Mudcat Café message #1409265 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78407   Message #1409265
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
14-Feb-05 - 10:02 AM
Thread Name: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
Subject: RE: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
Teresa, these issues aren't only not separate, they're annealed in a way that may not seem clear unless you've been in those trenches. The position that they should be separate is understood by many, but still, this flawed part of the argument is always going to rear it's ugly head, even if intellectually it doesn't seem to fit.

Who may speak for Indians?

Who is an Indian?

How much is culture versus genetics?

If you're Indian but don't have any knowledge of your culture, are you more entitled to speak for Indians as a whole than say, mixedbloods or non-Indians who have lived on reservations or comingled in such a way as to know what they're talking about?

May anyone speak for all Indians?

What cards are played in a way to always attempt to trump any other card played? "You're not a real Indian" is one of the biggies.

Ward Churchill may come across to many as an angry, in-your-face activist, and what he says may offend Indians and non-Indians (but not all Indians and non-Indians) but you must understand that he speaks from the position of a colonized person. In many colonial countries, the colonizers left after a while (see Africa, SE Asia, etc.) Here, they stayed. It makes a difference in how the indigenous people speak to themselves and the rest of the world because of this. Churchill speaks for those Indians who feel they've been set up all over again.

I have to go to work. At a University. Where tenured faculty are supposed to have free speech just like everyone else, and because they're tenured, in theory, they've done some thinking about what it is they're saying.