Semantic debateWilhelm Murgs article (Life, Culture, Reclaiming ancestry, Jan. 6, Oklahoma Gazette) tells us, The term redskin comes from the early days of white settlement on the continent, when trading companies, colonies and some states put a bounty on Native Americans.
This information was apparently supplied by Suzan Shown Harjo, the subject of the article, since she has presented it in many other forums in recent years.
Linguists consider the bloody scalp theory to be the least likely of all reported origins for the expression.
The origin of the term was extensively researched by Ives Goddard, senior linguist in the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in his paper, I am a Red-Skin: The Adoption of a Native American Expression (17691826). The paper is readily available online at anthropology.si.edu/goddard.
Goddard makes the point that the expression, although widely considered disparaging now, was originally benign and had nothing to do with bloody scalps or bodies of dead Native Americans. It was a reference used by early settlers (and often by Native Americans) to describe the appearance of Native Americans.
Murg refers to this definition as though it were a settled fact. My concern is that this unsubstantiated history of the word has been repeated so often that it is in danger of becoming accepted as true.
Ethan Thomas Edmond
Thank youThank you for the article written in support of teachers (Opinion, Commentary, The truth about teacher pay, Jennifer Chancellor, Dec. 30, Oklahoma Gazette).
Eileen Mathena, Oklahoma City Public Schools teacher Yukon
Not factsEarthquakes. Extreme weather events, and drought.
Mental illness and the proliferation of prescription drugs.
The infestation of handguns and military-style handheld weapons.
These are the things that we need to be scared of in 2016 and beyond.
Not what Republicans, preachers and televangelists have historically taught us to fear.
Not dancing, rock n roll or rap. Not liquor-by-the-drink on Sunday.
Not hippies or atheists.
Not marijuana or LSD. Not Obamacare, welfare, food stamps or public transportation.
Not Mexicans or Syrians.
Not Muslims, or whomever is not your religion.
Not same-sex couples.
Not history, science or astronomy.
Not what right-wing radio jocks and Fox News tell you.
Danny Smith Guthrie
Chewed overI never thought Id see a cover story on veganism, but there it was in the Jan. 20 issue (Life, Food & Drink, Giving up, Greg Elwell, Gazette). While it had some good information and gave Ryan Parrott and Picasso Cafe their due, I have some issues with the piece.
First, there is a semantic problem. vegan is difficult to define because it means different things to different people. People who identify as vegan have a personal combination of concern in three interconnected areas: health, animal welfare and environment. However, vegan does not necessarily equal healthy. One can eat animal-free and get sick existing on a diet of lots of processed, sugary and fatty foods.
Plant-based is a better term. The article misses the mark by not featuring Jimmy and Andrea Conway and their labor of love, Plant Based OKC.
The Conways have been giving a monthly presentation, Nutrition 101, to standing-room-only crowds at a southside hospital and added a monthly forum at Rococos Northpark location. Conway, a local orthopedic surgeon, reversed his heart condition by following the whole-food, plant-based (WFPB), oil-free diet featured in the popular documentary Forks Over Knives.
The powerful message is that the most common chronic diseases heart, diabetes, cancer and others are lifestyle conditions that can be reversed or prevented by adopting the WFPB lifestyle, and the Conways help mentor those who wish to try it. There have already been many success stories.
Second, the covers subtitle, How to find healthy eats in this cow town, really didnt give much of a guide. It paints a picture that plant-based diners go into a fog trying to figure where to eat because there are only a handful of options. Not true. Its not that difficult, and options abound.
Ethnic cuisines like Mediterranean, Asian and Indo-Pakistani are always go-to places, and plant-based dining options continue to expand. Many chefs like Parrott are happy to include WFPB cooking in their repertoire. Whole Foods Market was left out of the article; while its big and a chain, one cannot deny that picking up food from there is easy. Heck, Whole Foods four-pillar eating guide is a WFPB plan.
Third, chef Nicole Diaz says that the metro doesnt have a vegan community. Not true. She can look on Facebook and find Plant Based OKC, Vegetarians of Oklahoma, No Meat Athletes and Red Dirt Vegans.
OKC will change for the better as more people change their approach to the plate.
Louis Green Oklahoma City