Widgets Magazine


Provosts and purple prose: Critiquing ‘dialogue’

It’s hard to deny that Stanford has seen more activism on campus this year than in years past, prompted in part by the flood of major national and international events that have taken place over the past few months. In particular, Stanford students have engaged with the Black Lives Matter movementdivestment from companies complicit in the occupation of Palestine and numerous other issues that have led to increasing divides in the student body.

Provost John Etchemendy, for one, is “increasingly distressed” by these divides, claiming that Stanford students have “lost the ability to engage in true dialogue.” In a statement made during the April 16th Faculty Senate Meeting, the provost mentioned “Israel and Palestine, sexual assault and due process, investment in fossil fuels, marriage and gay rights, black lives [and] increasing disparities in wealth” as being issues that somehow prove that we Stanford students can no longer hold a civil conversation.

Many of these issues on campus are supported by a body of student activism, with student backgrounds often intersecting across identities and communities across campus. These activist communities, especially this year, have been under attack from writers published in The Daily, The Stanford Review and other news and media sources on and off campus. Yik Yak, the anonymous social media app, is rife with anti-activist sentiment from other Stanford students. The rhetoric of “dialogue,” then, seems curiously sanitized of all mention of activism at all.

When Etchemendy and others call for dialogue, their words bring to mind a conversation, a discussion, a sharing of ideas. More specifically, however, dialogue is often used to refer to a sharing of opinions, with the intent to arrive at an agreeable conclusion. A “successful” dialogue is one in which interacting persons leave feeling satisfied with the conclusion. Perhaps this is why activists are told that we fail at dialogue: Our struggles are not opinions; our conclusions are not meant to be “satisfying” for all parties.

The reality of the situation is that racism still exists. That sexism, transmisogyny, classism, ableism and other forms of oppression exist and thrive, and intersect in conflicting ways. Another reality of the situation is that for an alarming portion of the Stanford community, any word that ends in “-ism” is instantly viewed as a cue to look the other way. It is precisely the delusion that this campus is somehow the eye of the storm, somehow immune to the issues that affect the world outside the bubble, that fuels current hostility on campus — when activists bring up these issues, they bring up the uncomfortable realities of our society.

I am tired of people on campus granting legitimacy to bigotry by calling it an “opinion.”Only a century or two ago, black emancipation was an “opinion.” So was desegregation, women’s suffrage, anti-discrimination laws, the federal minimum wage and too many other reforms to name. All of these were fought for by generations of activists against strong opposition that accused them of dissent, divisiveness and inability to engage in dialogue. Sound familiar? Today, those activists of the past – the Rosa Parks, MLKs, Cesar Chavezs, Harvey Milks and Sylvia Riveras in our history – are given lip service in the same breath that insults today’s activism.

To be clear, I am not arguing that all students unanimously support the activists in their lives: critical opinions are always welcomed. But there is a problem on campus, and it isn’t “dialogue.” Marginalized communities have held teach-ins, educational events and workshops for the general community over the course of this year and for years and years past. Professors with a wealth of knowledge have office hours. Speakers regularly come to campus to speak on a variety of relevant issues.

I am tired of people accusing us of being unwilling to “engage in dialogue.” I am tired of the same people who ignore those emails in their inbox and invites on Facebook for events accusing our communities of being unwilling to “engage in dialogue.” How are we supposed to feel when every other day we must defend ourselves against ignorance, only to see empty rooms when we hold educational meetings? How are we supposed to feel when those who do not want to learn accuse us of refusing to teach them?

We have become used to the idea that no matter how many emails we send people in power, they will not listen. And yet, they are quick to make statements when their reputations are on the line. They are suddenly quick to invite students to “have a conversation,” knowing that the public eye is now on them. And once that dialogue begins, it tends to be left out on the shelf until it spoils, like the sexual assault activism that was ignored for nearly 15 years without a resolution.

Dialogue already exists on this campus. Resources are already available for those who want to learn. What this campus needs more of is not dialogue, but action. Not silence, but justice.

Contact Lily Zheng at lilyz8 ‘at’ stanford.edu. 

About Lily Zheng

Lily Zheng '17, is a weekly columnist for The Stanford Daily, a Social Psychology major and co-president of the student group Kardinal Kink. Her weekly column revolves around consent culture, queer and trans identity, social justice and activism. In her spare time, she enjoys wearing too much black clothing, accidentally sleeping in her makeup and spending quality time with her partners. Contact her at lilyz8 'at' stanford.edu – she loves messages!
  • Bi@Stanford

    Thank you for this thoughtful piece Lily. While I disagree with the tone of the leaked emails from the activists, it was hard for me to come with how I feel about the message themselves. I believe your piece brings up a good point. It is understandable to be skeptical of dialogue to bring any change, especially when one end of the conversation doesn’t need change – the status quo works well for them.

