June 18, 2008

Response to Medved's column

Here's a response I posted to Michael Medved's column First Americans, First Ecologists? You can find it amid the comments of the anti-Indian conservatives who agree with Medved:Medved's article is a pathetic rehash of tired old news and one-sided speculation masquerading as science.

Everyone in Indian country knows about Iron Eyes Cody and the phony Chief Seattle speech. No one has touted them since the 1970s.

Controlled burns are a valid ecological tool, as our Forest Service is beginning to understand.

The buffalo runs sound dramatic, but they had nothing to do with the near-extinction of the species.

Critics have lambasted Shepard Krech's book The Ecological Indian. See Dennis Prager and The Ecological Indian for one example.

Scientists have developed several "megafauna extinction" theories more plausible than Paul Martin's.

Relying on prejudiced white priests to document "devilish" Indian cultures is flatly ridiculous.

"Local" extinction isn't the same as extinction. Only non-Indians have eradicated entire species permanently.

Comment:  My response is only the tip of the iceberg. One could write a book on each of the points Medved raises.

Like Krech, Medved has taken a few inflammatory cases out of context and pretended they're the whole of the subject. He's ignored the wealth of evidence about what Indians practice and believe.

In my Prager posting, I go into the arguments in more detail. That's a good place to start if you want more discussion.

Medved seems to making a mini-career of Indian-bashing. Recall that he claimed Indians didn't experience genocide here:

Medved:  Reject the lie of white "genocide" against Natives

That column made him the September 2007 Stereotype of the Month loser. This column may earn him a similar award in June.

For more on the subject, see Ecological Indian Talk.

No comments: