From Quillette- ‘Postmodern Creationism In Academia: Why Evergreen Matters‘
‘One of the most urgent challenges, today, is that of correcting the double standard in education that discriminates against Native American students, in effect, maintaining a lower standard for Native American students. While it would be truly exceptional and aberrant to find the science curriculum of a typical high school or university contaminated by creationist versions of human origin, the same cannot be said today for schools on Indian reservations and programs in American Indian Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Multicultural Education.’
‘The Noble Savage,’ by definition, is a figure shrouded in sentiment. The idealized native bi-pedals through a diorama of Romanticized Nature, living off the land, performing his rituals while in possession of a profound and ancient wisdom. Perhaps, at least, we should study him, copying his mysterious ways, living alongside him in a journey of discovery.
I’d say there’s definitely a well of modern primitivism within Western thought: The search for shared spiritual and/or ideological goals, a primitive freedom of one’s own along with moral absolution (lessening the guilt and shame). For many in the West, ‘going native’ has all the appeal of an escape hatch.
Actual natives, too, can remain something less than individuals for many ideologues and true-believers. Being asked to join a separate and not yet (E)qual identity group, fighting in fierce competition over scarce political resources in the bosom of empathy, might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
That Columbus, what a bad guy! Am I right?
Perhaps neither is simply becoming another of God’s children carted-off to an Indian School.
For some Westerners, understanding involves using the tools of (S)cience and the expansion of knowledge within Western taxonomy. Mathematics, observation, developed problem-solving techniques, the historical record, evolutionary theory and the Western fields of archaeology and anthropology all play a part.
For others in the American West, especially, I’m guessing it’s also about practicality: Genuinely living in closer quarters with tribes and having to the negotiate different languages, conceptions of ownership, scarce resources and whatever challenges and shared traditions have arisen over the years.
Maybe it’s as simple as going to the casino Friday Night to play bingo and blowing $100 on drinks and tickets for the Blue Oyster Cult, if that’s your thing.
Laws and free-markets matter, too.
Various and assorted links:
Painting lush Romantic visual tapestries and synthesizing Irish music can create something of global appeal…and that’s something, right?:
Maybe we should just stop with the museums, at least for a few years. Maybe I’m wrong.
Not really science-Running After Antelope from This American Life. The latest theory/fad meets some guy with probably too much time on his hands.
Please just stop, NPR-At Bug-Eating Festival, Kids Crunch Down On The Food Of The Future! Those kids probably belong to everyone, and so do the bugs. So does the Future!
Related On This Site: Repost-Roger Sandall At The American Interest: ‘Tribal Realism’…
Romantic primitivism in Australia: ….Roger Sandall At The New Criterion Via The A & L Daily: ‘Aboriginal Sin’
Did Jared Diamond get attacked for not being romantic enough…or just for potential hubris?: Was he acting as a journalist in Papua New-Guinea?: From The Chronicle Of Higher Education: Jared Diamond’s Lawsuit…