Re: Carleton Coon

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Mon, 27 Nov 1995 11:47:40 -0500

Mike, I never know just how to react to these very elegant and heartfelt
personal statements, except that I feel graced to have them shared with me.
My background isn't all that dissimilar, except that I missed Korean War
through physical disability. My roots are Quaker too, except that I
don't practice it. I was in fact proud to have learned that my great
grandfather, a Quaker, served in the Union Army, and was seriously
wounded in one of the Mississippi campaigns. The family hid that one from
me, and I discovered it doing genealogical research. I feel more like
some of
your Mexican friends, that at times it is necessary to kill, and I must
admit to many impure thoughts every time I pick up the paper and read
about Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, and on and on.
We all vary in our responses to the events surrounding us, and my
point of departure is to start with myself and ask, as honestly as I can,
where am I coming from on such and such an issue? My own view is that
almost everyone has a streak of xenophobia, racism, bigotry, or whatever
in them, and some of us fight more heartily than others to submerge and
control it. But I think the initial realization is an extremely important
starting point if we, as a species, are to ever overcome these
tendencies, which while amenable to cultural conditioning are still
generated and still are expressed through some amalagm of bioloigcal and
cultural processes.
What bothers me is the thought policing and the too-ready propensity to
use sterotypical labels.
All best, Ralph Holloway