Re: Butterflies and life

From: David Daniel Preiss Contreras (
Date: Tue Apr 05 2005 - 09:42:33 PDT

Yes, I agree that the option is not too defensible. But after 100 years of
totalitarism I am kind of for a "minima moralia." (which I should not say
too aloud, working as I am in a confesional university :)

Kevin Rocap writes:

> Dear David,
> Thank you for expanding the dialogue to a level of philosophic reflection.
> I was thinking in a very narrow and situated way about Rodriguez's vocal
> and well-publicized opposition to things like bilingual education and
> affirmative action and what I know both from research and lived
> experiences and work with language minority communities to be problematic
> and harmful about that stance.
> I'm not sure I'm ready to say that a standard should NEVER be "imposed".
> ;-) We always have guidance, norms, frameworks, policies, no? But I
> guess my general rule of thumb about things like educational policies is
> that we should err on the side of poilcies that open up rather than
> foreclose possibilities.
> Let me explain. Most bilingual education advocates would say that the
> policy should be one that allows for a range of instructional approaches
> for English language learners (including English-Only approaches if they
> can be shown to be effective in specific application in specific
> circumstances). While anti-bilingual English-Only folks tend to say that
> bilingual approaches to teaching and learning should always be banned -
> regardless of any research or practical evidence of their efficacy. The
> policy is clearly designed to negate certain instructional options, not to
> open up the possibilities, and largely on political grounds that are at
> odds with sound instructional practices.
> So I'm responding mostly to situation in which people are barred from life
> or educational options from which they can benefit because of the
> political predilections of "more powerful" others (e.g., people whose
> decisions become codified as policies or laws).
> In general though, I'd say I'm probably not a fan of the Kantian
> categorical imperative. ;-) And so we'd likely be in agreement on that,
> no?
> In Peace,
> K.
> David Preiss wrote:
>> Kevin,
>> But that's not truth for everybody? I mean, is it not always hurtful to
>> impose a way of life as a standard worth for everybody, particularly in
>> this morally charged days? This reminds me of the Schiavo case, where all
>> the minutiae of life, and what makes every life personal and rich, was
>> transformed in a universal imperative. Should not we all look for answers
>> that make our lifes worth living and not to try to make a rule of them,
>> save by the all dictum that says not to inflict harm on others?
>> David
>> David Preiss
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile: <>
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>> Homepage:
>> <>
>> Phone: 56-2-3544605
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>> E-mail: <>,
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Kevin Rocap []
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 10:24 AM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: Butterflies and life
>> Dear Nate,
>> As he is quoted in saying in the article he is "a comic victim of
>> two cultures." It is functional for him that he has been able to
>> turn his victimhood into a kind of celebrity. I have no issue
>> with his private and individual journey. But then, politically,
>> he advocates for others the same traumas he had to endure. And
>> not everyone who goes through them will come out a celebrity.
>> That is my concern. His personal journey is his own. But
>> politically imposed on others I think it can have devastating and
>> hurtful consequences. Just my opinion.
>> In Peace,
>> K.
>> willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at wrote:
>>> Kevin Rocap wrote:
>>>> Dear Dorie, David, et al,
>>>> Actually one of the striking things about Rodriguez's book,
>>>> imho, is that it is a well-wrought chronicle of one who, though
>>>> extremely articulate, ultimately seems to reflect a near perfect
>>>> form of internalized oppression. While he recounts painful
>>>> experiences of having his race/ethnicity/cultural values ripped
>>>> apart or ripped away, rather than condemn the oppressor he,
>>>> instead, chooses to embrace the notion that assimilation at the
>>>> expense of family and cultural ties is "the way" and now
>>>> reflects that viewpoint in his politics being often
>>>> anti-bilingual education or anti-affirmative action, etc.
>>>> Rather than critique the oppression itself; he seems to embrace
>>>> it and lend his political voice to its work.
>>>> In Peace,
>>>> K.
>>> Opting out of a career in acadamia certainly sounds like a
>>> critique to me. I have always found his essays powerful and
>>> thought provoking. Here is an interview where he explains his
>>> position.

David D. Preiss
home page:

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