March 20, 2013

Oregon professor shoves Native student

Professor Caught on Video Shoving Student, Arrested

By Simon Moya-SmithA confrontation between University of Oregon adjunct law professor James Olmsted and student activists ended Thursday with Olmsted’s arrest and subsequent removal from the campus, said Julie Brown, director of media relations.

Several students videotaped Olmsted of Eugene, Oregon, as he shoved one student and aggressively took a cell phone from another.

The incident occurred at the Erb Memorial Union, near 13th Avenue and University Street, as members of the group Students Against Imperialism held a political performance by setting up a mock border checkpoint.

After inquiring about the purpose of the performance, Olmsted grew irate and began harassing students.

“Indians keep slaves too. Look at your sophisticated indigenous people—Mayans, Toltecs, Incans—they all kept slaves. They all fucking tortured and sacrificed institutionally... If you want this country back start a fucking war and take it back... Instead of just being pussies and talking, do something," Olmsted said to the students. "To make something happen you need lots of people that are doing action... like when Native Americans took over Alcatraz—very, very brave. This is nice but it's very small."
Comment:  Great arguments, professor. Let's deconstruct them:

1) Olmsted's first argument is equivalent to: "Some Indians 3,000 miles away and 500 years ago did something bad. Therefore, something's wrong with you on this 21st-century Oregon campus."

"Similarly," Olmsted might've continued, "Catholic priests tortured people in Europe during the Inquisition. Therefore, something's wrong with me too. Because guilt by association is how I process things."

2) Olmsted's second argument is equivalent to: "Natives peacefully occupied Alcatraz and negotiated with government officials, so you should do the opposite and start a war. The Aztecs and Inca were decimated when they tried to fight the Spanish, but your war against the much more powerful US government should be more successful."

In other words, Olmsted is babbling nonsense. I guess his point was that the Natives students need to do more. If so, he phrased it rather poorly.

For more on immigration, see Native Lawmaker Thinks Kobach Is Illegal and Native Tells Protesters They're Illegal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the risk of Godwin, isn't blaming Indians from north of the Rio Grande for Aztec slavery the same as blaming the UK for the Holocaust?