Free Speech for Ward Churchill But Not for Larry Summers

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Chilling for Thee, but Not for Me
    By Jonah Goldberg, National Review
    ebruary 11, 2005

    If you're a liberal who's still moping like a dog whose food bowl has been moved, thanks to all the conservative victories of late, I have some words of encouragement for you: You guys are still way, way smarter than us about some things.

    Consider the current flap about Ward Churchill and the recent one about Harvard President Larry Summers.

    Ward Churchill, as you've probably heard, is a tenured professor of "ethnic studies" at the University of Colorado. Until recently he was the chairman of the department. When invited to another school to give a talk, it came out that he had written an essay comparing the civilian victims of 9/11 to "little Eichmanns." This was a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the chief architect of the Holocaust.

    Known for making factually unencumbered statements about the evils of America, Churchill recently gave an interview in which he said he wanted the "U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether." He thinks "more 9/11s" are necessary. He holds no Ph.D., and his scholarship - for want of a better word - is under relentless attack. Before the current kerfuffle, he'd attained whatever prominence he had by pretending he was an American Indian radical. He likes to pose with assault rifles. The Rocky Mountain News did a genealogical search of Churchill's past and found that he's basically a vanilla white guy playing Indian and enriching himself in the process. The American Indian Movement called Churchill a fraud years ago.

    OK, flash back to the hysteria over Larry Summers. By now his auto da fé is old news. But let's recap. One of the most respected economists in America, president of Harvard University, and the former Secretary of the Treasury, Summers was invited to a closed-door, off-the-record academic conference at which everyone was encouraged to think unconventionally. Warning his audience several times that he was going to be deliberately "provocative," he suggested that there might be some innate cognitive differences between men and women.

    This is not a controversial hypothesis in macroeconomics, and it is losing its taboo status in psychology, genetics and neuroscience. Thousands of peer-reviewed academic papers have been written on the differences between men and woman when it comes to various cognitive functions. Note I said "differences." Superiority and inferiority don't play into it, and Summers never said otherwise. Indeed, he ventured this hypothesis, after showing his obeisance to the more politically correct explanations: discrimination, not enough effort to recruit women, etc., etc.

    So what was the reaction?

    An MIT feminist biologist - who moonlights as a feminist activist - quickly got the vapors and stormed out of the room for fear of fainting. If she stayed any longer, she explained, she'd vomit. Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe compared Summers to people who cavalierly bandy about the N-word or who thoughtlessly wear swastikas. One hundred members of the Harvard faculty drafted a letter demanding that he apologize. The National Organization for Women demanded that he resign.

    The dean of engineering at the University of Washington called his comments "an intellectual tsunami." Since the Asian catastrophe had only just transpired, the tastelessness of the metaphor may not be as apparent now as it was then. Regardless, if his comments were a tsunami, Summers' critics have certainly cashed in on disaster relief effort.

    Forced to apologize over and over, Summers was then bullied into appointing not one but two new "task forces" on gender equity. Staffed with 22 women and five men, the task forces will no doubt discover that much more work needs to be done and that Summers should apologize more.

    In the Summers affair, free speech and academic freedom barely came up, except among a few conservative commentators and one or two academics who were already known for their political incorrectness. Instead, Summers was a pinata to be bashed for material rewards and to send the message that some subjects are simply taboo even among serious scholars, no matter what the evidence, in closed-door, off-the-record meetings.

    Meanwhile, Ward Churchill, whose scholarship is a joke, whose evidence is tendentious at best, and who called the victims of 9/11 the moral equivalent of a man who sent babies to the gas chambers, is a hero of free speech. He has refused to apologize. Many conservatives are forced to defend free speech and "diversity" in academia while liberals let the NOWers feed on Summers' flesh.

    Liberals may despise what Churchill said, but it's a matter of principle now. The normally insightful and fair Mort Kondracke declared on Fox News, "I really think it's useful for universities to have people like this around, to show students and the rest of us just how odious some of the ideas of the far left are." Would Kondracke punt on a professor who endorsed slavery? I somehow doubt it.

    Hopefully - and, I think, probably - someone will find enough academic fraud to fire Churchill for cause. No doubt, we'll hear from many on the left about the "chilling effect" such a move would have on "academic freedom," and many conservatives will clear their throats in embarrassment. You really have to marvel how the other side has mastered this game.

