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LETTERS

Swanee is a feminist and an advocate for children's rights. On my last morning at the ambassadorial residence last year, before leaving with a colleague to facilitate human-rights education workshops in Romania, Swanee brought together over a dozen Austrian women activists who work on women's rights, on refugee issues, on environmental degradation with The Greens, on human rights education, on genocide and Holocaust studies, and on international children's-rights initiatives. We ate breakfast as the children of the attendees played in the next room, and we shared the successes and failures in our efforts to promote justice and peace in this variety of endeavors.

Swanee is a great listener, a gift in almost any undertaking. She is firm and authoritative when appropriate, full of passion and compassion for the maligned and needy. She has used her considerable people skills, her own personal tragedies, her visionary work with the Hunt Alternatives Fund and the Women's Foundation, her organizational abilities, parenting experience, past musical and poetry performance opportunities, rich religious background, and gutsy trial-riding and marathon-running challenges to enhance her role as the face of the United States in Austria. Swanee even enacted a smoke-free policy at the U.S. Embassy and ambassadorial residence. And among her friends, Swanee's ecumenism is legend.

I am personally proud to have a friend of such talent and integrity in the Clinton administration's State Department. I only fear that any U.S. administration of either party will want Swanee on its diplomatic team and we won't have her back in Denver very soon.

Ellen Moore
Nederland

Native Stun
Carroll Newberry, before you tell us what Native American studies are (Letters, May 2), you should take the class, and maybe you'll really learn something about Native Americans. You sound like a typical middle-class white kid who grew up watching cowboy-and-Indian movies on TV (judging from the scenario you give regarding us).

And I'm not anti-white.
E. Begaye
Denver

Carroll Newberry: I am not a Native American. I am also not a racist, uninformed, ignorant fool. If you are curious as to why these Native American studies courses are being offered, maybe you should take one. But since you asked, I will tell you. These classes are offered to give interested students a different perspective on indigenous people and their struggle in America, a perspective that we do not get in public schools or, as you claim, Boy Scouts or Camp Fire girls. The perspective we learn is an interesting one: It is called the truth. We learn that our beautiful, democratic country has committed genocide on millions of indigenous people, all in the name of civilizing them.

I was particularly disgusted by your comment that after we have acquired this knowledge, we "should go back to the reservation and slug Thunderbird and beat your tom-tom while you wait for unqualified Euro-Americans to send up a couple of truckloads of food and used clothing." It sure is a good thing that you qualify that statement with the fact that you are not anti-Native American. But I guess since you have an Indian friend, there is no way you can be anti-Native American. Using your perverted logic, because my mom is a female and someone I consider to be a friend, I cannot be sexist.

It is time for people like you to learn the facts, respect others for what they are and stop embarrassing your race. Yes, Indians did teach the "Pilgrims to plant corn and squash and roast turkey." And yes, they did get on with it. They got on with murder, deceit and broken promises. Maybe you should reconsider exactly what we should "get on with." Perhaps a good time for reflection would be on Thanksgiving Day, when you gather with family and friends and celebrate genocide.

Dave Sobol
Boulder

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