CU's College Republicans group protests outside Churchill's office building
Ten members of the College Republicans at the University of Colorado are standing outside professor Ward Churchill’s office today with a banner listing all those killed on 9/11.Update: College Republicans confront Churchill, who takes a swat at the videocamera recording the event. According to Ian VanBuskirk, chairman of the group, an "Indian friend" of Churchill's came out of the CU building to put a hex (in presumably some Indian language) on the College Repubs. VanBuskirk told KHOW's Caplis & Silverman today that Churchill told him that he would circle the names of the innocent when VanBuskirk circled the names of the dead (presumably Iraqi) children. Video of the swat Churchill takes at the videocamera appeared on Fox31 (Denver).
The students want Churchill to circle with a black marker the names of those who deserved to die in the terrorist attack. Churchill has not yet responded.
VanBuskirk vows to return next Wednesday (the day of the week that Churchill teaches his one class of the Fall session).
Quandary of the Day: Does this mark the end of Churchill's 15 minutes of fame, or the beginning of his second 15 minutes of fame? CU's favorite professor makes it into a restaurant review
Way OT: Churchill may not have visited tyrant Hugo Chavez in Venezuela recently (a possibility we pondered back in October), but dignitaries for the People's Republic of Massachusetts certainly have (free registration may be required)
Looks like Ward Churchill is hitting all the hot spots in the Bay area this week to hawk his books; according to the Berkeley Daily Planet, he'll be thumping Since Predator Came: Notes From the Struggle for American Indian Liberation at 8 p.m. at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists. Cost is $5-$10 at the door (no indication what the determining factor for whether you pay five bucks or ten).
OT: The Rocky Mountain News (we apologize for incorrectly ID'ing the story as originating from FrontPage magazine) has an edifying article about John Daly, the adjunct English Professor who resigned from his New Jersey teaching position after sending a vicious email to one of his students
[Y]ou should be aware that [John Daly is] a member of the Marxist Worker's World Party; a regular correspondent to their newspaper, Workers World; a gay activist; and an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in California of the Peace and Freedom Party (self-described as a "socialist and feminist political party" calling for "collective ownership" of industry and "an unconditional end to U.S. military intervention in the affairs of other nations"). None of this is illegal, of course, but it gives you a picture of an angry, self-disenfranchised outcast from mainstream society.
University of Winnipeg's student newspaper, Uniter, interviews Ward Churchill (pdf, scroll to page 10) (via Dust My Broom; and don't miss Dust My Broom's biting commentary on this interview)
I never developed [the idea that the Mandan smallpox epidemic was conscious genicode] in any depth, it is self-evident that it happened by what my people have told me. I put a couple citations behind it for people to look at and draw their own conclusions, the citations don’t say what I said, which is not unusual but in this case this is considered fraud. I never considered an in-depth treatment of it, but I am now. And guess what? Not only what I said was true but it was far worse than what I said. They should have left it alone. It turns out there was an actual war department policy, not a couple of lonely officers at an outpost that could be an anomaly.Ah, so it only appeared that Churchill was misrepresenting history by citing facts that seemed supportive of his genocide argument but when read in their original contexts contradicted it. All this time, he was citing those contradictory facts to allow his few readers who bothered to read the original texts to make up their own minds. How fiendishly clever! Funny he's never mentioned (or made use of) this broadminded (albeit obtuse) approach until now.
BTW: If Churchill is using the same argument he used in his specious complaint against Professor Thomas Brown of Lamar University, PB has already dispatched that argument, and so has the Rocky Mountain News.
Your Tax Dollars At Work
OT: CU Study Reveals Hand-Washing Decreases Health Risks
For newcomers to PirateBallerina, we offer an updated "Guide to PirateBallerina's Churchilliana." You can also click on the various titles under our "Essays & Articles" list on the lefthand side of this page for a good overview of what we consider some of our best work.
Avid Churchill supporter calls for 'Thanksgiving' to be replaced with 'National Day of Atonement' (via A Certain Slant of Light)
CU's College Republicans intends to confront Churchill on 9/11 victims' culpability
Excerpt from email announcement:
When: Wednesday, November 30th from 1:30 to 6:30
Where: Hawthorne Court (grass area between Ketchum, Norlin, Chem and Eckeley)
How: The College Republicans are going to camp outside all day with our “Never Forget” banner that lists all the victims’ names. When Prof. Churchill enters and exits the building, we are going to ask him to circle the names of those who DID deserve to die. We will continue this until we get a response from Prof. Churchill.
The College Republicans are not going to let the University of Colorado drop the issue of Ward Churchill. Partnering up with artAID, an organization that aims to remember the victims of 9/11, the College Republicans are going to ask Professor Churchill to circle the names of those victims that did deserve to die. Without your help, Prof. Churchill will continue to indoctrinate college students with his hate-filled ideologies.
Churchill's American Indian Movement of Colorado demands RMN editorialist's firing for saying Vine Deloria had 'wacky ideas'
...so we're guessing that theorizing that the white race of humans was created by space aliens from the planet Nibiru to work in Earth's gold mines is pretty much mainstream history over at CO-AIM
Voicing an opinion at contrary to the rest of society doesn't make one the next Rosa Parks or MLK, Jr. In Daly's case it makes him an asshole.
An asshole who thinks my husband should be dead.
It's probably too much to hope that
they mean to 'narrow the focus' to reality
Redefining a Department
Excerpt (emphasis ours):
The University of Colorado's 10-year-old ethnic studies department is attempting to narrow its future focus, attract more students and expand into graduate-level courses, its new chairman said.
And Al Ramirez, 69, said he's not worried the program will be cut, as some students feared in the aftermath of a national controversy.
The ethnic studies department has the equivalent of 10 full-time faculty members teaching African-American, Chicano, Asian-American and American Indian studies. About 65 students are majoring in the department's programs, according to CU enrollment data.
OT: Moonbat convergence scheduled for 10am Monday morning outside Rocky Mountain News office in Denver (be there, or be employed). We're not sure which of the stated aims of the group, Transform Columbus Day, pertains: "the rights of indigenous peoples," "the natural environment," "democratic & economic justice," "gender equity over global patriarchy," or "free and equal speech over hate speech." Perhaps all of them, though that seems an ambitious goal for just one protest.
Well, now we know who to blame for the popularity of Ethnic Studies: Asians (via joannejacobs.com)
Whites aren't quitting the [two schools near San Jose, California] because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.
The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.
OT: Defense of Professor John Daly's "free speech" apparently includes stomping on student Rebecca Beach's
Instead of admonishing the professor’s intemperate attack on a student’s right of free expression, Warren Community College President William Austin said Prof. John Daly has “first amendment rights” to harass Rebecca. Furthermore, the President is trying to bully Rebecca into silence. He said Rebecca, not Prof. John Daly, is ruining the college’s name by going on talk radio and television exposing Daly’s mean spirited email.
For those who want to follow this more closely, Warren Community College has pre-empted its home page to deliver this message
...and here's Daly's "Faculty detail" page
...and here's the Wikipedia entry on "sociolinguistics"
Imagine for a moment a higher educational system that actually used good business practices and was responsive to their customers.Read it all.... (and be sure to check out the accompanying cartoon)
A place you could send your children knowing that they were being taught to think—not what to think.
A place were good teachers were rewarded and the bad weeded out; and where there are no ideas that are prohibited from discussion and evaluation.
OT: Here's an important addition to higher education (via LGF): The Tunnel of Oppression
As part of the program, participants are led through museum style series of connected rooms which each ask the participants to experience various forms of oppression. Participants are challenged to consider how oppression and the advantages incurred have an effect on them, as well as the individuals and groups around them.
This year's themes are:
(1) Tools of Oppression
(2) Women's Issues
(3) Racial Oppression
(4) LGBT Issues
(5) Religious Oppression **this room is pending***.
