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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ward Churchill: Not Quite Gone Yet

Ward Churchill wasn’t above using his (possibly imagined) ethnic heritage to help secure a job he otherwise never would have been seen as qualified to hold. He wasn’t above using that same (possibly manufactured) ethnic heritage as a fast track to tenure. He hasn’t been above using that (possibly fabricated) ethnic heritage as a sort of stage prop and window dressing. And, in fact, he seems to be utterly fine using his (possibly inaccurate) ethnic heritage to help shield himself from criticism.

According to the Churchill panel report, the professor will not face disciplinary action for having used his ethnicity to help land the job at CU, but he could face potential action if he is found to have “has attempted to gain a scholarly voice, credibility, and an audience for his scholarship by wrongfully asserting that he is an Indian.” While this racially sensitive portion of the panel’s findings is quite short, Churchill’s lawyer latches onto it like a rabid pit bull.

In the lawyer’s response to the University of Colorado’s complaints, the question of such little things as plagiarism and faulty research are brushed aside to focus almost entirely on the question of Churchill’s ethnicity. Supposedly, it is inappropriate for CU to ask Churchill to quantify his heritage--to prove that he is, in fact, a Native American. The letter raises the worries of Nazis and internment camps, and drops the term “racial purity” like a bomb. On most of the other accusations facing Churchill, the questions are brushed off with a terse declaration that he “can easily refute the substantive allegations of the report.”

This tactic might well work. It might cow CU into submission for fear of treading on that American political sacred shrine: ethnicity. It isn’t too difficult to imagine CU backing down in fear of offending minorities. This case is going to be noisy and contentious; depending on what happens, they’ll be brutalized by either the left or right for their actions. For fear of offending the right, the school might offer a slap on the wrist for academic misconduct. To cater to the left, though, he very well could keep his job.

Normally, I would agree with Churchill’s lawyer. Race shouldn’t have to be quantified, no pedigree should be needed, and, typically, a person should not be punished for being unpardonably Anglo. If Churchill is found to have misrepresented his heritage, though, then it is him who made race an issue. In his writing, in his lectures, in the causes he supports, he has continually made race an issue. The school just foolishly trusted him to be honest on the subject.

The most important lessons that CU should learn, though, are to be more rigorous in their hiring and that hiring for race has unique pitfalls. The damage to the school’s reputation--whether he stays or goes--is going to be considerable. That such a charlatan was hired at all is a blow to the school’s esteem regardless of what happens next. If he stays after all of the allegations of academic impropriety and outrageous public statements, then CU is saddled with an offensive professor with below-average academic stature and a less-than-serious approach to world affairs.

Churchill has made a career of playing the race card. Via his lawyer, he’s playing it once again--only this time to cover himself from legitimate criticism of his race-baiting ways. While I have no real admiration for the man, I have to admit that his nerve is impressive. There aren’t too many people who would lie about something for personal gain and then call you the criminal for having the audacity to have caught them in the lie.

Read the story.
Read the text of the CU panel’s findings.

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I believe it was previously proven that Ward Churchill is NOT an American Indian.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 02:38 PM

I thought so, too, although in the articles I was reading there still seemed to be some (small) measure of doubt. Either way, for someone so proud of his heritage, it should be no problem to come up some way to verify that heritage--and for someone so willing to make a career out of being an American Indian, you would imagine that he would be well prepared to prove his family tree.

Whatever the case, his academic misdeeds are serious; there is no way he should continue as a tenured professor of the University of Colorado.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 02:49 PM

If memory serves (since I read too much), Churchill was made an honorary member of the UKB. Which means nothing. I could be an honorary UKB, given how long my family has been in the United States of America. If that’s the basis of Churchill’s pedigree then he’s a fraud. Period.

What concerns me more at this point is the lack of research and reporting by the MSM on this matter, given CU is the flagship university of Colorado.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 03:24 PM

Speaking of Ward’s family, I wonder if the following individual is his sister somewhichway:


on Apr 05 2005 @ 04:40 PM

Bill Clinton was given membership in the UKB. I guess Clinton was not only the first black president but the first Indian one as well.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 04:45 PM

Trench, I imagine that’s a pretty good observation (in a demented sort of way).

James, thanks for that link. If I hadn’t read that article, I would never have known that Arnold Schwarzenegger was an aspiring dictator.

Seriously, the first site referenced in that article is terrifying. The picture of the teacher is frightening. It’s the kind of picture that the MSM likes to run in reference to militias because it makes people on the right look like loonies. The fact that these far left activists feel comfortable in terrorist drag, and spouting the rhetoric of “direct action” activists should make the rest of us feel just a tad unsafe.

In fact, she makes Churchill look like sane and moderate by comparison. That’s quite a trick.

Thanks for pointing the article out--that was illuminating.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 05:09 PM

Hmmm. I may have to write something about that “professor’s” website. Scary indeed. And in my state no less.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 05:17 PM

This from her course syllabus:

The events of September 11, 2001, indisputably changed the course of American politics and history.  This course is offered so students may examine various events and policies leading to 911.  In particular, this course will focus largely on the specific destruction in lower Manhattan and the Pentagon.  We will examine the official story and analyze it critically.  We will consider alternative explanations of what occurrred as well. 911 was a catalyst for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the attack on civil liberties in the United States.  We will examine each of these with a critical eye.  The goal of this course is to arrive at a solid understanding of how 911 has shaped our political future and to promote critical analysis by students of this catastrophic event and its aftermath.

I guess I wonder how it is that someone who is such a nut (promoting the idea that Israel is planning to stage phony attacks against American targets to lead us into stepping up the war on terror, for instance)could possibly be taken serious by anyone?

Honestly, I just don’t get it.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 05:42 PM

I guess I wonder how it is that someone who is such a nut (promoting the idea that Israel is planning to stage phony attacks against American targets to lead us into stepping up the war on terror, for instance)could possibly be taken serious by anyone?

You mean you’ve never been to Democratic Underground?

For more looney tune goodness you can go here…


(I love self promotion)

on Apr 05 2005 @ 05:52 PM

Churchill’s a member of the tribe led by Big Chief Fuh-Kuh-Mup.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 08:06 PM

While CU might back down for fear of offending minorities, they should remember that they only person they’re really violating is Ward Churchill. Who’s about as minority as me. That is, not at all.

on Apr 05 2005 @ 08:46 PM

Trench: If I may: Bubba was offered membership, but I don’t believe he ever acted on it, given the Bureau of Indian Affairs took much offense to the fact his administration misplaced over two BILLION dollars owed to American Indians by way of mining and oil royalties on their designated land holdings.

on Apr 06 2005 @ 07:43 AM
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