Archive for Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Framing the issues

August 13, 2002


To the editor

The writer of the Aug. 4 editorial needs a good look in the mirror. Greed, avarice and ignorance have a long history of disguising themselves as "progress," "manifest destiny" and "will of the people."

The Lawrence HRC says the entire original Haskell campus is a national treasure. It needs protection from those who would squander this special place for convenience and profit. The Kansas state historic preservation officer ruled that the entire area deserves listing on National Historic Registry. The President's Advisory Board on Historic Preservation said that building any larger road on 31st Street or elsewhere in the wetlands should be prevented by all the powers that can be mustered by those charged with protecting our nation's heritage. The Haskell Trustees voted unanimously to oppose the original 31st Street scheme and its 32nd Street reincarnation. Dozens upon dozens of tribes told the Corps to stop this outrage. The National Congress of American Indians voted unanimously to fight any trafficway through the wetlands.

Let me be the first to inform the author of this distorted and oft-recycled editorial that the SLT is already used in college and high school classrooms across the nation as an example of what can go wrong when highway promoters and local media monopolize how issues are framed. I would especially recommend Cynthia-Lou Coleman's "A War of Words: How News Frames Define Legitimacy in a Native Conflict" in Elizabeth Bird's excellent anthology "Dressed in Feathers: The Construction of the Indian in American Popular Culture" (Westview 1996). This unnecessary war, sad to say, is young.

Michael Caron,


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