Ward Churchill's attorney, David Lane, and KHOW's Craig Silverman are scheduled to appear on Fox News' "Big Story Weekend" this evening at 10pm Eastern. If you're a regular reader of PB, it's unlikely you'll learn anything new. Expect to hear Lane claim anti-Churchill forces bullied two esteemed academics from the investigating panel, and Silverman to claim credit for same.
Update: False alarm, or nearly so. David Lane was paired with Linda Chavez to speak on the subject of John Daly, the English Professor who sent the intimidating email to a student earlier this week (Chavez reasonably pointed out that it was an intimidating email from a person in power; Lane defended the Professor's email as "free speech"). Craig Silverman was on to speak on the case of the Aurora girl, reported missing recently by her father, but who police suspect may have actually died up to a year ago.
Here's an interesting fact: There are no mentions of the "First Nations International Tribunal for the Chiefs of Ontario" on the internet, save those found in various Ward Churchill bios, in which he claims to be an "advocate/prosecutor" for this admittedly important-sounding group. We're not saying the tribunal doesn't exist, we're just observing an interesting fact.
Update: Ah, but there is a First Nations International Court of Justice. The Chiefs of Ontario website even mentions Ward Churchill (once), but only as a witness, not an "advocate/prosecutor."
"Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs—such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again." —English Professor John Daly, Warren Community College, Washington, New Jersey.
The Gateway, the University of Nebraska at Omaha's student newspaper, records what we sincerely hope is the final verse of Professor Bruce Johansen's swan song
Our essay 'Ethnic Studies Echo Chamber' has been updated
According to this post on livejournal, Churchill will be in Oakland December 4th for a panel discussion entitled "The Future of Struggle: Movement Veterans Discuss Yesterday's Lessons for Today" and described as "Key figures in various radical movements discuss lessons learned over the last four decades of activism, how these lessons can be applied to work being done today, and discuss, in their view, how we must move forward."
The livejournal post says the event is co-sponsored by one of Churchill's publishers, City Lights, but that publisher's website only notes a Churchill book-hawking stop in San Francisco December 5th.
Our curiosity has gotten the best of us, so we've asked CU spokesman Pauline Hale the following:
Is the Churchill Investigating Committee going to proceed with the three remaining members?
Has it begun its deliberations?
If not, are additions to the panel anticipated soon?"
As always, we'll keep you posted in the unlikely event Hale responds.
Not really OT: US College students trust UN more than US
Grant Crowell responds (at length) to Churchill's "copyright" email (included in this editorial)—and issues a challenge:
My name is not “Walking Eagle,” its Grant Crowell. I presume your white parents would have taught you proper manners to address a person by their actual name, as I have afforded you that courtesy. At least be mindful of the academic title given to you by the State of Colorado and act with civility in mind. You don’t see me monikering you with the title of “Chief Wannabee” or “Wimpy Chicken” or “Burnt Marshmallow” (making oneself brown all over its white skin, while still slimy white on the inside).
First off, let me address your allegations of me “smuggling” in a recording device to your DePaul speaking engagement – that is simply false. I wasn’t allowed to attend the event, which you ensured. You also ensured that the person you collaborated with for the event, Dr. Harvette Grey of the Cultural Center, would bar the media and order the campus on “high security” mode so neither the public or any protestors of your event would be allowed near it.
The “sponsors” you cited for your speech are also false; the real sponsors were the students. It was the students who have their money taken from them by your friend Dr. Grey to pay for your $5,000 vacation to Chicago. The least you could do is send the students a thank-you card. (Or, if you’re looking for Christmas ideas, a Ward-Churchill muppet.)
Even if this was a private corporate event (maybe that’s your next goal for speaking engagements), I’m free to quote you; you can’t deny that you said these things. On top of that, your speech was paid all with students’ fees, whom you and your comrade Dr. Grey made sure that those students never had any say in the matter. Add the fact that DePaul is funded with government funds and public tax dollars, it’s a clear-cut case of fair use. As long as your paycheck for these speaking events come from student monies and taxpayer monies, then I and anyone else has the right to record your event for documentary purposes and public information. But its dishonarable that you feel compelled to play Scrooge and take money from students who can barely afford tuition and have to work several jobs, all so you can give yourself a vacation from your job the people back in Colorado are still waiting for you to do.
So that I can exercise my responsibilities as a good citizen and everybody can see what their tax dollars are paying for, I will soon feature excerpts of your DePaul speech available at HawaiiReporter.com. Just to show you that I’m a nice person, I will e-mail you a transcript of your own speech, if you need some extra cash to support your 3-pack-a-day smoking habit. Perhaps you could package it online with your box set of CDs.
You claim that every word out of your mouth is copyrighted. Well, you may want to sue Webster as well. That’s since you know some English but apparently no actual Indian language. (That’s not only acting like a male diva demagogue, its called being a poser.)
I, on the other hand, know copyright law very well. So does my attorney, who specializes in copyright law, intellectual property law, entertainment law, and internet law; he’s not some burnt-out hippie representing another burnt-out hippie. Here’s some free legal advice for you from my attorney, David M. Adler, Esq. & Associates: “Copyright only extends to creative works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression. Speech, in and of itself, is simply not copyrightable.”
I know all the rules about what is fair use and in the public domain online. You, on the other hand, have problems saying the word ‘Google.”
So you see Mr. Churchill, its very silly of you to talk about suing me for “bootleg recordings” and lecturing me on copyright infringement. Not to mention, your track record is a big fat zero. There’s already a large amount of audio and some video clips of your speeches online, even whole sections of transcripts there. Yet you haven’t gone after a single one of the large group of people you’ve threatened with a lawsuit who’ve done far more than I have with bringing your real work to the public: this includes PirateBallerina.com, C-SPAN Caplis & Silverman, Frontpage.com, Little Green Footballs, Men's Wear Daily, WorldNetDaily, the Rocky Mountain News, Fox News Channel, et cetera et cetera. You even threaten lawsuits against people’s own free speech you don’t like, including your own family members such as your sister-in-law, Rhonda Kelly (whom I had the honor of interviewing for the documentary).
You’re guilty of the very thing you accuse others of. In case you haven’t been told by your attorney, let me remind you that you’re under investigation by your own school for copyright thievery and plagiarism. (Who can forget you getting caught by CBS News for stealing a real artist’s work, tracing over it and selling it to someone else as your own.)
Your entire academic history is based on misuing copyrighted work from others; not only from authors and scholars who say you stole from them and quote them completely the opposite of what they actually say, but even from other web site owners, including from the PirateBallerina.com web site. You claim an atmosphere of McCarthyism, yet I’m sure when the CU Inquiry board hauls you in one last time and announces the final decision on your fate, it is them who they’ll be asking if you have no decency.
For someone who postures and preens on a stage where you can dictate the conversation and no one else is allowed to speak, its a shame you’re too apprehensive to meet with me man-to man, much less debate me on free speech (or for that matter, any university scholar opposed to you). Your excuse is that you consider me a “facist cartoonist on par with Joseph Goebbels” and Nazi Propagandist Julius Streicher. Not only is this completely over the top (considering that I actually had relatives who were murdered in the Jewish Holocaust), and not only an unhealthy fetish you’ve had a long time with Nazis, but its also a complete change from back in February when you bragged to a cheering crowd that you would debate anyone on free speech, even if they had “nazi proclivities.” You would now rather take the safe, protected route – sell your books and CDs and do solo speaking engagements, while denying that you ever made a promise to do a debate.
