Re: PC natives and environmental change

Cliff Sloane (cesloane@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Sun, 14 May 1995 09:11:03 -0500

I want to second Rich Wilk's comments on the uses and abuses that
ideologues can make of scholarship.

This is a question that comes up for me whenever the subject is
multicltralism. I am appalled by the simplemindedness of many of
multicltralism's advocates (I think the letter u stops working on this
funky keyboard at U Chicago!). I have met dozens of people who genuinely
believe that there are 5 cultures in the US (European, Asian, Hispanic,
Native and African American).

While this is genuinely distrbing, it is far less so, and far preferable,
to uunbridled white racism. The political climate I see around me often
leaves little or no middle ground.

What are the consequences to our society if people believe in the "native
ecologist" myth? The worst is a tad of white guilt. The benefits are
political positions we can all support, at least to some extent. On the
other hand, what are the consequences to the society of people in power
accepting our "debuunking"? As Rich Wilk suggests, we offer comfort to
those whose politics we find egregious.

Cliff Sloane