Saturday, May 27, 2017     Volume: 31, Issue: 44

Weekly Poll
Should SLO County ban marijuana cultivation in the California Valley?

Yes. It's bad for the environment and has no place in Cal Valley.
They should allow very limited cultivation.
No. Cal Valley should be treated like the rest of SLO county when it comes to marijuana.
It's legal! Get over it and stop picking on Cal Valley!

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New Times / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on May 17th, 2017, in the New Times - Volume 31, Issue 43 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [] - Volume 31, Issue 43

In defense of history (and Eva Ulz)

By Z. Daniel McKiernan - Los Osos

Dana Parker dismissing Eva Ulz’s history lesson and public work as propaganda (“A different internment lesson,” April 27) is a disservice to SLO’s citizenry and history. It makes me question if you, Ms. Parker, left the proverbial armchair to critically engage the History Center’s exhibit, “Tranquility Disrupted: Japanese Exclusion and San Luis Obispo County.” What Ms. Ulz has accomplished in collaboration with the community is critical to our understanding of Japanese-Americans’ contribution to the vitality of the Central Coast—despite hardships I trust you never weathered.

The public remembrance of President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, moreover, puts into sharper view recent executive orders oozing with xenophobic nationalism. Comparing patterns of presidential executive orders is exactly what serious students and studies of history do. Comparison is a primary tool in the historian’s toolbox. Without it, history wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be history. It’d be akin to a carpenter without a hammer, a poet without a pen, or, gulp, a president without books. I challenge your assumption that history is disappearing and argue the contrary: It is more prevalent and relevant than ever. What you’re experiencing, Ms. Parker, like others who subscribe to master national (and nationalist) narratives, is a more inclusive type of history reflective of our diverse constituency.

My advice to you and your ilk would be to visit the History Center’s excellent exhibits and extensive archives to put Ms. Ulz’s efforts into proper context. You just may feel the politics and racism that you’re so quick to eschew in Ms. Ulz’s lessons of history.