Put your money where your mouth is, Ward. Lets have a neutral party decide on this…
If I can show you proof, television footage and all, that you agreed to do a debate on free speech with someone earlier this year, then you must keep your word and do a public debate with me in Colorado by the end of this year – FOR NO SPEAKING FEE. If I don’t show you proof in one week of your agreement, or if the arbitrator finds that proof unacceptable by that time, then I will personally write you a check for your standard speaking fee, issue you a public apology to be reprinted in a local newspaper, and you can use the money to take a vacation anywhere you like. Say the word and I’ll send you the agreement. (Heck, I’ll even take a DNA test to prove my own heritage.)
Mr. Ward Leroy Churchill, show some integrity and keep the one simple promise which you’ve based your entire livelihood on – agree to a debate. You may not be an Indian, but try to be a man. Take the coward route and sue me, and I’ll give you a lesson on what the First Amendment is really about.
(P.S. – I’m not as possessive as you about my speech, so I’m letting the folks at the Hawaii Reporter share this e-mail with their audience, and soon they’ll show off the speech you gave at Depaul. You may remember them well the last time you were out in Hawaii; one of their reporters got you so upset that you were left speechless and stormed off. So watch out for them – they’re good at catching white lies.)
In this Colorado Daily article, Ethnic Studies professors prove our point (for extra points, try to spot the logical incongruity in Shanley's statements (spoiler: it's in bold)):
[Kathryn] Shanley, associate professor and chair of the University of Montana-Missoula Native American Studies department, agreed with [Professor Bruce E.] Johansen that Churchill's work is omnipresent in the discipline.
“Impartiality is, however, what we do. We're supposed to weigh the scholarly evidence in looking at viable scholarly positions,” she said.
Shanley said the Churchill case requires the expertise of Native American scholars and, she added, she is disappointed Johansen and Williams - who she called two of the most respected scholars available - decided not to participate.
But Native American studies professor Joseph Giovannetti of Humboldt State University (Calif.) said it's impossible to be informed about Native American studies without reading what Churchill wrote.
Having an opinion about his work is unavoidable, Giovannetti said.
...but at least one Ethnic Studies professor seems unconvinced of that unavoidability:
Alfred Young Man, chair of the Native American Studies department of the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, said he doesn't think an involvement with Churchill's work is a prerequisite for credibility.
“My reputation doesn't depend on Churchill. In fact, I think it's his reputation, not mine, that hangs in the balance today,” he said.
OT: The Marquette Warrior points to (and enthusiastically applauds) comments at the Belmont Club made by Michael McCanles (we wish we'd spotted this back in February, when it first appeared—McCanles is a treasure)
You have to have lived day-to-day for the last quarter of the 20th century in academe with all the "do-gooders"—marxoid as well as feminist (little difference)—to get a feel for the fundamentally infantile rage that drives them. "Power," which is their obsession doesn't in fact mean "strength," "control," "discipline" but simply sadism. This is why they abuse their students in the classroom where they have a bully's control over them.
The frightening thing here is how many there are of them: academe is simply crawling with them in the social sciences and humanities departments, showing that the universities and colleges, run now by "administrators" who have no professional intellectual commitments of any sort, have made themselves havens for just this sort of people. Because the administrators must perforce take the recommendations of these types already ensconced in these departments, and because they have no intellectual knowledge or insight whatsoever, the hiring of Ward Churchills is absolutely inevitable.
OT: Influential Indian Historian Vine Deloria, Jr. died Sunday
Update: A surprising number of PB readers have complained about our earlier "racist" modifier to the word "historian." After some consideration (and a good night's sleep) we realize that what we considered merely contrarian Monday evening appeared exceedingly uncharitable on Tuesday morning, so we have changed the wording of the link above.
We found this quote in a Daily Camera article about the resignation of two professors from the Churchill Investigating Committee:
Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said it would be difficult to find experts in Churchill's area of study who have never commented one way or the other about the controversial professor.We can't speak for Churchill's other enemies, but we'll be satisfied simply to see some disinterested objective academics on the Investigating Committee. So far, that list appears to include one individual: Professor Marjorie McIntosh. How will she rule? Nobody knows. And that's the point.
"I'm very concerned that Churchill's enemies are criticizing people in an effort to bully them off of the committee," Lane said on Friday. "I think that's wrong. It's a very small field, and it's a very contentious one. Churchill has enemies, and the enemies aren't going to back down until they are on the committee."
We are quite satisfied to leave Prof. Johansen alone now that he's off the Churchill Investigating Committee, but he doesn't seem to have the same sentiment (third letter)
OT: Speaking of not getting one's facts right, here's a particularly sloppy news report from a Colorado Springs TV station that appears to think Professors Robert A. Williams, Jr. and Bruce E. Johansen are named "Robert Johnson" and "Bruce Johnson."
OT: Over at Squishy, they're discussing the black bloc anarchists, some of Churchill's most ardent fans
For the sake of argument, I will stipulate black bloc anarchists are—quite contrary to my observation—honorable, just, temperate, prudent, wise, hardworking, kind and honest. They need no governance, any more than I do. Fine, for a few minutes I can believe this. They detest capitalism, on rather outdated grounds, but, for the sake of the argument again, I will accept that they believe people would, generally, take whatever job is needed to facilitate the movement of goods and services, for the reward their neighbors consent to award to them for their service.
My question, after many an encounter with the Black Bloc, is this: What skill do you possess, and what actions will you take, that will induce your neighbors to support you? Not one of the Black Blocers I’ve seen appeared to be much of a worker—I make a point of noting their hands, forearms, amount of body fat, muscularity and so on. I note many piercings, some tattoos, but few calluses, or grease in the lines of their hands. What do they do for a living, in our current society? What do they propose to do in their future, non-capitalistic society?
We found this interesting little blurb inserted in an updated version of the AP article on the resignations of Professors Williams and Johansen:
Churchill, speaking at a bookstore Friday to promote a new book, called the controversy over Johansen’s role on the panel ridiculous.
“I wouldn’t know Johansen if I collided with him right now,” he said, declining to comment further.
We doubt Churchill would know us if he collided with us, either, but we'll bet he knows how we'd vote on the Investigating Committee.
Garrett O'Hara over at the O'Hara Factor points out that Ward Churchill was a featured speaker at the University of Arizona last year as part of UA Rogers College of Law's Indigenous People's Law and Policy Program (IPLP), of which Robert A. Williams, Jr. serves as co-chair. [update: Garrett O'Hara comes through again, noting that according to his c.v., Williams is the Director of the IPLP]
We were originally impressed that unlike Professor Johansen, Williams had remained silent and had withdrawn quietly to avoid the bad press. Now it's more obvious that he withdrew before the other rather heavy shoe dropped. Great work, Garrett!
In any case, it's good to know there was much more evidence out there than PB had uncovered regarding Williams' connection to Churchill. This makes us wonder even more strongly if CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct has ever heard the phrase "due diligence."
Hmmmm, maybe we should offer our services to CU in determining how "pirateballerinable" their next choices are....
Seriously, we have to wonder what academic out there is now willing to put their professional reputation on the line for Churchill? We imagine no member of an Ethnic Studies department intends to step forward... but we could be wrong....
The interim chancellor of the University of Colorado's Boulder campus said this week he likely will put his name in for the permanent job.
Phil DiStefano has worked on the Boulder campus for 32 years, most recently as provost. He was named interim chancellor in January, filling the position formerly held by Richard Byyny.
While there have been some challenges - such as the ongoing controversy over professor Ward Churchill and the football recruiting scandal - DiStefano said he believes he's handled those issues well.
...can you say "cognitive dissonance"?
For newcomers to PirateBallerina, we offer an updated "Guide to PirateBallerina's Churchilliana." You can also click on the various titles under our "Essays & Articles" list on the lefthand side of this page for a good overview of what we consider some of our best work.