    [I]Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online, a Townhall.com member group.[/I]©2005 Tribune Media Services
     
  2. krisy
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    krisy Senior Member

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    It seems like free speech for ALL Liberals,no free speech for ALL Conservatives. Remeber what they did too Trent Lott? I still to this day cannot believe that he was dragged through the mud the way he was over a comment humoring an old man. Not to mention,what about his right to feel that way? He never sapecifically said he was for any kind of segregation,or lesser right for blacks.

    Conservatives,Republicans are still letting the Liberals get away with taking every comment made that sounds the slightest bit politically incorrect and twisting it and turning it into something it's not. They have help though,this stuff would never go so far without help from their good friends at the LMM.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Actually I think Trent Lott was 'outted' by the blogs, conservative or at least libertarian ones at that. It was the MSM that was willing to overlook the statement, since Trott was an 'insider.' The blogs felt like it was another case of the media hiding laundry for their own.
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    It should be obvious by now.

    Libs believe in free speech only if:

    You agree with their agenda.
    You call the President stupid, a liar, a war criminal, a moron, etc etc etc
    You promote the dismantling of the United States
    You are an apologist for muslim terrorists
    You support abortion

    It could go on, but then I'd get on a roll and probably end up simply being tedious, but you get the picture.

    Libs are the enemy of freedom. Oh, they don't mean to be. They don't sit in dark corners and plot the means of enslaving us. But as surely as they plan another entitlement program, pass another "hate crime" law or demand that "hate speech" be banned - libs are eroding our liberties.

    This is but another example of their reckless ambition to squash anyone who does not toe the lib party line. If we ever lose our freedom in this country, it will not be to muslims, the Chinese or to any outside tyrant. It will be to liberals with a cause who want to "protect" us.
     
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  5. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    That's the picture, Krisy. You nailed it.
     
  6. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    The little Injun that could
    Ann Coulter


    February 11, 2005


    If Ward Churchill loses his job teaching at the University of Colorado, he could end up giving Howard Dean a real run for his money to head the Democratic National Committee.

    Churchill already has a phony lineage and phony war record – just like John Kerry! (Someone should also check out Churchill's claim that he spent Christmas 1968 at Wounded Knee.) In 1983, Churchill met with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and later felt it necessary to announce that his group, the American Indian Movement, "has not requested arms from the Libyan government." In 1997, he was one of the "witnesses" who spoke at a "Free Mumia" event in Philadelphia on behalf of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    Come to think of it, Churchill could give Hillary a run for her money. All that's left for Churchill to do now is meet with Al Sharpton and kiss Suha Arafat.

    Churchill's claim that he is an Indian isn't an incidental boast, like John Kerry pretending to be Irish. It is central to his career, his writing, his political activism. Churchill has been the co-director of the American Indian Movement of Colorado, the vice chairperson of the American Indian "Anti-Defamation" Council, and an associate professor and coordinator of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado.

    By Churchill's own account, a crucial factor in his political development was "being an American Indian referred to as 'chief' in a combat unit" in Vietnam, which made him sad. This is known to con men everywhere as a "two-fer."

    In addition to an absence of evidence about his Indian heritage, there is an absence of evidence that he was in combat in Vietnam. After the POW Network revealed that Churchill had never seen combat, he countered with this powerful argument: "They can say whatever the hell they want. That's confidential information, and I've never ordered its release from the Department of Defense. End of story." Maybe we should ask John Kerry to help Churchill fill out a form 180.

    In one of his books, "Struggle for the Land," Churchill advances the argument that one-third of America is the legal property of Indians. And if you believe Churchill is a real Indian, he also happens to be part owner of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    In his most famous oeuvre, the famed 9-11 essay calling the 9-11 World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," he said "Arab terrorists" – his quotes – had simply "responded to the massive and sustained American terror bombing of Iraq" by giving Americans "a tiny dose of their own medicine."

    Having blurted out "Iraq" in connection with 9-11 in a moment of pique, Churchill had to backpedal when the anti-war movement needed to argue that Iraq had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Arab terrorism. He later attached an "Addendum" to the essay saying that the 9-11 attack was not only payback for Iraq, but also for various other of this country's depredations especially against "real Indians" (of which he is not one).