    I know as a member of the LGBTQ community on campus that several events have been held around the expression of sexuality, gender identity, etc., but many seem to be the same club members meeting again with rarely an outside face. There are plenty of opportunities to be educated on this campus, and any action or justice can’t occur if the general public isn’t even aware of the basic facts. I would comment that apathy is a major problem on campus. If more was done about the attitude of apathy on campus, one which focuses on the ‘happy bubble’ and not becoming the leaders we can be, then no change can occur without one side (the activist side) being louder.

  • Student

    I think what Provost Etchemendy was referring to was just what happened to one of my friends on Facebook (who happens to be one of the more socially liberal people I know), in which he expressed a dissenting opinion on the whole Manny Thompson story and got called completely ignorant, “systematically violent”, a believer that black people are “sub human”, and his post was called “complete, misinformed bullshit.” Dialogue is a two-way street, and while the Stanford community at large could better serve themselves by going to some of these events and educating themselves, it is precisely these sorts of incidents that make people feel like their presence is not welcome at these sorts of events. I know that I, as a white, straight, cis, etc. male, feel extremely fearful in voicing my opinions (about divestment, to which I am extremely opposed, for example) in case something happens like what happens to my friend, and my opinion is discredited based on my ethnicity/sex/gender/sexual orientation/etc. That’s where Etch’s statement that “dialogue is not monologue times two” comes in. You don’t get to voice your own opinion and then shout down other opinions as wrong simply because it conflicts with your worldview, since it is precisely that (on both sides) that has led to the situation we are now in. Both sides are at fault here; there needs to be more of a confluence towards the center, through updating your worldview with that of others, rather than the intractable polarization we see now.

  • Andrew Vasquez

    While I have no idea what your Facebook friend wrote, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that it was actually complete, misinformed bullshit. And I am sorry that you feel that your identity prevents you from freely expressing your opinions, but I would encourage you to still speak. There are many people (including me) who would be glad to converse, just don’t expect everyone to engage in respectability politics. And go to the events. If you are worried about being the only non-minority (which is unlikely), bring friends! I hope that you are not more afraid of finding out that some of your opinions are wrong than receiving some ad hominem attacks.

  • Brian

    I think much of your friend’s problem and your worry about being discredited is highly dependent on the nature of your opinion and how you present it. There are some arguments and opinions that should rightfully be torn down and not tolerated—those that are openly bigoted, racist, sexist, etc. If you aren’t 100% sure your message isn’t those things, it’s your responsibility to be careful how you say it (assuming you aren’t intending to hurt someone) and to accept a backlash. Acknowledge that being the recipient of a bigoted statement is more hurtful than being called a bigot. As a white/cis/male who has attending a number of activist events, I’ve found them to be very open and tolerant spaces. Ground rules for discussion are almost always the starting point, in which everyone agrees to assume the best intentions of the speaker, etc.

  • Student

    My friend criticized Thompson for furiously insulting the provost, refusing to meet with him, and then forwarding what was supposed to be a private email out to multiple mailing lists and thousands of students. His post also expressed understanding that some people feel disrespected and angry, and that he agrees that some change needs to happen. He did not disagree with the message, just the manner in which that message was disseminated. If expressing what appears to be a legitimate, constructive criticism (which also happens to be an exceedingly popular view on campus) gets you ad hominem attacks, we once again go back to monologue times two.

    Also, I’m genuinely curious: what is respectability politics? I heard that word for the first time a couple days ago and now, I can’t stop seeing it. What is it? That’s an honest question.

  • Alemar Brito

    Here is a great source for those who want to learn more or share with others. It contains dozens of useful articles and examples: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/62640967706/dear-can-you-help-me-a-bit-im-trying-to-find

  • Student

    From what I understand for this link, the issue with respectability politics is that historically, Whites have focused on the way the message was phrased living up to “White” standards, rather than the message itself, perpetuating a double standard against Blacks to prove that they deserve to express their message rather than that being the default, like it is for Whites. Is that accurate? At the same time, however, it appears in this case that Etch genuinely wanted to talk to and understand Thompson. How was Etch perpetuating respectability politics? How was my friend perpetuating respectability politics by constructively (and, I’m starting to think, rightfully) criticizing Thompson for pushing away someone who might be in a position to help his cause? I don’t think that these actions deserved the verbally-violent responses they got.

