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You Are a Racist

Here is an email I received in response to one of my essays.

You Are a Racist

leesa halttunen : : 2002-05-23

Correct me, please, if I am wrong. It sounds to me like you really don’t have a problem to much with the Makah, but Indians in general. You make assumptions that the Makah are a bunch of alcoholic yahoos.

This was a littled stereotypical. Are all the Makah people alcoholics?

I defended my self in the essay itself. I said that the idea to kill a whale to increase tribal self esteem was a drunken stupid notion. I did not say all the Makah are alcoholics. I also pointed out the fact they were drunk and dancing on the whale corpse. This points out their hypocrisy when they claim whale sacrifice is a solemn religious time-honoured religious ritual.

Have you actually been there and seen the reservation?

I watched the hunt and the festivities on TV. I watched interviews. I debated many native people the Internet over the issue.

You also say that the Makah people, or Indians, are greedy.

I searched my essays. I have called the Makah some nasty names but I could not find in my essays where I called them greedy. Could you point that passage out?

Wow, I can’t believe that. The land that you are on, right now probably, was Indian land. Well, let me rephrase that, they were here first and seemed to be fine without "Christopher Columbus.quot; I found some of your responses a little hurtful, and a little embarrassing. You say that you can’t say anything about foreigner until you clean up your act at home, but I don’t see why you aren’t writing an essay about Inuit people hunting whales. Or if you have disregard that last statement. Thank you.

That is the same logic that says an abused child has the right to further abuse children as an adult. Whether the Makah have been fairly treated in past by white people has nothing to do with their right to torment whales.

Makah ancestors would have been utterly disgusted at the lack of respect for the whales shown those days I watched on TV.

Have you read my website. Have you seen how many of the world’s ills I have protested. Yet you have the gall to ball be out for covering all of them. What have you done, personally.

Your problem is that you are so white you can’t understand why anyone would hold a whale in higher regard that humans. So you have to ascribe racist motives to account for it.

Your Article is Racist : Saskia Loup 2003-11-21

I’m not sure if you are the person who has written that article Makah whale sacrifice, anyway this message is for the author of that article:

I’m stunned about how biased your article is! You deny the fact that your article is rascist, but i do think it is rascist also. Of course, i do oppose killing whales in general, but as long as our society kills billions of cows, pigs and chickens each year, we are not in title to complain about these 5 whales!

There I strongly disagree. You consider whales to be giant water pigs. I, on the other hand know that whales have brains many times larger than ours. I have worked with small whales more commonly known as dolphins. See my essay about my experiences. I know they are more intelligent than humans. I hold their lives more sacred than you would hold the life of your own child. Just as you would protect your child from anyone who would murder it, I try to protect the whales from anyone — no matter what their race. I even ended up in hospital from a suicide attempt in my protest and nearly died. I most certainly did not do that for a trivial motive like racism.

If you read the entire series of essays you will see I protest whale killing all over the globe. I send you to read Paul Watson’s books where he tackles Norwegians, Japanese, Mexicans, Americans… I focused my main anger on the Makah hunt for four reasons:

  1. It was happening just a few miles from where I live. Obviously, I can be more effective protesting what is happening locally.
  2. There was no economic motive for the hunt. The Makah did not need the meat.
  3. The Makah had given up whaling for a hundred years and were now restarting it.
  4. The reason they gave was utter insanity — religious ritual sacrifice of a whale as nutty as reviving Aztec child sacrifice.

If they wanted to revive an ancient blood sport, let them chase seals in canoes.

That would be very hypocrite. i am pleased with the fact that you are standing up for the rights of animals, but if you really want to do something about the rights of animals stop eating meat and go demonstrate before the Mc Donalds and the Burger King. They are the giant meats suppliers who don’t give a shit about animals, along with the mayority of carnivorous United States.

I take it you have not yet read my other essays in the animal rights section.

And what’s with that idea that there exist intelligent and dumb animals?? And what about that idea that it is allright to kill and eat dumb animals? Why is it allright to kill any animal? It’s very ethnocentric to look at these animals from our own point of view and judge them by our standards (intelligent or not intelligent). We, humans, are not omniscient creatures, although we like to think so. The one creature is not better than the other and we should respect any living creature on this earth, not just the creatures we think are intelligent. I think it’s very arrogant to think that way.

And at least the Makah don’t kill these animals for commercial reasons as happens in the rest of the world. Their intention just seems to be to kill a few whales for subsistence reasons.

