and of today's "Chiapas and the School of the Americas".
> These are all valuable contributions to the list, contributions that have
> allowed many of us to connect with relevant issues, individuals, and
> research opportunities. If his postings offend you, too bad! That's no
> reason to demand that he be excluded from the list. Who are you, anyhow,
> to demand such course of action? Maybe YOU should question YOUR political
> beliefs regarding this totalitarian attitude of YOURS...

I find myself in emphatic agreement with Prof. Thornton regarding the extreme
misguided idealism of Mr. Johnson. But I, just as emphatically, will
stand against any attempt to throw him off the List.

More violence is not what is needed to solve the problems of the peoples of
Chiapas. It is an immature and idiotic notion. To infringe upon the
freedom of speech of any person is in itself an act of aggression and
should be avoided at all costs. Even though in this case it is easy to
understand why it has been suggested (but feelings do not justify action).

It has been attempted by others far more eloquent than I to engage RJ in a
reasoned discussion of some of the valid points he has brought up so I
will not try again (right now).

In response to Luca B., I, too, appreciate the news postings of RJ but his
tone and approach in other matters is unacceptable for adults. It is
unneccessary to condemn the entire field of anthropology for all the
wrongs perpetrated against native peoples. You also need to temper your
opinions with reason.

Patrick S. Miller