  • Lily Zheng

    There’s that children’s story, the Boy Who Cried Wolf — basically what happens is that, as a result of repeated falsehoods and malicious lies, when the actual threat happens, the villagers have no way of knowing that the boy is actually telling the truth. The moral of that story is that if you build yourself a reputation where no one trusts you, you shouldn’t be surprised when, in a situation where it matters, no one trusts you.

    The villagers in this case are marginalized communities; the boy is Etchemendy and friends.

    As an outside observer, if you didn’t see the entire story (how many times the boy lied), you might assume that the villagers were unnecessarily cruel in ignoring him at the end. In the same way, if you aren’t aware of the history in which “dialogue” has been used as bait to mislead marginalized communities, you might assume that our responses as marginalized communities are inappropriate or over the top.

  • Extreme Moderate

    I think almost all Stanford students would agree with your stances on the issues here. The problem is not your viewpoints, but rather your way of imposing them.

    This article is a perfect example: “A “successful” dialogue is one in which interacting persons leave feeling satisfied with the conclusion. Perhaps this is why activists are told that we fail at dialogue: Our struggles are not opinions; our conclusions are not meant to be “satisfying” for all parties.”

    Activists at this school define themselves as infallibly correct because of a position of moral superiority. This is what Etchemendy means by ‘extremism’. It has nothing to do with your viewpoints; it’s that you think others don’t have the right to disagree with you. There are plenty of reasonable, caring, intelligent people who know that racism, sexism, etc., exist but disagree with activists’ demands that censorship and coercion, or even policy at all, are appropriate ways to address these problems.

    Activists here often reach conclusions that are self-satisfying, but make absolutely no sense in a larger context. Then, as you illustrate, claim these conclusions are beyond the realm of debate on a purely ad hominem basis.

    Your description of the ‘dialogue’ that activists offer sounds like an act of contrition: you are welcome to attend a one-sided ‘education meeting’ and come over to our way of thinking.

    Well count me out. I’ll think for myself. Everyone on campus hears activists loud and clear. Like anyone, you make some excellent points and you make some terrible points. It’s your assumption that every conclusion you reach is fact that makes you the extreme party, and makes this monologue, not dialogue. And I will continue to oppose you until you get off your high horse and work for a conclusion that works for everyone, not just yourselves. You’re fighting the good fight and for this I applaud you, but the alienating tactics need to change.

  • Student

    Do you not see how this metaphor works the other way? How’s it’s hard for the larger community to take you seriously after so many people cry “racism” and “sexism” over totally inert conflicts with no basis in bigotry? Or when hot-topic sexual assault allegations are proven completely false after repeated claims that women never lie? Or even just in the larger context that, as not only Americans but Stanford students, you are all in the most privileged class ever to exist on this earth and yet you cry all day about being oppressed?

    You’re not wrong about any of these things. They’re all real. It’s the constant crying wolf about little incidents that makes no one take this things seriously. And it’s sad because they are serious issues.

  • Lily Zheng

    Can you show me some clear statistics to back up your claim that “racism” or “sexism” is asserted often in cases where it’s not present? It’s funny that you bring up that example of sexual assault, since despite the overwhelming statistics that show the rate of false reports are ridiculously low, people tend to fixate on the few that happen as if they somehow delegitimize sexual assault itself. Just because it’s snowing doesn’t mean there’s no global warming. The metaphor doesn’t go both ways; there isn’t a history of these false accusations of bigotry. There just isn’t.

  • Student

    Statistics on day-to-day speech patterns over the entire human population? Is that a joke? I could ask you the same thing: do you have statistics that it IS present? But I forgot, YOUR sweeping generalizations are automatically valid without evidence…

    But that is so not the point. I agree that it’s present, even pervasive. My point is that the ridiculous extremes of anecdotes that every Stanford student encounters from activists on campus make it difficult to take seriously the statistics that we both agree about. I remember being lectured for saying a film was a dark comedy because of the “micro-aggression” against dark-skinned people, even though that is completely etymologically unrelated.

    This is exactly the crying wolf I’m talking about. Blowing things up into huge scandals and national news stories that have no basis in reality makes it total cognitive dissonance when a real problem comes around. It cheapens a very serious issue. Delegitimize is a perfect word for what it does. It doesn’t make the claim any less true, it just detracts from people’s ability to see its legitimacy.