We don't like to complain, but the various news reports of the resignations of two professors from the Churchill Investigating Committee are either unclear or coyly ignorant of who broke the story of the apparent pro-Churchill bias of those professors. For the record, it was PirateBallerina . See this post for an explanation of the strikeout
CNews 11November05 Part II
Rocky Mountain News:
Second panel member exits Churchill probe
A second member of an investigative committee reviewing research misconduct charges against University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill has resigned from the panel, CU announced today.
Robert A. Williams, a professor of law and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, is the latest to leave the committee in the wake of revelations that he lauded Churchill as an "important scholar" and praised his qualities as a "public intellectual when it comes to the field of American Indian studies."
...and the Denver Post:
2nd professor resigns from Churchill panel
A second scholar appointed to a five-member committee investigating University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill has resigned.
Robert A. Williams, professor of law and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, is the latest committee member to quit, CU spokeswoman Pauline Hale said today.
...and CU's press release:
Statement Regarding The Churchill Investigative Committee
Meanwhile, some more bad news
Justice Department opens battle on race-based fellowships
SCSUScholars notes "The effect of this would be sweeping, as I believe you could find such programs at most universities in America."
The Associated Press interviews us on the resignations
Colorado resident Jim Paine, who runs a Web site called www.PirateBallerina.com, criticized Johansen because Churchill wrote a blurb praising one of the Omaha professor's books and because Johansen has made some positive comments about Churchill's research methods and cited his work in the past.
"I was happy to see that professor Johansen chose to remove himself from the investigating committee," Paine said Friday. "It showed remarkable good sense."
The Ethnic Studies Echo Chamber
by Jim Paine
If one thing has become abundantly clear to me as I've delved deeper into Ward Churchill's writings and the general field of Ethnic Studies, it is that Ethnic Studies is little more than an academic echo chamber dominated by a few loud voices, Churchill's being among the loudest. Now, most fields of study are similarly repetitious, but what makes the Ethnic Studies echo chamber particularly troublesome is that many of the academics within the field are not academics at all, but rather, they are political activists with teaching jobs.
Why is this so? I won't go into the emergence of professorial activism, since that subject has been covered thoroughly here. Suffice it to say that since the '60s, the Humanities in general and Ethnic Studies in particular (requiring as it does so little real scholarship) have attracted vast numbers of otherwise unemployable activists. The short hours, the long breaks, the ample salaries, and the endless opportunities to inculcate gullible students with one's beliefs make this a near-perfect safe-house from which to conduct one's real business of political activism.
Ward Churchill's entire career has been both a mirror and a prototype of this merging of academia and activism. And now that career, as well as his body of work, has been called into question. Of course he will defend himself. But the real threat of the investigation of Churchill's work is not merely to Churchill's continued employment at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Most onlookers understand, at least on a visceral level, that this battle represents much more than that.
Most telling of the true scope of this battle is that Churchill's academic peers are so vociferous, so strident in defending him. The simple fact of the matter is that they must defend him. Their own sinecures are threatened when Churchill is threatened. Much of their work would be eviscerated should the vast array of Churchill citations suddenly be rendered worthless. The work of Vine Deloria, of Bruce Johansen, of Winona LaDuke, of Robert A. Williams, Jr.—activists all, Churchill supporters all—the work of all of these is hopelessly intertwined and interdependent, each providing rationale for the others' theses.
Churchill cites Deloria, who cites Johansen, who cites Williams, who cites Churchill (and here—twice).* But what happens when just one of those sources is shown to be irrelevant, or worse, false? How much of what presently constitutes the field of Ethnic Studies will have to be reconstructed from the ground up? What happens when a single joker is removed from this house of cards?
Nothing of import, save perhaps the restoration of a subfield of study to its rightful parents, History and Anthropology departments. And, of course, a vast lamentation from activists suddenly deprived of audience, income, and succor.
* I've been called to task for this statement (which I considered a rhetorical example of the circularity of citations and proofs offered by those named rather than actual cites), hence the addition of links to citations.
I have yet to find a Churchill citation in any work of Professor Williams, but he has published mostly in law reviews, and these texts are more difficult to find than the usual victims' studies screeds. For the sake of argument, however, I'll stipulate that it's possible Williams has not cited Churchill, since Williams, writing for law reviews, would naturally confine most of his citations to legal cases.
Additionally, it's been pointed out that Winona LaDuke is not a college professor. This is correct, although her upcoming speaking schedule indicates a lively interest in her by academics. Oh, and LaDuke's not only cited Churchill at least twice (in her book All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life), but also co-authored with Churchill a chapter in The State of Native America, edited by Churchill's second wife, M. Annette Jaimes.
Additionally, Vine Deloria has written forwards for two of Johansen's books: Debating Democracy: Native American Legacy of Freedom, and Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy. Deloria is arguably the most cited historian among Ethnic Studies texts.
and while we're still looking for a Williams cite of Churchill, Churchill has cited Williams in his Acts of Rebellion: The Ward Churchill Reader, and his A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present, as well as here, and here.
BTW: I found so many occurrences of Churchill citing himself that I quit recording them. I can say without fear of contradiction that Churchill could write a lengthy book comprised solely of footnotes citing himself. And worse, somebody would buy it, and, worse still, within weeks, it would be on required reading lists in Ethnic Studies departments around the world.
I'll update the list as research progresses.
Update (26May06): It appears that checking for references to Churchill's work isn't enough; Churchill himself admits to "ghostwriting" numerous articles for other "scholars" and then citing those articles under his own byline to support his claims as though the articles were written by independent authorities. It remains to be seen how destructive Churchill's fraud will be to what passes for American Indian scholarship.
Here's an opinion piece of Churchill's Evergreen State College visit Monday
"Being enrolled" is not the only indicator of a person's Native identity, but Ward lied to us on Monday night about his enrollment status: he said that he's enrolled with the Keetoowah Cherokee, but they say he's simply not enrolled! It's not a blood-quantum enrollment issue—he really has no ancestor in his lineage that was a community member of any tribe in North or South America.
Yet during his speech, I was confused, because he kept referring to his "homeland," his "colonial name," and his relative who died in a Creek Indian raid (he did not mention that this relative was non-Native). This is why, at Q & A time, I asked him, "Do you identify as Native?" He tensed up and made me repeat my question, and then he said "Absolutely," then remarked that "only white men ask those kinds of questions." Ironically, I am a woman of mixed ancestry who had the decency to inquire whether he identifies as Native, instead of making accusations, but he just called me white, lumping me into a 'white-male' perspective in order to dismiss my question.
Soon, some indigenous students in the audience asked Ward to address my question more thoroughly in order to clarify his perspective. Ward responded dismissively and defensively and began to get quite angry, saying that "a traditional Native person would never ask me those questions," and saying he wanted to "get back to the real issues, instead of who my grandmother is (the audience clapped for him at this)."
The Denver Post belatedly discovers one of the Stooges is missing
Scholar quits committee reviewing Churchill's work
The resignation of one of the scholars appointed to a committee investigating University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill could delay the inquiry, a committee official said Thursday.
The committee has 120 days to investigate Churchill, but the clock doesn't start until the committee is in place, said Joseph Rosse, chairman of the university's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.
...the glass is always going to be half-empty for the Post, isn't it
OT: Yet another academic ideologue makes himself known
The University of Nebraska at Omaha student newspaper profiles Professor Johansen and his travails with the 'Front Range follies'
[Professor Bruce] Johansen, who is a professor in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, said that he was not certain why he was asked to join the panel.
"I don't really know [why I was chosen]. I have written lots of books and they were looking for someone who knew Native American history.
"I don't think that they knew I was following the case or developing a book on academic freedom issues. They had no way of knowing," he said.
