University of Colorado Prof. Ward Churchill
Following what it described as a 25-year internal investigation of Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor now in the center of a storm of national controversy, the American Indian Movement kicked out the activist the group called “deceitful” and “treacherous” and who it condemned as a white man masquerading as an Indian.
Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies and coordinator of American Indian studies at the Colorado school, came under fire in recent days for an essay he wrote following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which he condemned the 3,000 victims and praised the al-Qaida hijackers.
After years of activism within AIM, Churchill was a ringleader of a breakaway “self-styled radical” faction that associated with extremists such as Noam Chomsky and Winona LaDuke, according to AIM records.
“They use publications like Houghton-Mifflin, Random House Publishers, South End Press and Speak Out Speakers Bureau, who allow Ward Churchill and others to perpetuate their literary, academic and Indian fraud on the unknowing public,” said a 1999 AIM report.
Churchill was first expelled from the International Indian Treaty Council Sept. 23, 1986. Seven years later, on Nov. 24, 1993, he was expelled from AIM. Later, on Nov. 3, 1999, AIM leaders officially called for educators to remove his books from their curricula and libraries.
But AIM didn’t stop there. Even more relevant, perhaps, to the current controversy was this recommendation from the group: “We request that organizations such as the National Indian Education Association and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium create a watchdog-type agency to review what books are being published by these literary, academic, and Indian frauds so that their revisionist writings are not finding their way into our education curriculum. This problem is of epidemic proportions, and must be stopped.”
“If only someone had listened to the Indian folks back then,” wrote blogger Yael (Anne) Lieberman.
Tuesday, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens urged the university to fire Churchill. And the state House passed a non-binding resolution yesterday calling his comments “evil and inflammatory.” A similar measure was awaiting action in the Senate.
The CU regents plan to discuss Churchill’s future at a special meeting today.
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.
Churchill was scheduled to speak at Hamilton College, in Clinton, N.Y., near Syracuse today, but officials at the school canceled the appearance, citing security concerns and death threats they had received.