  • iii

    Dialogue led by activists is not dialogue, it is advocacy. All of the events lead by SOOP were biased and combative to other communities. They were promoting an agenda, not understanding. This is just one example among many of how activists on this campus are just slactivists. If you think youre making a tangible difference besides disrupting our community and promoting agendas masked as “dialogue” please tell me how?

  • Lily Zheng

    How many times have you yourself had conversations about the occupation of Palestine this year compared to last? The year before? How about conversations about race? Gender identity? Disability?

  • Original Student

    Well, serves me right for picking such a common name…I’m OP for this post, and the guy who has just been posting as student is not me (not to say I don’t agree with some of his points).

    As for the boy who cried wolf analogy, if we are the boy through no fault of our own, then what can we do? It’s a lose-lose situation. I’m criticized for not going to any of the events, so I go to an event put on by a minority-centric VSO and say what I honestly believe to be true, and then I would get attacked, as shown by my Facebook friend. It seems that the only solution for me here is to abdicate my opinions, my reasoning based on my worldview to other people, which I am not willing to do based on principle.

  • student

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a real conversation about any of these things on campus, only people yelling their opinions at one other. Even in a classroom context.

    The idea that a bunch of college students have solved incredibly complex and multi-faceted issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict, race, gender identity, or disability issues is laughable. The way they impose these opinions with absolute certainty is asinine.

    In what world is this considered dialogue? The behavior of these groups should be unacceptable in an academic setting

  • Alumna

    What this campus needs is a bit more critical thinking and looking at facts before being overwhelmed with emotions. I am talking specifically about the “activists” supporting the Palestinian cause. I always wonder how people supporting the Palestinians fail to mention the terror attacks that Hamas perpetuates. Luring three teenage boys into a car and murdering them only because they are Jewish does not seem to bother these “activists.” It seems that Jewish lives don’t matter to these people, but I suppose ignoring the Palestinian terror makes the picture a lot more simple, and the Palestinian supporters need the comfort of this simplicity. To simplify even further, the Palestinian lives and rights matter only when they are affected by Israel, but not when ISIS or Hamas savagely murder people without trial.

    The Palestinian supporters keep using the term “apartheid” even though there’s not a shred of evidence for it. No amount of facts will get through this lack of open-mindedness – mainly because there is not interest in dialogue whatsoever. It’s fashionable to support the supposed “underdog” and the easiest thing to do is ignore the facts and pretend to be an “activist” fighting for “justice.”

  • Ari Unreliablu

    You’ve appeared to confuse opinions with facts, and ran with that misunderstanding. For example: racism exists, transphobia exists, sexism and misogyny all exist. And they all exist systemically. These are facts, not opinions. Every year, people are discriminated against, harassed, subject to violence, criminal sex acts, and are even murdered, as a result of these systems of oppression. Again, facts.

    At least one goal of activism in these regards is to get people to disillusion themselves of the notion that their opinion is a fact. Another is to advocate that those disadvantaged and/or victimized by these systems be afforded the recognition as people with the right to exist. Because again, both of these are facts: 1) opinions are not facts; and 2) marginalized people have the right to exist.

    You’re also very concerned with the “way of imposing” these facts. If you are more concerned with the tone or attitude of a message, than with the message itself, it is highly unlikely you actually care about the issue and are simply grasping for straws, seeking some sort of justification for not caring about the livelihood, safety, and/or plight of other people. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, I implore you to look up “tone policing” and “respectability politics” – both are incredibly relevant to your post here, and are unhelpful for a multitude of reasons.

  • Ari Unreliablu

    This is the most status-quo-loving, ignorance-filled, hole-riddled post I’ve ever seen on one of Lily’s articles.

    Whoever you are, I am so sorry to hear that you’ve confused peoples’ activism – for the right to exist, be recognized, be respected, and NOT be murdered – with some sort of “agenda.” There is no nefarious “agenda” beyond people wanting to exist and not be subjected to vitriol and potentially life-ending bigotry.

    The activism is not “slacktivism” any more than asking a question in a classroom is laziness. You cannot solve a problem without first acknowledging it. Silence solves nothing.

  • Ari Unreliablu

    I’m starting to catch whiffs of “oppression Olympics” in your post, Student. You’re not trying to imply that only “real problems” qualify as “serious issues” are you?
    What are the requirements for a “real problem,” exactly? How many members, or what percent, of the socially benefiting group need to affirm the problem for it to be “real”?
    Just how many people have to be hurt? In what capacity? (physically? emotionally? socially? financially?)
    To what end? (mortality? hospitalization? incarceration? institutionalization? hurt feelings?)
    At what point is something not “real” enough? Where is the threshold that separates the “serious” issues from the rest?