Hilarious, touching (if one can feel sympathy for an attorney), and revealing 1997 Michigan Law Review essay by Churchill Investigating Committee member Robert Williams:
'Vampires Anonymous and critical race practice' [note: link will cease to function November 17, 2005]
That's why I chose a ridiculously obscure topic for my first "major" law review article that no one had written on in Indian law for years: the origin of the Doctrine of Discovery. This was the well-established legal doctrine of European international law, which I traced back to the Crusades of the Middle Ages and the Pope in Rome, by which Columbus and all the other colonizers from Christian Europe who followed him claimed the New World, despite the fact that non-Christian Indians were there first. Get this, and I'm not making this up: because the Indians were "barbarians," they had inferior rights to their property once Europeans came along and "discovered" them.
The novelty of my article on the medieval legal background of the Doctrine of Discovery, so I thought, was that I had discovered the racist origins of modern Indian law. Wasn't that something?
Writing about the racist origins of Indian law, however, turned out to be a mistake, a Big Mistake, as I came to learn during this early, deformative part of my legal academic career. I've still not completely ever recovered from it, even now, years later. It's what made me turn into a Vampire.
Paleoconservative Youth blog has a report on Churchill's Shoreline Community College speech (and they promise tape!)
And then there were four....
Professor Bruce Johansen Quits Churchill Investigating Committee
A University of Nebraska professor has resigned from the committee investigating research misconduct allegations against University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill after questions were raised about his objectivity.
"Basically, I believe that the committee will not be able to concentrate on its necessary business as long as attacks on me are providing a distraction," professor Bruce Johansen wrote in an e-mail Wednesday to the Rocky Mountain News.
[H]e notified CU law professor Mimi Wesson on Monday that he was stepping down from the panel.
Wesson, who chairs the investigative panel, declined to comment Wednesday on the resignation.
CU spokeswoman Pauline Hale said rules for such committees leave some flexibility as to their size. Decisions on whether to fill a vacancy would be up to CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.
Linda Sue Grimes over at BellaOnline has a "satire" of Churchill's "genocide" litany; we're not sure that it's really satire, since it cleaves so closely to what Churchill has actually said... but perhaps that's Grimes' point.
Mike Littwin wonders if Referendum C would have passed if the embarrassing results of the audit of CU finances had been released a week earlier (via RockyWatch)
Rick Sincere discovers that write-in candidate "Ward Churchill" failed to win election as Charlottesville, Virginia's attorney:
The Commonwealth's Attorney (an uncontested race featuring only the incumbent, Dave Chapman, on the ballot) had the most write-in votes, 62, with Mr. Belvedere, George Bush, Ward Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Madonna, Matlock, and favorite son Dave Mathews [sic] making the grade.
Sorry, Marathon Pundit... the only article on Churchill's November 7th talk at Evergreen State College we've found is this rather coy report, the one saving grace of which is its exquisite brevity.
The Bos'un over at (where else) The Bos'un Locker has what appears to be the first report on Churchill's speech at Shoreline Community College last night [editor's note: the link to The Bos'un Locker doesn't seem to work; luckily, the Bos'un cross-posted his report here], though perhaps it's a sadder but wiser Bos'un tonight:
After I returned home and wrote this article, I discovered a canned lecture, "Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens By Ward Churchill and discovered that I could have saved $12 by reading his canned speech. However, I was able to soak up $12 worth of atmosphere of the radial left wing agenda for a couple of hours and see Churchill the man in person.
The Bos'un also could have saved himself the 12 bucks and the two hours by reading our "Churchill Like a Pro'
According to The Uniter, the University of Winnipeg Student Weekly (via the good folks over at Dust My Broom), the cancellation of Churchill's talk in Winnipeg last week wasn't exactly a big surprise—it was cancelled by committee back on October 25th, over a week prior to the event.
“It was a decision at a board meeting to cancel his talk because of concerns by aboriginal groups and also from the Kelly family (family of Ward Churchill’s deceased wife) because it would cast his credibility in a bad light,” said UWSA vice president advocate of student services Andriy Michalchyshyn.
Some of the groups in opposition were the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Southern Chiefs organization (SCO), Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), and the Ojibwas of Onigaming First Nation.
Protest action will no longer be a concern since Churchill will not be coming to town, but the repercussions reach the UWSA’s budget. Approximately $5000 used for Churchill’s plane ticket and accommodations, among other costs, will not be refunded to the UWSA.
“It’s not a small amount of money – we could have done a lot with that,” Sjoberg said.
OT: Excellent editorial concerning the passage of Referenda C & D in Colorado
Even the average idiot who voted for Referendum C would do better with the rebate cash than government will. [And these u]seful idiots would have spent the money through millions of channels in the private economy, and the expenditures would have reflected organic, everyday wants and needs.
Instead of paying the little people who sell tires or fix children's teeth, the state will channel rivers of cash to a relative few pre-approved recipients who are part of the club: road construction and engineering firms, six-figure professors who rarely show up for class, dildo artists and Ward Churchill.
"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends"
Grant Crowell reveals all (including the email from Ward Churchill we noted in an earlier post) about the "smuggled pocket-sized recording device" at Churchill's DePaul University "performance"
We're not sure how to take this most recent email from Professor Johansen:
To: Jim Paine <email@example.com>
From: Bruce Johansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I read that piece on you in the Colorado Daily. It's interesting that you characterize your "research" as "credible." Taking three or four words out of my own 60,000-word annotated bibliography to smear my reputation was not research and it was hardly credible. You badly misjudged me, and then spread it around. And when I defended myself, I got insulting emails from your friends saying I was being unfair to you. This brings to mind Orwell, Joe McCarthy, and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. It's a very strange "truth" you perpetuated on me, and I resent it immensely.
As you like to say "Nuff said." As you like to say "Nuff said." Think twice, please, before butchering someone's professional reputation with conspiracy theories and character assassination.
Bruce E. Johansen
Since the most damning criticism we've quoted of Johansen's work ("an elaborate hoax") was taken from Johansen's own web page (where, we'll admit, Johansen was fair enough to publish both laudatory and critical reviews of his work), we're uncertain how we have damaged his reputation.
And if we were the thin-skinned, sensitive type, we'd think that second paragraph was some sort of veiled threat (and that repetition of "As you like to say 'Nuff said.'" would strike us as positively eerie). Luckily, we're not the thin-skinned, sensitive type.
by Jim Paine
The members of the Churchill Investigating Committee seem hesitant or perhaps uncertain how to extricate themselves from what is becoming yet another public embarrassment for CU.
We're certain that the committee members, being college-educated and all, can come up with reasonable-sounding excuses on their own, but just in case one (or more) of them doesn't have the sense God gave a dirt-clod, here are ten excuses, ready-made:
- The dog ate my "Welcome to the Churchill Investigating Committee" orientation packet.
- I didn't know we were going to review that commie.
- I have to finish my packing for the US Off the Planet move
- Some fascists may interpret my well-known history of trading book-jacket blurbs with Churchill as an indication of some sort of bias. I mean, really.
- Will there be girls on the committee? They have cooties, you know.
- My religion does not permit me to pass judgment on Professor Churchill. Or eat ballpark franks. Sorry, but The Prophet was very specific.
- I have mono.
- Sorry, but my work for the "International Tribunal for the Deification of Mumia Abu-Jamal" comes first.
- Ward Churchill? I thought we were going to investigate that war criminal Winston Churchill.
- "Please excuse Bruce Johansen from the Investigating Committee. He has
a cold the flua dead grandma. (signed) Bruce's Mom"
We can stand-down now: Caplis & Silverman have fixed their webpage so once again their listeners can enjoy the latest embarassment on CU's ever-lengthening list—'Is the Churchill review panel compromised?'
