FW: The Debate Continues

Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Tue Dec 5 16:58:44 MST 2000

-----Original Message-----
From: Eugene Johnson [mailto:hewholaughsalot at yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 4:51 AM
To: Jim Craven,
Subject: Fwd: more shit from the columbian

Hey Jim,

This is a letter and responce from Koenninger to it.
This is a friend of Ian's.


ubj:     [Fwd: Re: To the editor]
Date:   12/4/00 1:02:04 PM EST
From:   clarity1 at hypersurf.com (Bruce Martin)

 If you were speaking of your ancestors would you
 sugar coat attrocities
 committed against them to be "pleasant" and
 "unoffensive" to the people
 whose ancestors may have acted in cruel genocidal
 ways to eliminate
 those who resisted Manifest Destiny? I wasn't
 there(at the meeting in
 question) but I know the truth is not always
 pleasant. It sometimes
 makes us look at our own hypocrises which is perhaps
 the source of all
 the "uncomfortable" emotions that Mr. Craven caused
 to arise in the
 hearts of those in power who eliminated his voice
 from the debate.
 Your point is taken. I am in Oakland but distance
 does not dilute my
 solidarity with those who speak from the heart about
 I did not have to be there to know silencing Jim
 Craven does not erase the truth.
 Bruce Martin

 -------- Original Message --------
 Subject: Re: To the editor
 Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2000 22:11:28 -0800
 From: Tom Koenninger <Tom.Koenninger at Columbian.com>
 To: clarity1 at hypersurf.com
> Mr. Martin: I do not take your note personally, but
> I do encourage you
> to become better informed of Mr. Craven's delivery
> style, and the
> audience he picked to hear the message. Both were
> inappropriate. I was
> there.--tom
> >>> Bruce Martin <clarity1 at hypersurf.com> 11/30
> 10:06 AM >>>
> Dear Tom
>  I am concerned that the recent controversy over Jim
> Craven's statements
> regarding the relationship of the Lewis and Clark
> expedition to the US
> government's policies of genocide against native
> peoples. The truth is
> he is right. The US has set the standard for
> elimination of indigenous
> people all over the world. The Rockefeller
> foundation used the spreading
> evangelistic conversion of South American natives to
> establish oil and
> rubber plantations in the 19th and 20th centuries.
> The Brazilian
> government has copied the 19th century methods(USA)
> of sending
> "settlers" into new "wilderness" to drive out and
> kill Indians.
>  Jim made the statements with passion because he has
> been called to
> speak the truth. I hope the Columbian can find the
> same integrity and
> not support another generation of feel-good
> ignorance which perpetrates
> the myths of the western movement of non-natives.
> Genocide is the proper
> term for the actions of the US government related to
> indigenous people.
> Do not persecute a man for speaking the truth even
> if you do not want to
> hear.
> Bruce Martin
> Oakland CA
> 510-434-0869
> Former resident of Clark County.

Eugene Johnson
(He Who Laughs A Lot)

Copyright ©2000 Eugene D. Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission is
granted to redistribute this message, with this proviso attached. Written
permission of the author is required to distribute this message through any
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Response to Koenninger:

First of all, a la Joe McCarthy and Franz Kafka, Mr. Koenninger makes a hint
at or implied pejorative comment about my "delivery style" at meetings and
the audience to which my comments were made--as inappropriate--yet to date
has never said what exactly would be "appropriate" or what exactly was
"inappropriate". At the two meetings at which we were in attendance, he said
nothing about my style of delivery, or the audience for my delivery being
inappropriate; indeed in our initial exchanges on the phone and on e-mail he
gave no such indication of an opinion of my style or audience being
"inappropriate." It was only after my response to his question--"You aren't
going to the media are you?"--in the affirmative that all of a sudden his
"take" on my style changed to ratifying the opinions of his patron the
mayor. I will publish our email exchange for the readers to judge for

Secondly, Mr. Koenninger notes to Mr. Martin that as Mr. Martin was not at
the meetings and he was, his opinion and take on what transpired vis-a-vis
my delivery style and appropriateness of the audience has more authority
simply by virtue of having been at those meetings. When it comes to
subjective assessments of "style" and "appropriateness" of the audience,
having been present at a given meeting is a necessary but hardly sufficient
condition for authority of any subjective assessments--this is elementary
logic. For example, Mr. Koenninger was not present at my meeting with the
mayor, yet he has no problem in summarily asserting agreement with the
rendition of the mayor as to what took place; not being present at that
meeting was no problem for Mr. Koenninger in forming his own conclusions.
Further, in his editorial, Mr. Koenninger finally admitted that the
caricature--and charge--by Mr. Heywood, about what transpired at a meeting
at which Mr. Heywood was not in attendance, was not true and that I: "did
not thump the table or snarl at the Ridgefield meeting as our November 11
editorial said...". then he proceeds to try to cover-up or spin this
fundamental unfairness and false charge, with no apology for having allowed
false charges he knew to be untrue to be printed, with calling those false
charges "an attempt to symbolically represent his [my] style that day." Mr.
Koenninger further, and finally, of course never to my face at the meeting
or even much later, claims that: "Craven's intensity came across to me as
aggressive, intimidating and harassing." Well what kind of man is Mr.
Koenninger, what kind of guts does he have and notions of basic fairness
does he have that he supposedly witnesses what he considers to be
"aggressive, intimidating and harassing" intensity and says nothing until
much much later?

