Indian-history expert backs ChurchillA nationally recognized expert in American Indian history and law Thursday night defended the work of Ward Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado facing dismissal because of charges of research misconduct.
Cornell University American studies professor Eric Cheyfitz said at a campus colloquium that he has re-examined the academic case against Churchill and has found "the charges are fundamentally baseless."
He said that Churchill has been a leader in genocide studies and his contributions have been significant.
Comment: Churchill's scholarship may be sound, but is he an Indian? That's the real question.
He is. Video of the UKB discussing his enrollment here: http://tinyurl.com/36uat6
A breakdown of the right-wing media smear here: http://tinyurl.com/3av3sp
Writerfella here --
writerfella's question is, as always, why do personages such as Ward Churchill all look and sound like Yeagley? That's four strikes in and of itself!
The issue isn't that clearcut, Benjamin, or we wouldn't still be discussing it.
To summarize the long posting you provided:
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) granted Ward Churchill an associate membership in 1994. In particular, UKB Council member Ramona Williams explained that there is nothing “honorary” about a UKB associate membership. As she put it, “They say they’re members, and they are.”
The UKB "disavowed" Churchill in statements it issued in 2005. Whoever wrote your posting implied that this disavowal wasn't legitimate without clearly addressing it.
Here's what one website has to say about the UKB's 2005 position:
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians issued a statement today, May 18, 2005, that controversial Colorado University Professor Ward Churchill, who claims the victims of the 9-11 terrorist attack on America are "little Eichmens," is not a member of their organization. The group maintains Churchill has not proven he has any Cherokee heritage, and that any statements he’s made connecting himself to the organization are "fraudulent."
"All of Churchill's past, present and future claims or assertions of Keetoowah 'enrollment' written or spoken, including but not limited to; biographies, curriculum vitae, lectures, applications for employment, or any other reference not listed herein are deemed fraudulent by the United Keetoowah Band, and should be respected by all media, government and private institutions to be so," the organization says on its Web site.
To summarize the UKB's 2005 position, Churchill's claim is fraudulent and he's not a member. This would seem to negate councilwoman Williams's claim that Churchill's associate membership made him a member.
In addition, let's note that one councilwoman doesn't necessarily speak for the whole council. And a later council has the power to overturn decisions of an earlier council.
In short, the UKB's disavowal of Churchill seems clear to me. Which part of it do you disagree with?
P.S. to Russ: I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Ward Churchill, David Yeagley, and Don Imus look vaguely similar to each other.
Writerfella here --
But - but - but -
One of writerfella's Four Word Rules of Life is this: there are FEW coincidences. It is not the same as 'all white men look alike', but then again, maybe they do...
If you want to come up with an explanation for why they look vaguely similar, I'll listen. What's your explanation?
Writerfella here --
Simply this: once you reach the age of Yeagley or Ward Churchill or even Don Imus, if you, Rob, resemble them, writerfella's explanation will be more than self-evident...
Ask a smart question, get a stupid answer. In case you haven't noticed, I have little in common with Yeagley, Imus, or Churchill.
Writerfella here --
WRONG-O! You all may be WHITE!
"May be"?! In other words, I have little (that's definite) in common with Yeagley and Churchill.
Writerfella here --
BUT -- why then have you asked that particular question in your blog? Hint, hint...
Which question: What's your explanation for why Ward Churchill, David Yeagley, and Don Imus look vaguely similar to each other? I asked because you implied there was some explanation. Apparently not, judging by your nonresponsive answer.
I'm only a few years younger than the men in question. I'm not going to morph into someone who shares their rugged looks in five or ten years. Given that I'll never resemble them, what's your explanation for why they look vaguely alike?
Writerfella here --
What's the old phrase, 'birds of a feather...?' That Yeagley is said to be white, and Ward Churchill is said to be white, and Don Imus is said to be white, and Rob Schmidt says that he is white. What was that other old phrase, the one that's about a duck?
Not only do I say I'm white, I am white. As you can tell from my profile picture.
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Darwin, Einstein, and Freud were white too. So what's your point about being white?
It is fairly well documented that the Churchill/Autonomous AIM faction thing grew out of a lot of in-fighting within AIM resultant from FBI
agent provocatuers and COINTELPRO plants within AIM. As far as Churchill's actual role in all of that is not clear to me, and an objective analysis of the situation seems far-off and unlikely.
