Prof. Ward Churchill under fire for 9-11 comments
The fate of a University of Colorado professor under fire for saying American victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were not innocent while praising the hijackers could be decided tonight at a meeting of the college’s Board of Regents.
The state House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution yesterday blasting 3-year-old comments by professor Ward Churchill as “an evil and inflammatory blow against America’s healing process.”
The non-binding measure also says Churchill’s essay “contains a number of statements and contentions that are deplorable and do not reflect the values of the people of the State of Colorado.”
The lawmakers’ action comes just one day after a call by Gov. Bill Owens for the ouster of Churchill.
“All decent people, whether Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, should denounce the views of Ward Churchill,” wrote Owens. “Not only are his writings outrageous and insupportable, they are at odds with the facts of history.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, the controversy stems from an essay Churchill wrote titled “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” written shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. In it, he describes the thousands of American victims who died in the World Trade Center inferno as “little Eichmanns” (a reference to notorious Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann) who were perpetuating America’s “mighty engine of profit.” They were destroyed, he added, thanks to the “gallant sacrifices” of “combat teams” that successfully targeted the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.
“Let’s get a grip here, shall we?” Churchill said in his essay. “True enough, [those in the World Trade Center] were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the ‘mighty engine of profit’ to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly.”
On Monday, Churchill stepped down as chairman of the Ethnic Studies Department but remains a professor of ethnic studies and coordinator of American Indian studies at the Colorado school.
Some lawmakers yesterday urged the legislature to re-examine the amount of money set aside for the Ethnic Studies Department, saying while Churchill has a right to free speech, taxpayers need not subsidize his opinions.
“Maybe if his funding goes away, he will as well,” Rep. Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, told the Denver Post.
Earlier this week, Churchill issued a statement calling media coverage of the issue “grossly inaccurate.”
“I am not a ‘defender’ of the Sept. 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned,” his statement said.
Churchill was scheduled to speak at Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y., near Syracuse tonight, but Tuesday officials at the school canceled the appearance, citing security concerns and death threats they had received.