Friday, March 11, 2005

Ward Churchill: Leftist Academics’ Alter Ego

Ward Churchill seems to be the fellow that nobody agrees with (or at least will admit they agree with), but whose “right to speak” is staunchly defended by liberals, leftists and indeed a large number of moderates and conservatives.

When the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel supported his right to speak at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater they described hearing him as “Listening to the despicable.”

So it was a bit of a surprise to read in the online World Magazine about a pro-Churchill demonstrator outside the site of Churchill’s speech.

An elderly gentleman held a sign that read, “If only the guilty get killed then there won’t be any more right wing government in the U.S.A.” WORLD asked him, do you really think right wingers should be killed? “I’m just stating a hypothetical,” he replied. “There is all this talk about the innocent being killed. I think we should think about the guilty being killed.” Do you agree with what Ward Churchill said about the 9/11 victims? “Oh, yes,” he said, identifying himself as George Adams, an English professor at UW-Whitewater.
Since there is indeed a George Adams on the English faculty at Whitewater, we wrote him to ask about the accuracy of the quote. Here is his reply:

Thank you for your enquiry about the accuracy of the comments imputed to me in World Magazine. It is unusual for anyone in America nowadays to question a newspaper account, especially one dealing with controversy. Unfortunately, the reason why you enquired is the reason why I can’t simply answer “yes” or “no.”

As you know, what is usually missing from newspaper stories is the context in which controversial statements are made. As you also probably know, at the rally where Charlie Sykes spoke three assertions were made with no evidence to validate them, namely, 1, only the innocent get killed by terrorists, 2, “hate speech” should not be allowed at a university lecture, and 3, Ward Churchill’s view of the Trade Towers attack is completely wrong.

Addressing the first assertion I asked, “If only the guilty got killed by terrorists, what would the result be?” One result would be that we would no longer have a right-wing government responsible for, among other atrocities, the killing of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Or, if they were not innocent, how would that be proven? This is the question raised by the third assertion, that Churchill was wrong about the Towers attack.

At issue is collective responsibility, that is to what extent are all citizens willingly living in a society that makes war on innocent people and not doing anything to stop that war responsible for the continuance of the war? In short, how can those who do not try to stop their society from making war and who keep on doing their jobs be called “innocent”?

To call raising such questions “hate speech” is typical of the right-wing distortion of language and the refusal to do analysis instead of ranting. The hysterical circus which formed around Churchill's appearance on the UW-W campus had nothing to do with the “right of free speech” but rather the “rightness of the free speech,” keeping in mind that in a capitalist socio-economy nothing that is free has any value. Churchill was not being “hateful” when he criticized the mindless repetition of “innocent.”

One more thing: I don’t mind being called “elderly,” but I object to being called a “gentleman.”
Translation: “Yes, I do indeed agree with Churchill.”

Churchill was frequently portrayed as some sort of crazy Indian whom tolerant and magnanimous academic liberals keep around and protect because of their belief in “academic freedom” and “diversity.”

The reality is that Churchill is the alter ego of a lot of leftist academics. They in fact think as he thinks and approve of what he says – although not all of them will admit it. But George Adams will, and a fair number of others will too.

In an e-mail giving me permission to post the above text, Adams added the following:

I append a footnote . . . intended primarily for Christians, namely, that the hardest saying of Jesus (except perhaps the unlikely case of a rich person getting into heaven, Matthew 19:24) is in John 8:7, where he asserts that only the completely guiltless can judge others.
That’s a rather odd comment coming from someone who is willing to judge this nation’s “right wing government,” and judge the “collective responsibility” of people working in the Twin Towers. And to applaud their being murdered.

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