Reader K.S. writes with a follow-up to The Other Charlotte’s post on Ward Churchill, the Indian-rights radical/University of Colorado-Boulder professor, who unlike his fellow academic Harvard president Larry Summers in his brouhaha with the fem-ideologues, doesn’t have to say he’s sorry. (See TOC’s A Tale of Two Academics, Jan. 29.)
Churchhill’s the guy who wrote the memo calling the victims of the 9/11 massacre at the World Trade Towers “little Eichmanns” who, by participating in America’s corporate economy, were just like the Nazi butcher Adolf Eichmann. Churchill also praised the “gallant sacrifices” of the “combat teams” (that’s Churchill-ese for the terrorists who plowed the passenger-filled planes into the buildings after first murdering their pilots). Instead of having to apologize like Summers, Churchill will be rewarded Thursday by getting to speak at Hamilton College in Utica, N.Y., where at least one student’s father was a 9/11 victim. (Churchill has, however, been more or less obliged to resign his position as chairman of the ethnic studies department–although not his teaching post–at Boulder, a taxpayer-funded university that is not as nice as Hamilton.)
“Hamilton College’s president posted the following on their website yesterday in regards to Ward Churchill ‘s comments…: ‘The controversy about Churchill’s visit reminds us all of the pain and suffering of the 9/11 attack. Our hearts go out to all the victims of that tragic morning, and in particular to families belonging to our own College community. Rhetoric that blames the victims of this vicious attack for their fate is to me deplorable.’
“Before this, they also posted well over 400 letters from people who disagree with his statements. From reading everything you…have ever posted about America’s liberal-arts colleges and their loony professors (most, if not all of which, I agree with), and as a future ‘class of ’09’ student myself, don’t you think that this is very honest and even-handed of Hamilton to actually admit that what Churchill said was ‘deplorable’?”
Yes, it is, K.S. What I don’t understand is why Hamilton invited Churchill to speak on campus in the first place. Even before the 9/11 memo came to light, Hamilton’s curriculum vitae consisted mostly of screeds against the U.S. government for stealing from the Indians–not exactly heavyweight stuff. But that seems to be Hamilton. Just two months before, the university tried to hire a Weather Underground activist indicted in the 1981 Brinks murder of two police officers to teach a course in “memoir”-writing, only to back off amid the attendant outrage among its trustees.
Reader M.H. e-mails to praise IWF vice president Michelle Bernard, who was interviewd by C-SPAN the other day regarding the IWF’s contract to give political training to the Iraqi women who, along with their menfolk, bravely turned their country into a democracy on Sunday. Writes M.H.:
“The efforts you are udertaking on behalf of the women in Iraq and Sudan is admirable. I can’t imagine the atrocities these people have suffered over the years; their pain is certainly shared by many of us. Your remarkable articulation on some of these issues is eye-opening. I commend your diligence to understand and, therefore, develop a working system to assist these women in their journey toward a more civil and free life….I wish there were more role models such as yourself who were somehow increasingly visible to our own youth here at home, instead of the alarmingly harmful elements of our pop culture on their development and value systems.”
And reader “Sue” just likes our site:
“It was difficult for me to find a women’s forum that is so filled with common sense and my values. I appreciate the great articles. I am pleased about your support for the Iraqi women. It is a bit confusing to me why other women’s organizations are not more supportive of these maligned and repressed women.”
Amen. But so far we haven’t heard a peep from the powerful sisters of NOW.