The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49758   Message #752738
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
22-Jul-02 - 08:31 PM
Thread Name: Alan Lomax: Another View
Subject: RE: Alan Lomax: Another View
Hi, Bobert: I was interested in your obersvations about some white folkses in Richmond who are condescending, and don't realize it. One thing that I've noticed in some white liberals is that they are committed to helping the downtrodden as long as they don't have to get to close to them, or recognize that they are complex humans, with as much cultural richness as they may material poverty. I even read where someone posited that the poor are sometimes almost treated like pets that we take care of in a paternalistic, distant way. I have no idea how Alan looked upon the folks he "discovered." He may indeed have seen them as his discoveries, not as real people with human dignity. But then, maybe he didn't. The best lesson that can be learned from all of this is not whether Alan Lomax explotied or helped poor musicians. It's that we examine ourselves and make sure that we don't help people for our own selfish reasons. We are as capable of doing that as anyone else.

Jerry