March 09, 2005

Ward Churchill Sympathy Watch

In the weeks after the 9-11 attacks I remember trying to think about ways to explain the attacks to my daughter, who was only three at the time. And it was a child’s logic that I was going to employ, hoping to explain to her that there were many people who were angry at the United States for some of the things that our government may have done to them in the past. It was admittedly a clumsy attempt to introduce my daughter to the realities of American imperialism.

Ward Churchill was no less clumsy in comparing some of those who died in the 9-11 attacks as “little Eichmanns,” in reference to the complicity of average Americans who are unaware of how to or refuse to hold our government accountable for foreign policy initiatives that may “blow-back” onto the American populace as they did on September 11, 2001. Being clumsy is not a crime and in the case of Churchill, who is a tenured professor at the University of Colorado at Bolder, it should not be a reason for him to lose his job.

-- Mark Anthony Neal, Associate Professor in the Program in African and African American Studies at Duke University

Posted by Gregory at March 9, 2005 01:45 AM | TrackBack (9)

".. it should not be a reason for him to lose his job."

Oh yes it should! Not for the sentiments, but for the display of abysmal ignorance. And this man *teaches*?

Posted by: David Duff at March 9, 2005 05:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Central to these sorts of defenses and explanations is that the hijackers were somehow right. That we, on some level, deserved it.

Aside from the question of whether or not citizens of a state can be held personally responsible for the behavior of their government (I'll ignore Churchill's baseless and opportunistic singling out of the financial sector) simply because they go about their lives within that state and aside from the question of whether any non-citizen of that state can be a legitamate enforcer of that state's 'karma', there is the question of whether this is the proper framing of the issue.

That is, Neal, Churchill and their ilk are talking as though Atta organized this attack out of solidarity with the American Indians, blacks in the ante-bellum south, the long suffering people of...? That they studied American history the fullness of current American policies and arrived at the considered conclusion that we need to be punished for our actions.

Which is obviously absurd--even they have never made such an argument. The United States has been pretty good to the people who did this to us and the arguement that Atta and Bin Laden are somehow a citizens of the world, bringing the world's justice back on us is too stupid for words.

There's no point in even examining these arguments, we should simply make note of who makes them.

Posted by: Ignatius Byrd at March 9, 2005 06:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mr. Churchill's comments are called "fighting words" where I come from. So I guess we could refer to Mr. Churchill's predicamentt as "blow-back" for his refusal to hold himself accountable for a run away mouth. From what has been mentioned of Mr. Churchill's background, one may question the process that allows an idiot to become a professor. Stupidity is also tenured.

Posted by: john perulfi at March 9, 2005 06:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

While Professor Neal was compelled to 'employ a child's logic,' Churchill was under no such obligation.
Is Neal saying that Churchill is only capable of communicating at a three year old's level?

Posted by: Frank DiSalle at March 10, 2005 02:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I agree with Neal that Churchill should not be fired for his statement. 1st Amendment.

He should, however, be immediately fired for lying on his job application (he isn't an American Native), plagerizing art done by a REAL Native American, and plagerizing research done by a Canadian professor.

This man's lack of ethics is becoming a bigger and bigger issue than his outrageous statement.

Posted by: mamapajamas at March 12, 2005 10:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

These defenders of Churchill are saying that the enemies of our system of government can use the system itself to destroy system and that we have to just sit by and let them. In the name of freedom we must allow them to destroy our freedoms. Radical leftists want us to believe that tax-payer supported institutions can be used to attack the interests of those tax-payers with no "blow back" on them. It's time for us to show them that "blow back" works two ways and their safe, tenured asses are up for grabs (excuse the pun).

Posted by: Bindare at March 13, 2005 10:15 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Should he be fired? Not for saying what he did, but for reasons of competency...the man's just an idiot.

Posted by: PetFlies at March 18, 2005 09:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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