In reply to Joan Cameron

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Sat Sep 8 02:08:16 MDT 2001

Joan Cameron wrote (addressed to Jim Craven)

>>So you think I was lying when I said that I support the right of oppressed
peoples to self-determination? <<

No, you weren't lying. You just haven't got a clue what you're talking
about. The right to self-determination must include the political right to
separate or it is meaningless. Even if that right is never exercised, its
recognition is essential.

You say you are for self-determination ... but you limit it. That is not
self determination. You only go right up to the point where it starts to
seriously disrupt the Canadian state. The Canadian IMPERIALIST state. At
that point you turn around and tell the Native Peoples, "and who is going to
defend your borders? You have to stay in Canada, you have no right to your
own state because you're too little and too weak." That kind of statement,
coming from someone in the oppressor nation, addressed to the oppressed
nations, is an expression of chauvinism. And worse, it is a threat.

You claim not to be a racist, and I believe that you truly express your
sentiments and intentions. But we are all products of a given social
context, and of the pressures that puts on us, especially when we're not
conscious of all the ways that pressure gets exerted. So you write:

>>Coincidentally, it was just a few days ago that I was suggesting to
Macdonald Stainsby that you might have more in common with Louis Farrakhan
than you let on. Perhaps I was right. Your knee-jerk reaction to my remarks
on familly values indicated that you share his taste for patriarchal forms
of power, and now you've shown us your ethno-centric bigotry as well.<<

Please, do explain what you mean by holding Minister Farrkhan up as an
archetype. If were a gambler, I'd wager we'd simply hear a some variation of
the image the monopoly media has been pushing of this man. But let that

Please, think about and explain: why did minister Farrakhan came into your
mind, and not any number of other figures? Father Caughlin, Wojtyla, etc.
etc. etc. There is certainly no shortage of men of the cloth who have a
patriarchal taste for power and betray ethnocentric bigotry.

What could it be that creates in your mind the idea Farrakhan=Craven? What
do they have in common, that they do NOT have in common with any number of
quite thoroughly despicable and very well known religious figures. Just what
is it?

Then there's your identification of the beliefs of Native Peoples with class
society religions. You claim to oppose all religions, supposedly on the
basis of materialism, I guess. Yet your equation of these two very different
phenomena is a totally idealist one. You judge both sets of beliefs by some
truth standard you have, as abstract propositions, instead of viewing them
from the angle of their social role and political import.

I think this last point has great significance for the attitude of the
revolutionary movement, for very broad historical and moral reasons, and I
propose to take those up in a separate post.


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