Re: Russell Means Interview ... well?

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Posted by MMMMarcia on January 26, 1999 at 13:38:00:

In Reply to: Re: Russell Means Interview ... well? posted by Claudia on January 26, 1999 at 12:38:25:

Yay, Claudia! You said it beautifully! I have to agree with almost every statement you made.

: I thought it was interesting, and sad, how he seemed so touchy at first, you were getting one-sentence answers...and how he "heard" you use the term "Native" even though you didn't even say it!

This jumped out at me, as well. While I can understand Mr. Means' sensitivity on many issues, this looks like one of those times when he heard what he *expected* to hear, instead of what was actually being said.

: The instance where he assumed he had been slighted, by being provided "coach" seating instead of First Class, when most aren't given free tickets at all, to me illustrates his mind-set.

Again, I agree. Wish I could find someone to fly ME free to everything I've been invited to attend, and I'd be perfectly happy with coach!

: I feel that when people become so sensitive that they perceive or imagine slights (re-proach, insults, blood vengeance) which don't even exist, it becomes counter-productive to their aims. Surely he needs to open his mind to the idea that even white people can understand and support his views, instead of automatically seeing you as a hostile enemy.

Perfectly expressed. I know that I cannot imagine what it must be like to be the victim of racial injustice or prejudice (though some might say that as a WOMAN, I've been subjected to prejudice all my life), but I honestly do not believe that EVERY issue is race-related. And though there are times to get angry, and make a stand, too much anger is, as you said, counter productive, indeed. It makes others defensive, instead of encouraging them to listen to your point of view.

: I was glad that he had positive experiences with DDL and it was interesting to hear his reflections on the log cabin scene, and the hiking to Chimney Rock. His comments on the lost scenes made me even more eager to see a restored version.

Yes, the stories about the movie and his fellow actors were very interesting.

: I thought the interview, once you "won him over" was excellent, your questions were well thought out and you had that rarity in interviewers, the ability to follow-up interesting things that he said with more comments and questions. I thought that you stood your ground well when he became touchy, and that you exercised excellent tact and intelligence.

True, all the way around. And they LISTENED to what Mr. Means was actually saying, unlike many people I see on tv getting paid BIG bucks to interview celebrities!

I don't mean for my comments to sound totally anti-Russell Means. I was surprised at how interesting he sounded, and I suspect he would be a good person to have as a friend. However, when I've watched Mr. Means on television shows in the past, I found his anger to be so all-encompassing as to be a real turn-off for me. I wanted very much to like him, but found that each time I saw him, it was more difficult for me to do so. "The White Man" does this, and the "White boys" think that, and "Whites always" do such and such. It seemed to me that I was listening to the words of a bonafide racist every time he spoke, and I don't like racism, no matter WHICH culture it is coming from. Therefore, I was very curious as to how this interview would go. It seemed to me that he sounded a bit mellower than I expected, especially after he warmed up a bit, and thus, it was much easier for me to listen to what he was saying.

As someone said in an earlier post, and I've always felt to be true, progress between races, cultures, or countries would be better served by admitting that we are all human beings and, thus, subject to the same accomplishments and failings worldwide. No one group of people has the lock on virtue OR vice. Just my thoughts to add to the pot!


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