Speaking of co-ink-i-dinks, we couldn't help but notice that Bella Mody, a member of CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct (which selected the Five Stooges), is also an affiliate of CU's Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America, of which (at least according to this non-CU press release) Ward Churchill is Associate Director. Imagine. Nearly four thousand faculty members at CU, you'd think they could find a dozen people a little less, um, connected to Churchill to review the charges against him.
BTW: The only place we've been able to find any official notice that CU's Ethnic Studies department has a new chair (Albert Ramirez) is in a CSERA newsletter.
OT: CU Foundation Audit Shows Improper Spending
Among 21 suggested changes, the auditors recommended that the CU System follow state fiscal rules, which is not currently required.
How many months, how many people and how many conferences did it take to arrive at that conclusion?
We've asked Pauline Hale, Executive Director of University Communications at CU, if she anticipates any changes in the make-up of the Investigative Committee. We'll keep you posted should she respond.
Musta been a slow news day: Colorado Daily profiles PB
Don't forget, unless the event is cancelled, Churchill will be speaking at Shoreline Community College in Seattle, Washington tomorrow. Go here for details.
Grant Crowell, the documentarian who came into possession of an audio recording of Churchill's "no media, no recording devices" speech at DePaul University a couple of weeks ago and published it on the internet, reports to PB that he is now being threatened by Churchill with copyright infringement. Crowell says Churchill claims his speeches, including the one at DePaul, are protected by copyright as any other performer's would be.
Ward Churchill has confirmed via email that his talk at the University of Winnipeg Friday was cancelled. Churchill says the cancellation was due to pressure put upon university administrators by a group led by his late wife's sister, who has vociferously opposed Churchill in numerous venues. Churchill also noted in his email that he has already banked the check for the cancelled speaking engagement, and that the cancellation will only solidify his support base.
Once the current set of louts tires of Chanting For Churchill, here're their replacements
Looks like Ward Churchill didn't get to speak at the University of Winnipeg Friday (via The Canadian Bullet)
OT: King Banaian of SCSUScholars says 'End Teacher Accreditation' (it's a "rent-seeking device"), and while John Bruce over in the Shadow of Mt. Hollywood takes Banaian to task on some points, he amplifies and ultimately endorses this intriguing idea
A Closer Look at the Five Stooges
by Jim Paine
- The partner in a comedy team who feeds lines to the other comedian; a straight man.
- One who allows oneself to be used for another's profit or advantage; a puppet.
One would think that with all the public attention on the actions of CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct (SCRM) vis á vis its treatment of the Ward Churchill investigation, SCRM would approach the task of selecting the final investigating committee members with care, nay, with great fear and trembling. One would think SCRM would select professional historians and scholars with impeccable academic credentials, and just as importantly, no obvious predisposition toward Churchill's fate.
One would be oh so very wrong. SCRM announced last Tuesday (and then, only after a Colorado Open Records request from the Denver Post required it; it's interesting that the Post has since then remained silent on the information their request revealed) the names of the members of the committee charged with conducting a full investigation of charges against Ward Churchill. Of the five, only one—Professor Marjorie McIntosh—appears to meet all of our earlier-noted selection criteria.
Some have said the committee is loaded with Churchill's ringers, but this is to vastly enlarge the meaning of the word ringer. Passing off an unknown but professionally-skilled ball player as a member of your company's baseball team—that would be bringing in a ringer. SCRM's action is more like introducing your company's baseball team—and then having the New York Yankees, in uniform, take the field.
So let's look at the line-up, shall we?
Marjorie McIntosh is a Distinguished Professor of History at CU, and has made no known comments concerning Ward Churchill, or much of anything outside her specialty (early modern English history), for that matter. She may be a rabid Churchill fan, but unlike the other members of the investigating committee, she is smart enough to keep her mouth shut about it. She has signed no petitions, marched in no parades, endorsed no ads supporting Churchill.
Ever the optimist, I prefer to see this as an indication Professor McIntosh will actually review the facts of Churchill's case, expertly examine the various charges of research misconduct, and rule accordingly. Professor McIntosh is the only member of the investigating committee with a right to be there.
On the other hand, judging by Professor McIntosh's fellow committee members, one could not condemn her for resigning out of sheer professional embarrassment.
The committee chairman is Marianne "my friends call me Mimi" Wesson, who teaches law at CU when she's not writing whodunits featuring a lawyer who also serves as director of a women's rape crisis center in Boulder. It would be uncharitable to say her website seems almost desperately intent on showing the visitor what an okay and cool kinda gal Mimi is. According to a Washington Post article from 1999, Wesson is a wannabe flower child of the '60s who stitched a peace symbol to her mortarboard at her Vassar graduation, and "is comfortable in this university city whose politics and culture are so out of whack with most of Colorado that it is often derided as the 'People's Republic of Boulder.' She is a liberal Democrat and a feminist and voted twice for Bill Clinton, the first time watching his election 'with something like joy.'" It's not a far reach to say Wesson is not only a true academic peer of Churchill, but the very prototypical liberal academic from which all other academic liberals are stamped.
Would Wesson vote for Churchill or against him? It's my guess she would vote for him; although as a former federal prosecutor she certainly understands the rules and the law, she may have just enough residual flower child in her to have a strong impulse to "stick it to the Man." Unfortunately, the Man she'll be sticking it to is the Colorado taxpayer and the CU student.
Robert Williams is a law professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and has had the most to say about Ward Churchill—all of it very supportive, practically adulatory. He's also a self-proclaimed Lumbee Indian with a chip on his shoulder about the White Man's legal system, and a devout adherent to Critical Race Theory, which holds race to be the very nexus of American life, the most important aspect of any dispute.
It's virtually impossible that Williams would vote against Churchill.
Michael Radelet is chairman of the Sociology department at CU and a nationally-known death penalty opponent. Although no record of a face-to-face meeting with Churchill is available online, Radelet joined Churchill (and Howard Zinn, Ramsey Clark, et al) in supporting "The International People's Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal." in 1997 (although he hedged his bets on Mumia in an interview with the Colorado Daily in 2001). Like Leonard Peltier, Mumia is a convicted cop-killer and cause célèbre among the nation's academic elite.
It is reasonably safe to predict a pro-Churchill vote from Radelet.
Bruce Johansen is an Indian Studies professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha whose work has been favorably reviewed and defended by Churchill, and who has made supportive statements about Churchill in the past, but who still maintained to a reporter as recent as this past Tuesday "I am going to do my best to be fair." Johansen has also threatened PirateBallerina with "serious legal jeopardy" for observing that there may be a quid pro quo at work here. Johansen's revisionist histories concerning the American form of government and its alleged reliance on the model of the Iroquois League of Five Nations have been thoroughly lambasted by any number of historians—and lauded by Ward Churchill, among others.
To suggest Johansen can be objective or even professional in his deliberation of the Churchill case is ludicrous in the extreme, a fairy tale that would challenge even a child's willful suspension of disbelief.
With at least three of the five safely in his corner, if not his pocket, Churchill stands to walk away from this months-long travesty of justice scot-free. The only hope is that public embarrassment for its obvious stacking of the investigative deck will force CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct to replace at least the two most egregiously biased members. Not only do CU's own regulations prohibiting conflict of interest and bias in such cases require replacement, but so does common sense, the abandonment of which is apparently mandatory to achieve a CU professorship.
BTW: While the Five Stooges are catching the flack this week, it's important to remember that the true authors of this burlesque are Phil DiStefano and the 12 members of CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct. In case you'd like to register your ire (or give them moral support), we provide their email addresses as a public service:
Phil DiStefano, Interim CU Chancellor
Members of SCRM:
Joseph Rosse, Chairman
Note that I've omitted the two staff and student members of the committee, Linda Morris and Tind Shepper Ryen, respectively, reckoning (rightly or wrongly) that they've had little real input into the present stupidity.
