Thursday, March 3, 2011

Joseph Campbell on Native Americans

I'm reading The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell's Life and Work which features transcripts interviews he gave throughout his life. I read anything and everything by Campbell and will soon start listening to the audiobook of The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Just yesterday I finished, again, a great series of interviews Campbell did with Michael Toms of New Dimensions Radio entitled 'The Wisdom of Joseph Campbell." Excerpts of this audiobook are also available in Michael Toms' book An Open Life.

But today I ran across a great quote from Mr. Campbell in the Hero's Journey that rings true but which also represents a perspective I rarely hear but that he spoke in the early 80's. He said:

Today you read of our interest in clearing up apartheid in South Africa and we don't think about our own Native Americans, taking the mote out of our neighbor's eye with a beam in our own that isn't matched in the history of civilization. And those people, our own native people, are still living in a subcivilized condition that's been put upon them. I don't see any of our ambitious youth picket-lining to give Indians their due.

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