This was/is part of an overall campaign against suspected communist activity. Any grass roots organization--as we all know--has links to Moscow. They probably take direct orders from the Kremlin.
The assertion that Churchill (by AIM GGC and Bellcourt) is an operative for the government is not verifiable, but there would be reason to believe that it may be true. As far as the "little eichman's" remark, one could see that as a deliberate attempt for papers to pick up this guy's absurd comment and tag it to an "AIM leader." If I were Bellcourt--I would be livid. Let's not forget what was going on at that time--the PATRIOT act hadn't yet been signed. PATRIOT act defines "domestic terrorist." AIM is still, to this day, considered a domestic terrorist group. Turning public opinion ruthlessly against AIM would be a dream come true for the Feds. That lends credibilty to Bellcourt's accusations, as far as I'm concerned, that it was a deliberate disinfo ploy to further discredit AIM (having achieved a resurgence and vidication through films like "Incident at Oglala" and ,notably, Rage Against the Machine's MTV info-video detailing Pelteier's case--in other words there was a whole generation, of which I am a part, that grew up hearing about this stuff in mainstream media outlets). But who really knows? Maybe Churchill is that calloused. I am about as far to the left as you can get, but jesus christ, not even a month had passed and here's Churchill calling the victims of 9/11 "little eichmans." Whatever your feelings are towards capitalism, or the supposed role the victims had in the ills of capitalism, these are human beings for christ's sake and their deaths weren't justifiable. And besides, it is my understanding that many of the workers that died were maintainence workers, janitors, etc.. I've worked as a janitor. Not once in my tenure as a janitor was it in my job description to oversee the construction and running of 3rd world sweatshops.
Furthermore, the fact that he was cited for plagerism MAY lend further crediblity to Bellcourt's accusations. Most special forces are top notch in the intelligence department. My father-in-law was a MACVSOG operative in Vietnam, was part of Phoenix Program. But, by the time the Quantaco got through with him, academic scholarship was not his forte. I realize this is not at all a verifiable claim, and am not presenting it as evidence that Churchill (according to Bellcourt--a special forces agent in Vietnam)would have to resort to plagerism, but I mean really? Why else would a professor risk his career on something as miniscule as plagerism?
One other point, in regard to his military record not jiving with his claims or those of Bellcourt. That doesn't mean shit. They can falsify and fabricate military records. So lack of verifiable evidence on Churchills military records doesn't surprise me in the slightest. It tends to shore up, for me anyway, arguments against him.
For me the real question isn't "is he Native American?" --we know that he isn't. no need in my mind to debate that any further. But rather is his so-called scholarship the continuation of COINTELPRO activities? I wonder, if in his daily class work he is reporting interested student's names as 'persons of interest?' Or, is his scholarship sound, Bellcourt's accusations baseless and paranoid, and Churchill is really a brilliant critic and dissenter among such distinguished company as Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, albeit a rather inflametory one who feels the need to identify himself as a Native American, possibly to buy him a little 'street cred?' Could it also be possible that he, himself, is a victim of government oppression? Is it not noteworthy that none of these criticisms came until after his eichmann comment? Could he be the victim of modern era McCarthyism?
Churchill is not an Indian at all. A newspaper did his geneaology in 2005 and clearly identified about 150 of his ancestors and found not one indigenous parent among them. Churchill has given phony information when claiming Indian heritage, claiming he was related to people on the Dawes Rolls when it has been shown those people he named are in fact not his relatives at all.
One of Churchill's claims is that he's an Indian because the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians (UKB) granted him an associate membership in 1994. He doesn't have to have any Indian ancestors for this claim to be valid.
Of course, people have questioned this claim as well. See above for details.
The UKB membership was associate only; it was given to Churchill precisely because he did not meet the UKB 1/4 standard; if you check the UKB, you will learn that there is no proof of Indian blood necessary at all for associate membership since it is not a full membership. Churchill did not prove any Indian blood, as tribe members have repeatedly said. If you look at the video posted by the first commenter in the thread, you will see that nowhere on it is there any evidence let alone proof of Churchill's claim of Indian ancestry. The woman quoted as saying of course he can say he's a member, because he is, was commenting on the complaint that Churchill would traffic the "associate" membership as some sort of legitimization of his claim when in fact it is not, although he is an "associate" (meaning no proof of Indian ancestry required) membership. Remember, 150 of Churchill's ancestors have been identified. There are no Indians on the list.
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