LINGUIST List 7.749

Fri May 24 1996

Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <aristartam2000.tamu.edu>


Directory

  1. ZZLSAgallua.gallaudet.edu, LSA and political correctness
  2. Amy L Sheldon, Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness
  3. Peter Daniels, Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness
  4. sethMIT.EDU, Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America anti-discrimination criteria for meeting sites
  5. "M. Lynne Murphy", RE: LSA's policies
  6. "Ingo Plag", Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness

Message 1: LSA and political correctness

Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 11:12:33 CDT
From: ZZLSAgallua.gallaudet.edu <ZZLSAgallua.gallaudet.edu>
Subject: LSA and political correctness
The LSA's policy on meeting site selection is:

LSA affirms its policy to hold its meetings only in cities
where its members are afforded legal protection from
discrimination on the basis of age, gender, national
origin, marital status, physical ability, race, religion,
or sexual orientation; and, that lsa notify the potential
convention cities of the LSA policy regarding site selection
and, specifically, that cities that do not afford such legal
protection are excluded from consideration as possible LSA
sites.
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Message 2: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness

Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 23:02:23 CDT
From: Amy L Sheldon <asheldonmaroon.tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness
Michael Covington,
	Please tell us what evidence there is for your claim: 

> - Political activism unrelated to linguistics impairs the LSA's ability
> to speak with authority when a political issue comes up that *does* >
>involve linguistic expertise, such as bilingual education. 

Amy Sheldon
University of Minnesota
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Message 3: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness

Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 23:24:35 CDT
From: Peter Daniels <pdanielspress-gopher.uchicago.edu>
Subject: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness
Note that the Olympics' refusal to route the Olympic Torch through any Georgia
county that had anti-gay laws has already resulted in at least one county's
changing its law. The LSA may not have as much clout as the USOC, but it has
perhaps a bit more gravitas, and its stand might make some slight difference.
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Message 4: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America anti-discrimination criteria for meeting sites

Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 00:26:27 EDT
From: sethMIT.EDU <sethMIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America anti-discrimination criteria for meeting sites

I am unfamiliar with the LSA's meeting site criteria, but based upon
Michael Covi ngton's reporting of them, I would like to make a couple
of comments:


1. Perhaps the LSA's criteria do confine meetings to those parts of
the country where legislative change (meaning the progress of anti-
discrimination legislation) proceeds the fastest. But maybe actions
such as those taken by the LSA also help to speed the pace of such
change, since politicians may be influenced by the prospect of lost
revenue.


2. The criteria about which Covington writes represent more than
simply support for "worthy causes." Such criteria are relevant to the
determination of meeting sites since, without them, the LSA might hold
meetings in states that are politically hostile to the rights of some
of its membership. I, for one, am glad to hear that women, lesbians,
gays, youths, and the elderly can attend LSA meetings without ever
having to spend their money in states whose governments oppose their
liberation.


Seth A. Minkoff
sethmit.edu
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Message 5: RE: LSA's policies

Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 09:44:51 GMT
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYNmuse.arts.wits.ac.za>
Subject: RE: LSA's policies
there are two ways of looking at the LSA's decisions about (whether 
or) not to meet in cities with discriminatory ordinances.

one is the view that this is a "political" move. this is the view 
that michael covington takes in his recent posting. on this view, it 
is easy to make the argument that this is inappropriate action for 
the lsa to take, since it has nothing to do with linguistics.

the other is the view that by avoiding places where some of its 
members are discriminated against, the lsa is serving its membership. 
this is the way i view it. by passing discriminatory ordinances, 
these cities/states have said "some people have fewer civil rights 
than others". some of these people are lsa members, and i think 
it's good of the lsa not to subject those members to the loss of 
their rights.

it's also important to remember that the lsa is not some force of 
nature or faceless bureaucracy--it's us. sure, some people don't 
agree with some of the lsa's policies (whether they be meeting place 
policies or abstract review policies), but the fact of the matter is 
that in order for these policies to have become policies, then a 
majority of the people who actively take part in the lsa (esp. by 
attending the business meetings) must have approved of them. 

lynne murphy

- -------------------------------------------------------------------
M. Lynne Murphy 104lynmuse.arts.wits.ac.za
Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340
University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-8030
Johannesburg 2050 
SOUTH AFRICA
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Message 6: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness

Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 13:30:32 +0200
From: "Ingo Plag" <plagPapin.HRZ.Uni-Marburg.DE>
Subject: Re: 7.734, Disc: Linguistic Society of America & Political Correctness
Dear listers,

there was a similar problem occurring at one of the business meetings of 
the German Linguistic Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer 
Sprachwissenschaft). Some people wanted the society to agree on and 
publish a resolution against the U.S. military intervention in the 
Persian Gulf region ("Operation desert storm", if I remember correctly,
 we called it "Golfkrieg"). The proposal was finally rejected on 
principled grounds, because its content did not have anything to do 
with the purposes of our society. 

With regard to the LSA (of which I am also a member) the question 
is of course which topics one wants to choose for the decision where to 
meet. To me, it seems rather arbitrary to focus on equal rights. Why not 
focus on environmental affairs and meet only in cities that have a high 
standard in their public transport system, their garbage recycling or 
sewage systems? Or only meet in hotels that minimize the use of 
unnecessary plastic wrappings. Why not focus on social affairs and e.g. 
only meet in hotels that have extra social benefits for their employees, 
or that have child-care facilities for their parent employees, or meet 
only in cities that actively fight against homelessness (and not against 
the homeless...)?

Of course these are all important issues which should not be ignored by 
linguists, but the question is whether one would like a linguistic society 
to take action in these issues. I am not convinced that we (as a 
linguistic society!) should.

Ingo Plag, Marburg

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Dr. Ingo Plag
Institut fuer Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Philipps-Universitaet Marburg
Wilhelm-Roepke-Str. 6 D
D-35032 Marburg
Germany

Tel: 06421-285560
Fax: 06421-287020
e-mail: plagmailer.uni-marburg.de

HOMEPAGE: http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~plag
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