Re: Prop. 187 discussions

Marcial Godoy (mg110@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Wed, 23 Nov 1994 17:41:43 -0500

Although I understand your concern for maintaining the "scholarly"
character of this list, I am very curious as to why you have designated
yourself as the list cop, who will police the boundaries and protect this
scholarly community from those crazy activists and agitators. It seems
that unless there is a founding charter or some other document which
clearly outlines the boundaries of acceptable postings, it is pretty much
understood that what is acceptable is continually defined by those
participating. However, what is "unscholarly" and completely
inappropriate for this list are vicious personal attacks, such as your
posting in response to Mr. Fox. Perhaps we can discuss if such political
postings are appropriate, but your
tactics, I believe, are unanimously frowned upon and their use on this
list is certainly not up for debate. Marcial Godoy.
On Wed, 23 Nov 1994, Lief M. Hendric

> Ref: My posting related to California's Prop. 187
> 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
> sympathy.