Another CU-appointed panel to judge Ward Churchill's scholarship lumbered up to the starting line the other day - eight months after Chancellor Phil DiStefano promised a full investigation - and what do you know? Two of its five members were waving Churchill pennants.Read it all....
Yes, it turns out that two members of the investigating committee are on public record extolling Churchill and his work. "A major scholar and public intellectual," gushed Professor Robert Williams of the University of Arizona. Churchill's books are "well-argued and intensively documented in a scholarly manner," enthused Professor Bruce Johansen of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Couldn't the University of Colorado have just asked the Ward Churchill fan club - one surely exists in this age of celebrity worship - to rule on the charges of research misconduct that have been leveled against him and saved itself time and trouble?
For that matter, why go through the motions at all? Why not announce the pro-Churchill verdict right now and be done with it?
Bruce Johansen is the author of several books that postulate that the United States' form of government was strongly influenced by (perhaps even modelled after) the Iroquois League of Five Nations. While some academics—notably Ward Churchill and Vine Deloria—have endorsed, defended, or otherwise supported Johansen's theory, other academics have not been so unskeptical.
Here is a selection of academic comments that somehow failed to make it onto the blurb list for any of Johansen's books:
"...[T]he present essay focuses on these topics--that is to say, on the formulation of the American union. It concentrates on the writings of Donald Grinde and Bruce Johansen, who have made the most detailed and authoritative statements of the Iroquois influence thesis. It summarizes their arguments, examines the evidence, and concludes that their position is unfounded." Samuel B. Payne, Jr. "The Iroquois League, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution" in The William and Mary Quarterly.
"In fact, what [Grinde and Johansen] have created is a crazy quilt of inaccurate assessments, free-floating speculations, incorrect or disembodied quotations, and thesis-driven conclusions." Philip Levy, criticizing Grinde and Johansen's co-authored Exemplar of Liberty: Native America and the Evolution of Democracy in The William and Mary Quarterly.
"Throughout Exemplar of Liberty, [the words of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams] are misquoted, misattributed, decontextualized,. inaccurately paraphrased. liberally edited, and misinterpreted." Philip Levy, ibid.
"[W]hat Grinde and Johansen have written is an elaborate hoax...Indians were unimportant in shaping events on this continent that led up to the founding of the United States." Elisabeth Tooker in a review of Exemplar of Liberty for Northeast Anthropologist, as quoted by Johansen on this webpage.
* * *
Caplis & Silverman of KHOW radio say today that they are filing a formal complaint with CU concerning the selection of at least two of the Five Stooges.
BTW: We somehow found ourselves on the Caplis & Silverman show today, where we were scolded for characterizing all of the investigating committee members as Stooges. We agreed that perhaps we had been uncharitable, since Professor McIntosh, for one, seems eminently qualified to serve.
Upon further reflection, however, it occurred to us that if one hangs out with the hookers on the corner, one cannot be surprised to be mistaken for either a pimp or a whore.
OT (and a tad late): Ward Churchill Ties Johnny Cash for 66th Greatest Indian of All Time
* * *
We just received an email refuting Professor Johansen's claim that one of the criticisms of his work came from "a high school paper." Here is the pertinent portion of the email:
The essay linked to by Pirate Ballerina, "Iroquois Confederacy and the Influence Thesis," by Brian Cook has been characterized by Prof. Bruce E. Johansen of the University of Nebraska at Omaha as "a high school paper." While the author, Mr. Cook, is listed at the Tilton School, a prep school in New Hampshire, he is not a student but the Chair of the Social Science Department. Mr. Cook's essay should be awarded the respect of being the product of a professional history teacher, which his status in the profession dictates.You mean to say Professor Johansen didn't check his sources before writing? Quelle surprise.
Francis Rexford Cooley
Dean of the College
Paier College of Art
BA History University of Colorado, Class of 1987
Clarification: We contacted Mr. Cook and asked him about the status of his essay. He replied that it was a paper he wrote for a class in Native American Anthropology. He also noted that his M.Ed. is in Social Science Education. Mr. Cook also points out that PB erred in implying that his essay claimed that Professor Johansen "falsified his sources" when in fact, Mr. Cook's essay pointed out that "others criticized [Johansen's] history and suggested it was fiction." We apologize to both Mr. Cook and Professor Johansen for our mischaracterization of the essay.
* * *
Rocky Mountain News: Professor challenges claim he's predisposed to a not-guilty verdict
Professor Bruce E. Johansen, who teaches Native American studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, took exception to being labeled one of "five stooges" by the PirateBallerina.com Web site, which has chronicled the Churchill controversy since it erupted in January.
Johansen, in a telephone interview, said confidentiality rules limited what he could say about his work for the investigating committee - which, he said, is "just getting started." His participation was finalized a week ago.
"In the field I'm in, it's a bit tough not to cross paths with Churchill," Johansen said. "He's written a lot. He's gotten around. But I've said things about him that were critical - the bloggers aren't citing those."
Churchill's comparison of some World Trade Center victims to Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, Johansen said, "was insensitive. It was off the wall. But, I have also said he has the right to say it."
"I'm going to do my best as a scholar," Johansen said. "I'm perfectly capable of examining evidence. And I'm not anybody's stooge."
...perhaps someone will adopt him.
Meanwhile, the folks over at The Try-Works blog seem quite exercised over all of this. (Does somebody need a hug? Yes, we think they do.)
Professor threatens PB with legal action
Subject: A legal matter
To: Jim Paine <email@example.com>
From: Bruce Johansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have now read the material related to me in [pirateballerina.com]. The First Amendment gives us all the right to engage in biased argument. However, there are legal limits, and in one instance the authors of the site violate them. This is the unsupported allegation that Mr. Churchill and I have engaged in some sort of "quid pro quo." A quid pro quo is specific set of events leading to a mutually agreed upon outcome, sometimes involving money. In this case, there has never been any such agreement.
The author may be referring to a positive review of a book I edited (Enduring Legacies, 2004) by Mr. Churchill. I have written 25 books and they have been reviewed by many people, nicely and not so nicely. In this case (and this is legally very important) I did not request the review. Thus, many suggestion of quid pro quo is defamatory and false. I also believe that this comment qualifies as libel under the "actual malice" standard of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling New York Times v. Sullivan [376 US 254 (1964)]. Actual malice in this case refers to defamatory falsehood which is published with knowledge that it is false, the standard for a successful lawsuit by a public figure.
In view of this, I strongly suggest that this website refrain from suggesting any quid pro quo between Mr. Churchill and myself. I want this statement removed. To do otherwise will put the authors of the site in serious legal jeopardy.
Bruce E. Johansen
Frederick W. Kayser Research Professor
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Update: We're not sure what "serious legal jeopardy" is, but it doesn't sound good, so we've removed the phrase "quid pro quo" and replaced it with "unacknowledged, perhaps serendipitous, and possibly unintentional mutual back-scratching" in the offending article.
Hey, we're not attorneys, but it would appear that the selection of at least two, and perhaps three, of the Five Stooges violates CU's own regulations (thanks to Craig Silverman of KHOW radio for reminding us of the regs) (emphasis ours):
The Standing Committee shall appoint an investigating committee charged with conducting a thorough, informed and unbiased investigation of the allegations of misconduct.
- In consultation with the appropriate dean or vice chancellor, the Standing Committee shall appoint an ad hoc committee of three to five members, including a chair, herein referred to as the investigating committee.
- Investigating committee members may be selected from inside or outside the University, excluding members of the Standing Committee. Attention in selection should be paid to (1) avoiding conflicts of interest and (2) including appropriate research expertise within the committee to evaluate the allegation(s) under consideration.
- The Standing Committee shall consult with the respondent and complainant to ensure that investigating committee members do not have a bias or conflict of interest in considering the case. If a member's impartiality is questioned, the Standing Committee may replace that member.