    In light of the fact that Churchill's entire persona, political activism, curriculum vitae, writings and university positions are based on his claim that he's an Indian, it's rather churlish of him to complain when people ask if he really is one. But whenever he is questioned about his heritage, Churchill rails that inquiries into his ancestry are "absolutely indefensible."

    Churchill has gone from claiming he is one-eighth Indian "on a good day" to claiming he is "three-sixteenths Cherokee," to claiming he is one-sixty-fourth Cherokee through a Revolutionary War era ancestor named Joshua Tyner. (At least he's not posing as a phony Indian math professor.) A recent investigation by the Denver Post revealed that Tyner's father was indeed married to a Cherokee. But that was only after Joshua's mother – and Churchill's relative – was scalped by Indians.

    By now, all that's left of Churchill's claim to Indian ancestry is his assertion: "It is just something that was common knowledge in my family." (That, and his souvenir foam-rubber "tommyhawk" he bought at Turner Field in Atlanta.)

    Over the years, there were other subtle clues the university might have noticed.

    Churchill is not in the tribal registries kept since the 1800s by the federal government.

    No tribe will enroll him – a verification process Churchill dismisses as "poodle papers" for Indians.

    In 1990, Churchill was forced to stop selling his art as "Indian art" under federal legislation sponsored by then-representative – and actual Indian! – Ben Nighthorse Campbell, that required Indian artists to establish that they are accepted members of a federally recognized tribe. Churchill responded by denouncing the Indian artist who had exposed him. (Hey, does anybody need 200 velvet paintings of Elvis playing poker with Crazy Horse?)

    In the early '90s, he hoodwinked an impecunious Cherokee tribe into granting him an "associate membership" by telling them he "wrote some books and was a big-time author." A tribal spokeswoman explained: He "convinced us he could help our people." They never heard from him again – yet another treaty with the Indians broken by the white man. Soon thereafter, the tribe stopped offering "associate memberships."

    A decade ago, Churchill was written up in an article in News From Indian Country, titled, "Sovereignty and Its Spokesmen: The Making of an Indian." The article noted that Churchill had claimed membership in a scrolling series of Indian tribes, but over "the course of two years, NFIC hasn't been able to confirm a single living Indian relative, let alone one real relative that can vouch for his tribal descent claim."

    When real Indians complained to Colorado University in 1994 that a fake Indian was running their Indian Studies program, a spokeswoman for the CU president said the university needed "to determine if the position was designated for a Native American. And I can't answer that right now." Apparently it was answered in Churchill's favor since he's still teaching.

    If he's not an Indian, it's not clear what Churchill does have to offer a university. In his book, "A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present," Churchill denounces Jews for presuming to imagine the Holocaust was unique. In the chapter titled "Lie for Lie: Linkages between Holocaust Deniers and Proponents of the Uniqueness of the Jewish Experience in World War II," Churchill calls the Third Reich merely "a crystallization" of Christopher Columbus' ravages of his people (if he were an Indian).

    His research apparently consisted of watching the Disney movie "Pocahontas," which showed that the Indians meant the European settlers no harm. (That's if you don't count the frequent scalpings.)

    Even the credulous Nation magazine – always on red alert for tales of government oppression – dismissed Churchill's 1988 book "Agents of Repression" about Cointelpro-type operations against the American Indian Movement, saying the book "does not give much new information" and "even a reader who is inclined to believe their allegations will want more evidence than they provide." If The Nation won't buy your anti-U.S. government conspiracy theories, Kemosabe, it's probably time to pack up the old teepee and hit the trail of tears.

    In response to the repeated complaints from Indians that a phony Indian was running CU's Indian Studies program, Churchill imperiously responded: "Guess what that means, guys? I'm not taking anyone's job, there wouldn't be an Indian Studies program if I wasn't coordinating it ... They won't give you a job just because you have the paper." This white man of English and Swiss-German descent apparently believes there are no actual Indians deserving of his position at CU. (No wonder the Indians aren't crazy about him.)

    As long as we're all agreed that there are some people who don't deserve jobs at universities, why isn't Churchill one of them?


    www.townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/printac2005021.shtml
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    How about a televised public debate between this yayhoo and whoever? The media could get big bucks and it might give some "reality TV" folks some idea about what reality is all about. He could donate his profits to the Atlanta Braves or something.
     
  8. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Or maybe in front of family members who lost loved ones on 9/11........He won't do that, he is much more comfortable in speaking to mind dead college communists.
     

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