Subsistence my ass. The Makah are American citizens. They used the meat at a giant party I watched on TV. They were well-fed like any other Americans. If they are that desperate for food, let them resort to cannibalism. It is just as abhorrent in my view. There are lots more people than whales that could be sacrificed. Killing whales is more barbaric than cannibalism.

I do not approve of that completely but at least it is better than using animals for your own good by breeding and selling them, which causes the death of billions of animals each year!

My focus with domesticated animals is to see that they have decent living conditions during their lives. That is better than having no animals at all sharing our planet which would be the alternative. You can read my essays or listen to me on Speaker’s Corner on the New VI TV show where I rant on that topic.

Your arguments are inconsistent. You argue killing whales is ok, but killing chickens is not. Because I have not sufficiently protested maltreatment of domestic animals I have no right to protest the ritual sacrifice of whales? There are a sea of ills troubling our planet. I tackle at least one every day. There is no possible way I can handle all of them.

I Did Not Mean To Be Rude : Saskia Loup 2003-11-24

I would like to respond again to your response:

First of all, I did not mean to be rude to call your article rascist, it’s just that you have written some things i really don’t understand and it made me feel a bit angry. It wasn’t my intention to insult you, so i’m sorry if i did.

In that article (Makah whaling sacrifice) it seemed to me like your ok with all the dumb animals being killed for subsistence reasons, just not with whales because they are so intelligent. Is that what you meant, or is that just my interpretation? In your response you also said: If they wanted to revive an ancient blood sport, let them chase seals in canoes. What’s your opinion about this, do you distinguish between different kind of species?

Most people make a distinction between killing animals and killing humans. I make three distinctions. Killing a whale is a more serious sin than killing a human because whales are superior beings to us. They have brains much larger than ours. They are simply better creatures. This is not to say that I think it perfectly ok to kill humans or pigs, just that killing a whale is an order of magnitude more serious a crime than killing a human or a pig.

What i meant in my response was that, to me, all animals are equal and i don’t look at animals in ways of intelligent or non-intelligent.

If you want to be consistent, remember that humans are animals too. So are mosquitos. So are lice. So are tapeworms. I don’t think treating them all equally is logically tenable. I can definitely understand an ethic that says you want to avoid creating unnecessary suffering in any animal, but not that the well being of a tapeworm is of equal importance to the well being of a human or a blue whale.

I think all animals are precious. I certainly not consider whales to be giant water pigs and their lives are sacred to me too. i just don’t understand why a lot of people are making such a big deal of the makah killing whales while we live in this carnivorous society where billions of other animals are being killed. I’m not referring to you, but to me it seems like a lot of people that disagree with the makah whaling aren’t disagreeing with all the other animals being killed for consumption. And, yeah, of course, you have to start somewhere, but there’s where i strongly disagree. I think it’s hypocrite to reject the killing of one species and to approve the killing of another species. It just doesn’t feel good to distinguish between different kind of species. It’s something i see every day in the world around me; people eating cows, chicken and pigs, but they don’t want to eat rabbit, monkey or whatever because they think it’s not appropiate to eat these animals. I love animals and i disagree with the idea that it’s ok to kill any animal, that’s why i have been a vegetarian for 7 years now.

Would you be outrageously disturbed if the Makah were sacrificing human children the way the Aztecs did? Surely that would get you more angry than them harpooning a seal for example. Well, killing a whale is like that, only worse in my opinion. You have no experience with whales. How can I expect you to understand? Please at least read my essay about my experiences.

I’m writing a paper about the Makah whaling conflict and i’m not sure what to think of the whaling. You wrote that the Makah used the meat at a giant party that you watched on TV. I haven’t watched it, so i don’t know, but for me it’s hard to imagine that they don’t have a very good reason to resume whaling, since that put them in a very bad light. What seems very important to them doesn’t necessarily have to be important to us. Again, i’m not approving of the whale killing, i’m just saying i think it’s very important to them for reasons we might not completely understand because we are no makah indians. I admire your strong opinion about this issue as well as about other issues, but at the same time i think it’s a pity you aren’t willing to look at the other side of this conflict. I know that in some cases it’s not that easy, but i also think it can clarify conflicts like this one.

They could have had their party serving seal or deer just as easily. It would have been just as culturally authentic. There was no need to sacrifice a creature more noble than any human on the planet. I’d rather they served fish or soy beans, but that’s a battle to fight after the whales are safe. First things first. There are only a few thousand whales left. Seal and deer are in no immediate danger of extinction.

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