Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

March 4, 2005

David Yeagley on Ward Churchill

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:40 pm

I’ve been waiting for Dr. David Yeagley to weigh in on the Ward Churchill controversy, and now he has.

For those of you who’ve had better things to do that track controveries about idiots in academia, here’s a brief summary. Ward Churchill is a professor and (until recently) chairman of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado. Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Churchill wrote an essay claiming that those killed in the attacks were not innocent civilians — those in the Pentagon were not civilians, and those in the World Trade Center were “were civilians of a sort” but not innocent. For good measure, he called the WTC victims “little Eichmans,” comparing them to the well-known Nazi.

The most that can honestly be said of those involved on September 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.

That they waited so long to do so is, notwithstanding the 1993 action at the WTC, more than anything a testament to their patience and restraint.

They did not license themselves to “target innocent civilians.”

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . .

Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to “ignorance” – a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

(Boldface added.)

For some reason, this didn’t come to light until he was invitied to speak on the topic at Hamlton College, an invitation that was later rescinded. After that, people starting asking who Ward Churchill was and how he got his job. After all, it is fairly unusual to get to be a tenured professor at a major university without a Ph.D. and with only two publications.

Turns out the reason is, they needed an American Indian for their ethnic studies program. Trouble is, it turns out Ward Churchill is not an Indian. This fact — not his hateful comments, not his plagiarism, and not his fraudulent research. What a strange world we live in.

Meanwhile, actual Indians are angry — not just that he’s claiming to be an Indian, but that he’s claim to be an Indian who hates America. The Oneida Indian Nation issued a statement saying:

‘It’s disturbing that anyone would use such hateful speech, and do so while claiming to be an American Indian when there is significant evidence that he is not. Professor Churchill caused many in the media to falsely believe an American Indian scholar could besmirch the lives of those who died on 9/11. Because of this, he owes every American Indian an apology.

”Likewise it is sad that he would perpetrate this apparent hoax on Hamilton College, an institution founded to help educate Indian students.”

Even the left-wing American Indian Movement came out against him:

Ward Churchill was scheduled to speak at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York on February 3, 2005. His appearance was canceled by the college after he caused a public furor over his loathsome remarks about the 9-11 tragedy in New York. AIM’s Grand Governing Council has been dealing with Churchill’s hateful attitude and rip-off of Indian people for years.

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.

And now, in the article that prompted this post, Dr. David Yeagley, a Comanche and adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma, and an outspoken political conservative, had this to say:

Ward Churchill wants everyone to think that Indians hate America. The truth is Indians love America, more than most people here. Today there are nearly 200,000 living American Indian veterans. That’s nearly one out of eight Indians. Churchill’s fake Indian voice, though loud, is way off-key. Real Indians honor America, and are quick to honor their warriors.

The percentage of Indians in the American military is proportionately higher than that of any other group, and Indians have been fighting for America since the war of 1812. Indians have served in all the major American wars, often without acknowledgement because they weren’t American citizens until 1924, when Congress declared them so. Indians serving in World War I, “the Great War,” served as volunteers.

Indians serve the land of America because Indians love America. This is our home, regardless. Churchill hardly deserves a home anywhere. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be associated with American Indians. A criminal embarrassment and dishonor, his success was created by professional leftist backing through the liberals of the University of Colorado.

These people are still willing to use Indians and to misrepresent Indians, to advance their anti-American agenda. Indians should protest this and reaffirm our love and devotion to our homeland.

Meanwhile, 200 of his fellow professors have paid $1600 to take out an ad supporting him in the name of academic freedom, and the university, under presure from state legislators, is talking about buying him out, and his lawyer has indicated he’d accept an offer of $10 million.

2 Responses to “David Yeagley on Ward Churchill”

  1. Different River Says:

    Ward Churchill and Larry Summers
    Following up on the this post, I think it’s worth contemplating why, in the view of the professoriate, Ward Churchill’s fraud, plagiarism, and comparison of the September 11 victims to Nazis are all protected by academic freedom, but Harvard Presiden…

  2. Different River Says:

    Betsy Hoffman Resigns
    Betsy Hoffman, president of the University of Colorado, has announced her resignation “effective June 30, 2005 or whenever the Board names a successor.”

    I’ve only heard of her in connection with the Ward Churchill controversy and a seemingly off-…

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