Lois McMaster Bujold, A PARAPHRASE:"Stop picking on the white woman's fiction and actually DO something for the 2 million strong, not at all disappeared Native Americans. Here, look at these charities I found and JUST contributed to, PROVING that I really care about the important issues."
1. Sometimes a paraphrase will save you clicking a link that'll raise your blood pressure.
2. Warning: The spoiler coded c/p includes phrases like 'Due Process' and 'Evidence' when it comes to judging the words/actions of a white author. Apparently all the theory and citation laid down in the Tor comment thread is not evidence enough. Also the c/p includes the thought 'Only NDN's should be complaining.' And the phrase 'I asked my friend...'
3. Is there a slick ass salesman out there telling all these white authors 'just the right words to say' and happily omitting the fact that it makes them sound like white privileged, progressives as a comforting label, twits? Oh wait, that salesman is the institutional racism embedded in society, always there with them from cradle to grave.
OK, I’ve gone away and thought about this for a few days. Let’s try again. (Also resolved: do not make blog posts after midnight, or after consuming a sleeping pill that isn’t working.)
I have no argument with the larger issues of cultural/racial erasures and historical crimes in the real world; these are real and harrowing (and universal, the more you know about everywhere. _Carthago delenda est_ and all that. But 20,000 wrongs don’t make a right, merely a trend.) Ditto on-going local oppressions; despite the fact that Native Americans are over two million strong, voting citizens, fellow exiles in the 21st century, and many are educated, articulate, and perfectly able to speak for themselves (most of the major tribes have websites now, a thought both hopeful and boggling) poverty and discrimination do still fall disproportionately upon many others. Back to this in a moment.
I still have a profound problem with any argument that leaps from hearsay to condemnation without any intervening stop at “evidence”. It doesn’t matter *what* the subject is, the *form* is wrong, even if the conclusion after examining the evidence bears out the initial belief. And it’s just as wrong in a court of public discourse as it would be in a court of law. Worse, someone making this leap throws every other assertion they may make into doubt -- were they all arrived at as casually and cheaply? Don’t do this, people, and don’t let others get away with it, either -- because someday, your own life or happiness may depend upon just such due process.
But I also believe that a person who holds admirable opinions, yet does nothing, is scarcely distinguishable from a person who holds execrable opinions, and does nothing. Virtual virtue doesn’t count. Talk is cheap (especially on the Internet.) As Stephen Leacock swears he heard two Scottish Calvinists arguing on a train, on whether damnation is achieved through good works or grace alone, I’m on the good works side, myself.
The past is beyond anyone’s reach, and history is fractal -- one sperm over, and we would all have been our siblings, and our own self-centered universes would never have sprung into being at all -- so what can an ordinary person do right-here-right-now about any given hurt in the world? The two standard answers are money and time -- well, and blood, but I don’t direct where that goes. And “start anywhere” is usually pretty good advice, when one is spoiled for choice.
So I asked my friend who knows about such things, and she supplied these, her favorites -- more could perhaps be added:
“Oglala Lakota College -- www.olc.edu (They always need contributions to help students pay their loans, without which they can't graduate.)
Lakota Funds (making mini loans for economic development and training people to run their own businesses) http://www.lakotafunds.org/
Soaring Eagle -- not Lakota, but Cheyenne is a neighboring tribe; this is a residential home for elderly Cheyenne started by their long-term priest, Father Emmett Hoffmann, to help elderly folks who needed care (and keep them from being sent off to Denver, away from family and anyone who spoke their language): www.soaringeagle.org/
Also, Running Strong for American Indian Youth -- not limited to Lakota, but does do neat things there -- organic gardens, etc.”
Didn’t take me long to choose, as I’m always for education -- which reminds me that I need to contribute to the engineering scholarship fund in my Dad’s name back at OSU -- but to make it extra easy --
It’s as much of a snap as Amazon.com, I found.
And you may at least congratulate yourselves for tipping me over from “I really ought to do that one of these days,” to “There! Done!”
Full disclosure: It was I who invited Pat over, a few years back, to watch a fascinating BBC documentary DVD titled “Walking with Prehistoric Beasts”, which started the cascade of interests that resulted in the book you aren’t reading. So, while the first rule for avoiding Internet insanity is still “do not feed the energy monster”, I really cannot tiptoe away from this. Even though it would be *infinitely* smarter to do so.
Ta, L. (Don’t say I never revise…)
ETA: In other news, W.S.'s racism has begun to distort his concept of reality even more virulently, showing more obvious outward signs of mental instability. I advise all to continue to avoid. Getting into arguments with those who cannot deal with reality as it is, that is those who do not wish to get better, is fruitless and wearying and depressing.