    Why do you feel the need that bigotry must be qualified and pass some trivial standard to deserve criticism, attention, and activism? Do you believe people can only invest in a few choice topics, and then they run out of compassion coins or something?

  • anonymousStudent

    You’re doing exactly what the previous comment mentions. You’re considering yourself infallibly correct and therefore your opinions (and over-simplifications) are above scrutiny.

    If you think that the Israel-Palestine issue in particular can be boiled down to a single trite sentence like “marginalized people have the right to exist,” without capturing all of the complexity and horror of the situation on both sides, I’m very sorry, but you are not considering the issue in a satisfactory depth. As for the tone-policing; sorry. I guess I am. Everyone has a right to engage in discourse that isn’t civil, but expecting others not to be alienated by opinions expressed in such a way is pretty ridiculous.

  • googling does wonders

    I think the high profile redaction of the Rolling Stone piece about the gang rape at UVA would count as one of the many examples to which “Student” referred.

  • grab your pitchforks

    The Wikipedia page for false allegations of rape lists the statistic from the FBI as 8%. That’s 2/25. For me, this is not ‘ridiculously low.’

  • rab

    I get it. And I like Ms. Zheng’s approach. I know for a fact that the divestment movement is antisemitic. This is indisputable and there is enough information out there supporting my position so that I will no longer engage in dialogue with those who pretend they aren’t promoting antisemitism directly and, or, indirectly.

    Furthermore, as Ms. Zheng aptly notes, justice demands we take action and forbid this false-god of dialogue to misdirect us. Therefore, it is time for all of us to take action to force those who support divestment to abandon it or have them ostracized and driven off the quad. They should have zero influence on campus. Would anybody agree to having the KKK openly participating in student life, or worse, influencing student government? Of course not. Divestment is hatred of a minority dressed up in the sheep’s clothing of victimization. It must be exposed for what it is and removed from positions of influence. From here on out, on the basis of Ms. Zheng’s convincing essay, all of us must resolve to ignore these pro-divestment groups and remove them from influencing campus life. This is my call for action and justice.

    How’s that Ms. Zheng? Does that work for you?

  • Extreme Moderate

    This is exactly my point. You think people aren’t allowed to disagree with you. And to a point I would agree: I don’t want to entertain racism deniers or sexism deniers any more than Flat Earthers. I agree that these things are facts. But a rational mind always entertains skepticism, even if only to disprove it. This does not change something to an opinion anymore than creationism makes evolution an opinion.

    The problem is that you extend this absolution from criticism to your actions, many of which are ridiculous in an academic environment. Censorship is unacceptable. The KKK should be allowed to speak on campus (Westboro Baptist Church was allowed) exactly so that they may be criticized. But academically and rationally criticized, not silenced by authoritarianism. Yet, censorship and the “heckler’s veto” are mainstream among Stanford’s activists.

    It is not the facts that you impose. They exist without you there to claim moral absolution based on them. So promote your vision for the world. Let it compete and win against the racists and sexists—it will. But these activists don’t have a vision or a goal. They define and aggrandize themselves by opposing and hating everyone around them. Many even want to tear down the rights we’ve fought for and the whole social system we’ve built so far—one of the most advanced and equal anywhere in the world or in history—rather than working to advance it in any concrete way. Ask yourself what you are fighting for, and don’t frame your answer in terms of what you are fighting against. MLK and Gandhi had positive visions for the future. What is yours? I’d love to hear it. I certainly haven’t heard it so far.

    In your absolutism in defense of marginalized groups, you become a parody of yourself: fighting marginalization by marginalizing anyone who questions your actions (not even opposing your viewpoints!). Likewise, the assumption that all members of a privileged group are guilty of systematic oppression has created a campus environment of discrimination on the basis of skin color and gender (“you are white/male and therefore oppressing me”)—racism and sexism by anyone’s definition but your own self-serving redefinition, or heinous bigotry of another name if you must hijack language.

  • ModernMaccabi

    Lily, I’d like to have a dialogue with you. Can I begin with a simple question and ask that you define what you mean by “occupation of Palestine?” Thanks so much.

  • Student

    The difference is quite clear: it’s signal and noise.

    No one goes through life without being hurt physically, emotionally, and socially. While sympathy and compassion toward an individual hurt is admirable, demanding mass revolution over it is childish. It’s crying wolf.

