Ward Churchill Under Attack02 Feb 2005 13:29 GMT
Z Magazine, and Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado at Boulder where his job is at risk. Under pressure triggered by local press in Denver, and FOX's Bill O'Reilly (excellent article!), he has has already resigned his department chair position. His recent speaking engagement at Hamilton College was cancelled due to security concerns and death threats in response to an essay he wrote several years ago about 9-1-1.
Ward Churchill, generally considered a friend of radical and indigenous communities, is under attack for his views and perhaps his race. He is a Native American, contributor to many publications including Z Magazine, and Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado at Boulder where his job is at risk. Under pressure triggered by local press in Denver, and FOX's Bill O'Reilly (excellent article!), he has has already resigned his department chair position. His recent speaking engagement at Hamilton College was cancelled due to security concerns and death threats in response to an essay he wrote several years ago about 9-1-1.
Denver's Rocky Mountain News is currently running a live poll about whether he should resign his professorship as well. Churchill opponents' on-line poll comments are instructive in their anger and ignorance: "He should resign his citizenship" (he's an Indigenous American), and various comments that free speech is ok until it criticizes the US. If the poll comes out against Churchill, it can be used to exert additional political pressure on his employer.
These same DJs were recently critical of Denver's court finding Churchill and other organizers of the anti Columbus Day parade protest innocent. They denigrated jurors and "interviewed" Churchill on their talk radio show and were obviously upset that protestors were found innocent, employing typical aggressive host tactics to silence and misrepresent people who disagree. Shortly after their Columbus Day coverage, they went on the attack against Ward Churchill inflaming listeners with passages from an essay he wrote years ago about September 11 which later turned into the book On the Justice of Roosting Chickens : Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality. This timing and common connection through Churchill makes it appear they're attacking those who oppose the Columbus Day parade.
As Churchill explains in a recent press release these DJs and other press are taking him out of context, suggesting he advocates violence against Americans and hates this country (which even if true isn't a crime, and it's worth noting he's a veteran). While his essay's conclusions are stated in ways inflamatory to middle-class white folks, which is nothing new, they are solidly argued, also nothing new. His biggest "crimes" seem to be suggesting US foreign policy is sometimes criminal and that he humanizes people around the world who view that policy from the receiving end.
Professor Churchill's many books on topics from genocide to COINTELPRO to indigenous struggles are invaluable contributions to a radical understanding of our world. He is perhaps best known in the radical community for a pamphlet entitled Pacifism as Pathology Churchill is a long-standing member of the Colorado American Indian Movement and steadfast supporter and organizer of the yearly struggle to stop the state-supported celebration of Columbus.
The talk radio DJs and O'Reilly are still calling for him to be fired. At the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the live on-line poll is currently running 3:1 against him.
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