Ward Churchill, a former ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado (UC), may have been fired after a UC investigation revealed his plagiarism and poor scholarship, but some anti-war outlets still court the controversial professor’s company.
Churchill has shown himself to be more than willing to equate the September 11, 2001 attacks with the death of infants in the Iraq War and to label the victims of the 9/11 attacks as “little Eichmanns.”
During a 2006 interview on Hannity & Colmes, Churchill defended his comments, arguing that they were no worse than Donald Rumsfeld’s. “Roughly speaking there’s no precise answer to be offered because the proportionality is grotesquely unbalanced, but my feelings towards families here would be roughly the same as my feelings toward families suffering ‘collateral damage,’ as Rumsfeld calls it, in Iraq. How do you feel about those, Sean?,” he said, responding to Sean Hannity. The professor is apparently proud of his defense, having posted the video to his website, www.wardchurchill.net.
Recent events at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) revealed just how far Churchill is willing to go to condemn his own country. “18 years ago, in 1990, when the father of the current president came on television and said, invoking some sort of doctrine of just war, as he called it, but it is an obligation—not just a right, but an obligation—to repeal the seizure of someone else’s territory, the appropriation of their resources, the usurpation of their legitimate governments—and of course George H.W. Bush was speaking the truth,” he told an adoring Recreate 68 audience on August 24. “And I jumped and I began to dance. I was deliriously happy ‘cause I knew right then when he said he was going to use all due military force to accomplish those objectives that he was calling air strikes in on the White House right as he spoke” (emphasis added).
“But of course he really didn’t mean it and the question would be ‘do we?’”
Earlier that day, Churchill’s body guards molested Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins, who attempted to interview the professor. Later, Jenkins and his cameramen were attacked by the
angry crowd of protestors shouting f— Fox News. (warning: linked video contains vulgarity).
The YouTube video of Churchill’s speech was produced by the People’s Press Collective, a group which criticizes the mainstream media and believes in “dissent, spirited debate, and passionately defending your opinions.”
Recreate 68 is a non-violent organization which reserves the right to self-defense and “community defense,” according to their website. But Churchill’s statements were anything but peaceful.
“It’s an honor to be here particularly when people who do not feel compelled to relinquish their right to self-defense in the face of state violence, real or threatened,” he said. According to Churchill, who considers himself a Native American, “Native North America” still suffers under occupation.
“This is , this is what was intended in ‘68. ‘68 was recreated right here and now. Violent isn’t it?,” he said, pointing to the activities of the Denver police.
Churchill expressed his animosity toward America, characterizing the nation as the center of the world’s evil.
“Lock, stock, and barrel, not one inch of this monstrosity waging war against humanity and the planet itself right now would exist without the illegal, forcible, military, point-of-a-gun occupation of native North America,” said Churchill (emphasis added). He later argued, “The United States has its military forces spread around the planet. You know in each of those conditions is one of occupation.”
Other speakers at the rally included:
- Cindy Sheehan;
- Kathleen Cleaver, former Black Panther;
- Mark Cohen;
- Fred Hampton, Jr.;
- Pamela Africa;
- Jenny Esquiveo;
- King Downing;
- Larry Hales;
- Gloria Estela La Riva;
- Larry Holmes;
- Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted felon and Black Panther (by videotape); and
- Ann Erika White Bird.
In other words, the speaker list includes two former Black Panthers, and representatives supporting such illustrious convicted criminals as
- the MOVE Organization;
- the Cuban Five; and
- Eric McDavid, an environmental anarchist.
Fred Hampton, Jr., the founder of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee, believes that “all prisoners are political” and styles his organization as a group for “African Revolutionary Freedom Fighters whose agenda is to liberate the minds and hearts of African and Colonized people,” according to a Columbia University webpage.
Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, is now on death row for the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. As Accuracy in Academia outlined in its pamphlet, Cop Killer: How Mumia Abu-Jamal Conned Millions Into Believing He Was Framed, a wealth of physical evidence connects Abu-Jamal to the murder scene.
Recreate 68 chose to identify Abu-Jamal as a “current political prisoner.”
Some attendees, including Recreate 68 spokesman Glenn Spagnuolo, also decided to sport “Defend Denver” t-shirts featuring AK-47’s on front. According to CBS Denver, 152 protestors were arrested in conjunction with the Democratic convention.
If this is non-violent activism, maybe we ought to revise the definition of “peace.”
Correction: In the original article, the People’s Press Collective was listed as a “left-wing blog.” According to the PPC Manifesto, the People’s Press Collective are “radicals for freedom united by a passion for honest and open journalism…We are owned by no ideology. We simply believe that every one of us has the right to make up our own minds.”
Bethany Stotts is a staff writer at Accuracy in Academia.