- The chair of the Standing Committee shall meet with the Investigative Committee, prior to the initiation of the investigation, to discuss the procedures for the investigation phase, described in section VI. of this document.
We await with bated breath The Great Replacing
It's a start
Rocky Mountain News: 'Objectivity comes into question'
A member of a research-misconduct committee reviewing charges against University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill has reportedly lauded Churchill as an "important scholar" and described him as a "major scholar and public intellectual when it comes to the field of American Indian Studies."...As we've noted before, we prefer 'pro-common sense' to 'anti-Churchill' but the important thing is that the objectivity of at least one of the Five Stooges is being scrutinized.
Pirate Ballerina.com, an anti-Churchill Web site, attributes those comments to professor Robert A. Williams, of the University of Arizona. Williams is one of five members of a committee formed to investigate seven charges of research misconduct against Churchill.
This just in from Professor Bruce E. Johansen of the University of Nebraska (typos left intact):
To: Jim Paine <email@example.com>Update: Thanks to John Martin over at Drunkablog, we learn that Professor Johansen is incorrect in attributing one of the criticisms of his work to "a high school paper." In fact, it is a paper written for a Native American Anthropology class by a high-school history teacher.
From: Bruce Johansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Five Stooges" -- cute!
I suppose you are aware that the selective quotes cited in Pirateballerina are 1/a high-school paper and 2/my own annotated bibliography that cites all manner of points of view on my work. Now that is doubly cute!
Of course, if you and your friends were at all interested in "fairness" you'd put a reply from me at the top of the web site before defaming my reputation, but I somehow sense that fairness is not exactly your middle name. Character assassin is more like it.
You also have violated my copyright, but, as we have seed so often these days, law is for liberals. Hey, Jim: if you want to do something important with your life, go after a president who started a war that has kill thousands of people with lies. Why waste your time on low-hanging fruit like me?
Bruce E. Johansen
OT: from an AP story about the release of the names of the Five Stooges
Churchill, 53, requested a sabbatical for next semester, but CU hasn't decided on the request, stating the decision depends on the outcome of the investigation.
...it's a good thing the AP reporter chose journalism as a trade; we doubt anyone who can subtract 1947 from 2005 and get 53 had much of a future in the business world.
What the Five Stooges Have Said In the Past About Churchill
“The present controversy has focused on only a tiny fraction of Prof. Churchill's work. I have read some of his books, and find them to be well-argued and intensively documented in a scholarly manner. He occasionally has referenced my work, and he has done so properly. I realize that some of what he has written has incited controversy. I believe that engagement in controversy is proper for a scholar; any line between "activism" and "scholarship" is artificial. In my work I have advanced ideas regarding the role of the Iroquois Confederacy in the evolution of democracy that have become the object of intense scrutiny and intense controversy. Controversy and activism are necessary ingredients in the contest of ideas on which the academy should be based.”
BTW: Johansen has himself been
criticized for falsifying his sources accused of writing historical fiction, and this historical fabulism has been called "an elaborate hoax." Additionally, there may be some unacknowledged, perhaps serendipitous, and possibly unintentional mutual back-scratching, since Churchill has defended Johansen's scholarship and endorsed a book Johansen edited.
Update: Johansen told a reporter today about his committee membership: "I'm going to do my best to be fair." Well, then. Nuff said, eh?
Update: Professor Johansen is now threatening PB with legal action
“...[A]nyone who's followed the field of American Indian Studies for the past three decades would immediately recognize Ward Churchill as an important scholar, writer and advocate, whose published works are widely cited and relied upon. His body of written work and teaching has inspired a generation of younger Native students and activists to unashamedly assert indigenous sovereignty and Indian rights over a broad domain of intellectual and cultural life in American society. In many ways and in many forums, he has helped to shape the discourse of the modern Indian rights movement. He is, in fact, the unquestioned intellectual leader of a vanguard movement of AIS scholars who brandish a no-holds-barred, no compromise form of Indian political rhetoric that upsets and even incites many non-Indians. Professor Churchill also oftentimes challenges Indian people themselves to take responsibility for an unthinking, uncritical adoption of non-indigenous, colonially-dominated ways of thought and talking about Indians and also about contemporary American society.
His most challenging writings therefore make him few friends, while earning him many enemies. While at times tendentious and almost always pushing the envelope, if not tearing it to pieces, Professor Churchill, through sheer force of intellect, energy, and a radical reformer's zeal, has established himself as a major scholar and public intellectual when it comes to the field of American Indian Studies. Some people may not like that, but what does one expect of a tenured professor who teaches and writes about American Indians in a highly respected ethnic studies department at a major research university that supposedly values academic freedom—that he would only have nice things to say about this country in his scholarship?”
"A number of my colleagues took a view I don't share [about Churchill's "little Eichmann" essay]. If you believe he had the right to say what he did without professional penalty (which I do), you need to find something worthwhile in what he wrote," she explains. "You shouldn't have to struggle for backhanded praise. It's important for us to say so."
OT: Wesson had some rather sane things to say about CU Boulder's athletics program. And here's an interesting article about Wesson from the Washington Post
We find no comments, although it is possible, even probable, that Radelet was among CU's Arts & Science Council who voted for the ASC resolution defending Churchill's "right to free speech" and demanding the investigation into his conduct be stopped (although he is not listed as a signatory to the ad supporting Churchill that ran in the Daily Camera in March). Since Radelet is a nationally-known opponent to the death penalty, we can safely assume that that will not be on the table in the highly improbable event the Five Stooges find Churchill culpable. Radelet did co-sign a rather fussy open letter to then-CU president Betsy "C-Word" Hoffman scolding her for her use of the aforementioned C-word (third letter).
We find no comments. Perhaps Professor McIntosh, who appears to be the only professional historian on committee, will have gravitas sufficient to cow the exculpatory inclinations the others must certainly possess.
BTW: At approximately 7 o'clock this evening, we forwarded a link to this article to each of the Five Stooges. We'll keep you posted concerning any comments they may choose to make.
Also BTW: If you know of an internet citation of any of the Five Stooges commenting on Ward Churchill, let us know. Be sure to include the link to the comment in your email.
Did we mention that PirateBallerina was the first to notice that at least two members of the Investigating Committee were something less than disinterested observers? And how is it a newspaper like the Denver Post, with vast resources and certainly more feet on the street than PB could ever muster, has yet to publish a single article about the questionable objectivity of some of the committee members? See this post for an explanation of the strikeout
Committee of Five Stooges named to conduct full investigation of remaining charges against Ward Churchill (emphasis and links ours):
The committee conducting the investigation is chaired by Marianne Wesson, a professor of law at CU. It includes CU professors Marjorie McIntosh, distinguished professor of history, and Michael Radelet, chairman of the department of sociology. It also includes Bruce Johansen, professor of Native American studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and Robert Williams, professor of law and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.Let's see... a feminist (and NPR talking head), a re-writer of American history (critiqued here), an anti-death penalty expert, an "Indian law" professor (and avid Churchill supporter)... Marjorie McIntosh appears to be the only one on the list devoid of liberal baggage (but perhaps we haven't looked hard enough)... Apparently, Russell Means, Glenn Morris, and Mumia Abu-Jamal were unavailable to serve. No wonder Churchill said the committee was made up of people whose competency he respects. Truly a "jury of his peers."
Churchill gets the Spring semester off, after all
Churchill will continue to draw his $94,000 salary while on break, but this is not a 'sabbatical'
Mildly OT: CU Prez Hank Brown selects committee to find new CU Boulder Chancellor
We note this because someday, this new chancellor (when he is finally selected) may have to consider calling a special forum to select a committee to review material in preparation for writing a stern letter to Ward Churchill about his "employment issues"