Grandma Doesn’t Hack It!

At Cal State University, Sacramento, a Professor of History has expelled a student who is a Native American for challenging him over his denying that the death of Native Americans was “genocide.”
Certainly, the mass deaths of the Native Indians, just like those of Native Hawaiians, was due to smallpox and other diseases, and not through warfare. It’s not as if the Europeans purposely either had the terrible diseases, or could cure them with the medical knowledge of the day.

Yes, the Europeans defeated the Native Americans in combats and took the land from them. That was the way of the world in those times — it was not in the stars that the Native Americans or the Native Hawaiians were going to live in peace from “invaders” until the middle of the 20th Century, when the world-wide culture and medical knowledge could combine to let them live unmolested. That was not going to happen!

The student challenged the professor, citing her grandparents, and great grandparents oral history — hardly the sort of academic citation necessary for a debate. 

I hope she is reinstated in the class, and challenges the professor using academic research because it will force her to do the sort of research necessary in academia. Her great grandparents oral history has about the same academia as my grandmothers’ remember acne of the Civil War and Reconstruction when she was born in 1890. I am certain she heard tales, probably true individual instances, but it was not history, it is anecdotal.

It is part of a professors role to lead students into research…and it is a difficult role because students either come to classes with no knowledge or with wrong information.

I don’t know if the student/professor interaction was out of control, but the student admits she raised her voice. In the first three classes of a semester, it is not wise to challenge the professor, at least until you have a stack of peer-reviewed articles on your desk.

Grandma doesn’t hack it!

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