    I’m all in to support the next piece of progress we can make. What’s the next emancipation movement, the next voting rights movement or the next school integration movement? Count me in. But writing history out of our etymologies is not that movement. Shutting down reasonable dissenting opinions is not that movement. There’s nothing progressive or liberal about restricting speech and imposing moral codes.

  • JMAR

    University administration targets students it identifies as having
    “concerns” – then deals with them swiftly
    and decisively to clarify the students precarious stand on University grounds
    in what it considers a position of aggression instead of the expected
    gratitude. However, over the years and
    in the face of the occasional coalition or demonstration it has learned “dialogue” is a superior way to affirm its
    sovereignty. The style of correspondence has changed – but make not mistake the
    intentional intimidation is still occurring – a student is individually
    signaled out for a closed meeting – just you +2 administrators, no friends, no
    support, no recording and no public transcript. It’s a clean decisive
    instrument – “I would like to meet with you to discuss your concerns” and the
    red flag is that a second administrator would also like to be present, “would
    you mind?”


    Provost John
    Etchemendy – 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: John

Date: Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 9:06

Subject: Re: Community Center Cuts…Please Read


Cc: John

Dear Ms _______,

Our cuts were not
    across-the-board cuts. They were
 the result of careful consideration by the
    University Budget Group, which spent
 hundreds of hours over the last four
    months reviewing every school and
 administrative unit’s budget plans. I
    understand that you feel you 
are in a better position than this group to judge
    the fairness of Stanford’s
 budget decisions, in spite of your lack of knowledge
    of any other unit in the 
university. But you are wrong. I know that you
that you, and only you, “know what it takes to keep students
Stanford,” in spite of the fact that many people at Stanford have
successfully doing this for twenty and thirty years. But you are 

    have a request. Print a copy of your message and
 put it in a safe place. In
    twenty years, take it out and read 
it. You will know then why I asked you to do

Thank you for your input.

 John Etchemendy

    Here is the refined product of ‘dialogue’ – mimicry and mockery.

    On Sun,
    Apr 19, 2015 at 12:14 PM, John Etchemendy ‪ wrote:

    Manny, I’d really like to understand your perspective on these issues, but email is not a
    good way to do that. I’d like to sit down and talk, if you’d be
    interested. I could meet this afternoon or some time tomorrow.

    Would you
    like to do that?


  • maddogsfavsnpiks

    “Student”.. You write, “I’m all in to support..” but the rest of your post(s), current and previous, don’t say that, on the contrary it/they argue and lean towards duplicity…
    The “next piece of progress we can make”… starts with changing attitudes, but you continue to defend yours and your friend’s same old attitudes… more rationalizations that confirm the status quo..
    * * *
    You speak of “imposing moral codes”..
    That’s ironic.. while.. jus’ for instance, for the last 400 years native peoples who had lived here for thousands and thousands and thousands of years, 10-15,000 or more, at least, have not only been “imposed” upon, they’ve been essentially disenfranchised of their way of life and their land, if not virtually and completely exterminated !
    Many like the Lamchin, the Puichon, the Olpen, and the Partacsi near where ol’ daddy Leland staked his claims, where you live ‘n study today… their stories, their ancient knowledge, their cures, their laughter and loves.. now rubbed out, wiped off the earth, and the face of the map.. ‘cept for a word here n there, like Petaluma, Aptos, Napa, Tamal, Olema.. so perhaps you could say, something lives on..
    ..but who cried wolf back then when the last was wiped out not so long ago ?
    ..and who cried wolf on the horrors, when survivors were rounded up and forced-marched to Covelo, in the dead of winter, many not making it.. and the children that did, were then sent away to schools, taught to despise their traditions, forbid them their languages, forced to cut off their hair, all acts of enforced submission and subordination.. don’t you see ?
    It’s the ol’ ‘big fish eat little fish’, ‘dog eat dog’, monopoly power ethic, and it’s not ok..
    ..as it’s still going on here today in other ways and other wars, with other actors, other victims and other enforcers, executors and executioners for a massive empire of a few, that covers much of the globe, including more native, dark skinned peoples, in most cases, subjected to the most terrifying surveillance and the most devastating weaponry the world has ever known.. !
    Meanwhile, who’s makin’ out like bandits ?
    – NorthrupGrumman, LockheedMartin, GeneralDynamics, Boeing, Honeywell, Raytheon, Textron, Halliburton, and the beat goes on and on for the masters and prophets of war…