Yoshie, Leona Freed and the Native Indian question

Richard Fidler rfidler at SPAMcyberus.ca
Mon Jan 8 09:14:52 MST 2001

Lou Proyect wrote to me:

>>Look, comrade, you can't have it both ways. When somebody took the
extraordinary measure to sent email that Jim wrote to this list to powerful
figures in the Canadian Indian community without Jim's permission, I had to ask
myself what in hell is going on. ...

He snitched. And you applauded his snitching.<<

He disseminated a public communication. I can understand Jim Craven's
embarrassment and anger. And I don't defend Alan Maki's judgment in doing this.
But, as Lou pointed out, submissions to email lists are public communications,
not private.

If any good has come out of this unfortunate episode, it may be that we all know
now that what we write on this list is public information and may well receive
further distribution. Perhaps if we all kept this rule in mind the level of
civility would rise.

Since Lou invokes Trotskyist traditions, I might add that once long ago, before
emails appeared, SWP leader Joe Hansen told me his rule of thumb on these
matters was, Never put anything in writing that you aren't prepared to see the
next day on the front page of the New York Times. Good advice.

Now that we've cleared the air on this matter, why don't we get back to the
substantive topic that was originally being discussed? For example, I'd like to
hear more from Roland Chrisjohn and Jim Craven on the issues raised by that NYT
piece on Leona Freed that Lou posted.

Richard Fidler

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