Notice still no sensitivity or challenge to the core content of what I said
in those meetings by Mr. Koenninger. No sensitivity to the possibility that
my alleged intensity comes from what I have witnessed and experienced in
Indian Country along with the fact of continual Holocaust denial/cover-up
when it comes to U.S. history and American Indians.  I suspect he can only
beat the drum and mantra of "inappropriate style and audience", because
style is invariably trumpeted  over/in lieu of substance by those lacking
substance and content. For example, Mr. Koenninger's Disneyesque rendition
of the Pilgrims reflects his own substantial ignorance of basic U.S.
History: "Through learning and mutual respect, the bicentennial can refresh
this spirit of Lewis and Clark--and the first Pilgrim Thanksgiving with
Native Americans."

Myth/Lie One: That there even was a "feast"; Myth/Outrageous Revisionism
Number Two: That there was any real learning or "mutual respect" between the
Pilgrims and Indians (Indians "learned" how to die in massive numbers while
the Pilgrims "learned" how to exterminate them in massive numbers); Myth/Lie
Number Three: That the "spirit" and intentions of Lewis and Clark and those
who dispatched them were any different in content and effects than the
genocidal "spirit" and "intentions" of the Pilgrims like Mather the Elder
(their leader) who said that [the Smallpox] was God's just retribution
against the Indians for quarreling over land." In fact, much of my "intense"
presentations consisted of simply reading some basic documents in U.S.
history to support the Blackfoot contention that Lewis and Clark were
front-men for a calculated strategy of forced assimilation and destruction
of Indian nations and that "commemoration" as opposed to "celebration" of
Lewis and Clark was a disingenuous and highly insulting--to the
victims--distinction without a difference. Mr. Koenninger, perhaps
unfamiliar with supported argumentation and elementary logic beyond
headlines and pithy quotes in closed-spaced articles filling-in around ample
advertising space, does not know how to marshal, support and make a detailed
argument or debate. Perhaps, like so many others in positions of power, he
has not had to debate anything as his position and power was sufficient to
close any attempted debate. Whatever.

What this whole exchange between Mr. Koenninger, the Mayor and me reveals is
that those in power, with big titles and big offices, when confronted with
debate, evidence and reasoning challenging their summary assertions, have
little of substance to show or offer beyond their big titles and offices.
They avoid debates and contacts that would expose their own ignorance and
mediocrity as these limited "debates" have indeed exposed the basic
ignorance of U.S. history and on elementary logic so evident by the Mayor
and Mr. Koenninger. Indeed this is quite common in America where the focus
is on style over substance, assertion over evidence, networking/toadying
over principled alliances, etc such that we can wind up with all sorts of
individuals who cannot pass muster when examined carefully.

But there is much much more at stake than some personality disagreements
between Mr. Koenninger, the mayor and me. In Aboriginal Law there are five
fundamental mandates: 1) Truth; 2) Justice; 3) Healing; 4) Reconciliation;
5) Prevention of Future Abuses. There is also  logic in the order of these
mandates: to Prevent Future Abuses, fundamental Reconciliation between
present and possible future adversaries is necessary; any kind of
"Reconciliation" depends upon some prior "Healing" and not the "just get
over it" kind of "reconciliation"; real Healing cannot take place without
"Justice"; and real Justice cannot be achieved without the full "Truth"
being exposed. The likes of the mayor and Mr. Koenninger, integral parts of
a system of white privilege built on the bones and blood of exploited
peoples, including Indians, want the exploited to just sit down and
"reconcile"--get over it; they care nothing about real prior healing,
justice, and truth before any reconciliation. They have their petty powers
and interests--and myths, illusions and lies--and they mean to keep them.
They cannot debate due to their basic ignorance and lack of intellectual
substance, they will not debate as they might call into question their own
sacred myths, institutions and power structures. So they just focus on
"style" over substance and content.

I am reminded of a quote by Upton Sinclair that seems appropriate to provoke
thought: "Journalism in America is the business and practice of presenting
the news of the day in the interest of economic privilege."

But the good news is we will not go away, we will marshal and support our
arguments, we will debate even if unanswered or answered with lack of
evidence, reasoning, content and substance. We will not go or die quietly.
And by the conditions that have existed and do exist in Indian Country, and
by the naked lies and myths of the Eurocentric versions of history, certain
realities and documentable truths cry out and indict: Liars, Cowards,
Posturing and Pompous Fools, Hypocrites, Holocaust Deniers, Racists and
Pimps of Privilege.

Jim Craven

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