Tuesday, February 15, 2005

 

On taking things out of context

"You're taking it all out of context" seems to have become a pretty standard argument in favor of Ward Churchill. If this is your feeling, please, read each of my Churchill posts very carefully and follow the links I have provided throughout.

Some things that would be awfully hard to misinterpret:

"But the Weather Underground knew more about Marxism than about bombs. Churchill briefly taught the Weathermen and Weatherwomen how to make bombs and how to fire weapons--'which end does the bullet go, what are the ingredients, how do you time the damned thing.'" From the Denver Post, January 18, 1987, article by Claire Martin. 630 KHOW - Denver's Talk Station

"This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see." Ward Churchill press release, January 31, 2005. He was a projectionist, for Christ's sake. You've gotta wonder just where they were making this AV guy show those films. For proof that he was a projectionist, see the link above and just follow the various documents that have been posted on that website. Link again: 630 KHOW - Denver's Talk Station The documents were obtained from the University of Colorado, and would be difficult to take out of context.

This non-violent man wrote a volume entitled "Pacifism as Pathology." Definition of "pathology" from Google: "the scientific study of the nature of disease and its causes, processes, development, and consequences mywebpages.comcast.net/bnham/athena/glossary.html" He sent an e-mail to a woman who dared to disagree, which I have posted in its entirety in another post, and told her to "seek therapy on an urgent basis."

Again, on violence, we have the interview he gave Satya, an online magazine, in April 2004. In response to a question on what his audience should take from his lectures: "A fundamental understanding of the nature of their obligation to intervene to bring the kind of atrocities I've described to a halt by whatever means are necessary." http://www.satyamag.com/apr04/churchill.html Whatever means are necessary to bring down the United States. NOT just the government with which he disagrees, by the way, but the entire United States (and, incidentally, Canada), as evidenced by the following quote from the same source, Satya: "I don't want other people in charge of the apparatus of the state as the outcome of a socially transformative process that replicates oppression. I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether."

As a "scholar" he leaves much to be desired. He plagiarized his own ex-wife (see the post immediately before this one). He made up an entire event, the supposed genocide of the Mandan Indians in the 1800s, a matter of highly questionable practice that has been condemned by at least 2 actual scholars, Tom Brown and Guenter Lewy, links: Assessing Ward Churchill’s Version of the 1837 Smallpox Epidemic and Were American Indians the Victims of Genocide? as well as by University of New Mexico School of Law Professor, John P. LaVelle. LaVelle's article can be downloaded from 630 KHOW - Denver's Talk Station

He checked every single box on his application to C.U. that applied to Native Americans. He thereby cheated 10 other actual Native candidates from that job. Again, documents easily available at 630 KHOW - Denver's Talk Station If Churchill is actually an Indian, something even the American Indian Movement now questions, then he should provide proof of that genetic heritage, as he got his job in the first place by claiming to be a Native American. There's a document at 630 KHOW - Denver's Talk Station called Justification for Hiring wherein it's stated outright that he was hired over every other candidate specifically because he claimed Native blood. A Rocky Mountain News columnist traced Churchill's line back eight generations and found no trace of that supposed Native American ancestor.

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council on Ward Churchill (I have already posted this once before) has this to say: "The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council representing the National and International leadership of the American Indian Movement once again is vehemently and emphatically repudiating and condemning the outrageous statements made by academic literary and Indian fraud, Ward Churchill in relationship to the 9-11 tragedy in New York City that claimed thousands of innocent people’s lives. Churchill’s statement that these people deserved what happened to them, and calling them little Eichmanns, comparing them to Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who implemented Adolf Hitler’s plan to exterminate European Jews and others, should be condemned by all. The sorry part of this is Ward Churchill has fraudulently represented himself as an Indian, and a member of the American Indian Movement, a situation that has lifted him into the position of a lecturer on Indian activism. He has used the American Indian Movement’s chapter in Denver to attack the leadership of the official American Indian Movement with his misinformation and propaganda campaigns. Ward Churchill has been masquerading as an Indian for years behind his dark glasses and beaded headband. He waves around an honorary membership card that at one time was issued to anyone by the Keetoowah Tribe of Oklahoma. Former President Bill Clinton and many others received these cards, but these cards do not qualify the holder a member of any tribe. He has deceitfully and treacherously fooled innocent and naïve Indian community members in Denver, Colorado, as well as many other people worldwide. Churchill does not represent, nor does he speak on behalf of the American Indian Movement. New York’s Hamilton College Kirklands Project should be aware that in their search for truth and justice, the idea that they have hired a fraud to speak on Indian activism is in itself a betrayal of their goals."

And last but not least are Churchill's views of those people like myself who feel that simply voting for John Kerry was at least a step in the right direction (this is a quote from the Satya interview, link above): "We can go through the charade of 'let's elect John Kerry instead of George Bush,' do things which are essentially painless to us, and the outcome is going to to be different. You don't have politics, you have alchemy. That's delusional behavior. It's a state of denial in a social maybe even cultural sense. And that's what's masquerading as progressive politics."

So, fine, agree that the U.S.'s foreign policy sucks. That we are responsible for killing people. Yes, we are--I cannot think of a single country that isn't, and if we're talking Iraq here, why does Churchill never once mention the slaughter of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein? Oh, but he does, in fact, in the essay that started all this, mention the peoples of the Middle East, and I'll close my post with this quote from "Some People Push Back": "By this, it should be understood that Middle-Easterners, unlike Americans, have no history of exterminating others purely for profit, or on the basis of racial animus, Thus, we can appreciate the fact that they value life--all lives, not just their own--far more highly than do their U.S. counterparts." Okay, when I look outside my window, I fail utterly to see children with bombs strapped to them by their loving parents who "value life--all lives, not just their own--far more highly than do their U.S. counterparts." Somehow, I neglected to turn Veronica into an explosive device this morning on her way out the door. All those peaceful Isrealis and Palestinians, valuing life until it splatters all over the walls. Wow, too bad we don't have that kind of affection in the United States...And as for "no history of exterminating each other...on the basis of racial animus" what world does this man live in? Has he not read the history of the Middle East?

Free speech--I'm all for it. What I am against is people preaching violent hate-speech--let's be honest, how far would he get if he'd been telling his students that African Americans are all murderers? Or that homosexuals deserve to get AIDS? I am against someone telling me I'm pathological for desiring peace. That I am delusional for thinking voting for Kerry might have made some difference. Context? All you have to do is read the articles and documents I've read (and I've read all of them, more than once, and with highlighter in hand) to see exactly what the context is.

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