Prop. 187 discussions

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Wed, 23 Nov 1994 12:33:54 PST

Some of the responses to my yesterday's posting were simply
belligerent expressions which I confess was an element in my
posting and shouldn't have been. I guess I wonder why some
anthropologists (I'm tempted to say "waste" but let's tone this
down!) spend their time getting involved with emotional letters
with questionable relevance to specific conditions. To use an
example, we can't tie in historical crises to every social issue
and expect to have credibility. (Please, this is not an attack
on historians and I know we need to learn from the past, etc.)

I do not embrace California's Prop. 187. I stated "I'm not
celebrating Prop. 187". What I'm concerned with is that many
people are rapidly ignoring factual information. It doesn't help
to see scholars advocating a boycott of California. There is a
certain mentality that would welcome it. Ever seen the bumper
stickers that say "Welcome to California, no go home"? (Yes, I'm
in California. No, my car does not have that bumper sticker).
In many people's minds, California already has too many people,
and the "threat" of an anthropologist's boycott certainly
wouldn't have any impact on voters here other than serve as a
source of humor.

Regarding criticism of politics related to anthropology, I'm not
against exchanging political viewpoints. I objected to the
inflammatory soliciting of political activism in a scholarly
forum. I would hope for more emphasis on other topics here. If
my posting was a bit long, then maybe the political solicitation
was also too long. Perhaps a simple short statement like, "if
you want to join me in making a political statement on the
(whatever issue), then please contact me directly" would have
sufficed. Having said that, it would be interesting to read
material about what's happening in California- at a more
objective level.

Thanks for the helpful comments on this issue which were sent to
me directly. Thanks also for the valid opinions expressed on the
forum that help us all (me included) put this issue into
perspective; and the venting- both on and off the forum- oh well,
at least it shows where you're coming from- and you have my