Fieldwork today or cultural theft ? (part 5)

Neil Alasdair McEwan ap435 at
Fri Feb 7 20:06:38 UTC 1997

On Fri, 7 Feb 1997, Diego Quesada wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Feb 1997, Michael Everson wrote:
> > >It has nothing to do with skin-color, rather, it is birthright.
> >
> > Birthright. "A right of possession or privilege on has from birth, esp. as
> > the eldest son." (Concise Oxford Dictionary)
>   There you go! Eurocentricity at its best. Why don't you ask Peter
> what their definition of birthright is? It may not be on paper in a Maori
> Concise Dictionary but sure it's somewhere in their historic memory.

So it's OK to be ethnocentric if you're not European, but if you
*are* European it's bigoted and immoral?  This sounds like a mere childish
inversion of an old double-standard, and not a "progressive" view at all.

> > Birthright. Birthright? Rights because of where and what and to whom you
> > were born? Rights denied others because of where and what and to whom they
> > were born? "Speaking for Maori" is not the same thing as "speaking about
> > Maori", I suppose.
>   What's wrong with that? Didn't George Bush outrage Panama because
> apparently a US person was "harassed" there?

     Yes, and you and most of the people on this list condemned it.  So
     again: if you are drawing parallels between your views and those of
     Bush, doesn't that reflect badly on your views?

     > > But I don't know if such rights are inherent. I think your statement
         is not
	 > > quite in synch with, at least, the freedoms specified in the
	 > > Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
	 >   Neither is the practice of certain leaders of the so-called
	 > democracies, to impose their views on others: blockade on Cuba
         (sin: a
	 > wish for sovereingty), coup in Chile (sin: a democratically elected
	 > president), invasion of Panama (sin: make sure that the Canal
         Agreement is
	 > respected), the list is endless.

	      How was apartheid-era South Africa's "wish for sovereignty" and
	      freedom from outside interference any different from that of
	      Cuba's?  More importantly, is any of this relevant to the
	      subject of
	      endangered languages?

	      le durachdan,

	      Neil A. McEwan

	      > Diego
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