Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New School, old rant

The New York Sun covers Ward Churchill's speech ("without notes"!) at New York's New School yesterday:

An ethnic studies professor from the University of Colorado, Ward Churchill, received a standing ovation last night from a crowd of more than 200 New School students after blaming the 2001 World Trade Center attacks on America's support of Israel and its sanctions against Iraq in 1996.

In a two-hour speech at the New School titled "Sterilizing History: The Fabrication of Innocent Americans," delivered without notes [see?], Mr. Churchill traced what he called a pattern of mass murder as American foreign policy from the time of the country's inception to the events of September 11, 2001, which he said the country was essentially asking for.

Way past time for some new material, Ward. I wonder, though, if the title of his speech is a takeoff on Keith Windschuttle's The Fabrication of Aboriginal History? That would be unusually subtle for the esteemed perfesser.

Any alleged subtlety went out the window, however, when Ward brought up the president of the New School:

Mr. Churchill also called the president of the New School, Robert Kerrey, a former senator of Nebraska, a "mass murder [sic] and serial killer to boot" for having served in Thanh Phong, Vietnam. Mr. Churchill also served in Vietnam, an act for which he said he has spent the rest of his life apologizing.

Mr. Churchill received cheers from the audience for comparing Mr. Kerrey to the serial killer Charles Manson. "That's who you've got moral equivalency in the president's chair at this institution," Mr. Churchill said. "How about a cage rather than a president's suite?". . .

"That's who you've got moral equivalency . . . "? Typically felicitous Churchillian phraseology. The Sun continues:
Mr. Churchill arrived on the national stage after September 11, 2001, when he wrote that many victims of the World Trade Center attacks were "little Eichmanns," comparing them to the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann because they worked as technocrats of an evil empire.

While students yesterday jumped to his defense, arguing that his "little Eichmann" statement was taken out of context when it was publicized on Fox News, Mr. Churchill yesterday seemed happier to cultivate his image as a provocative figure than to defend himself . . . .

Mr. Churchill's critics call him a symbol of academic free speech gone wrong and an ethnic fraud. His Native American ancestry has been called into question by some who think he is not of Native American descent, but is exploiting a culture that is not his own to propagate his politics.

Longtime Churchill critic Grant Crowell gets a quote, though it's unclear if he was at the speech:
"He exploits their culture and has never done anything for their groups," a documentary filmmaker, Grant Crowell, who is making a film on Mr. Churchill titled "Hate U: The Politics of Teaching Hate," said. "Someone like Ward Churchill totally manipulates academic freedom and identity politics."
The last graf of the story gets it wrong:
The University of Colorado has tried to fire Mr. Churchill, but has been unable to take such recourse against a tenured faculty member for exercising his freedom of speech. Mr. Churchill has also been accused of research misconduct.
As those who've actually followed the Churchill saga know, the process of firing Ward continues, if at a pace a little slower than dirt.

(h/t Snaps)

Update: Michelle Malkin posts on Churchill's speech and links to Pirate Ballerina, whom, she says, "continues to keep watch." I think she glanced too hastily at the beginning of PB's most recent post and thought it referred to today's story in the Sun. Instead it's almost a week old and mentions Churchill's upcoming appearance at the New School. Didn't Malkin say the other day that she was so efficient she blogged on the john or something? Maybe she needs to slow down a mite.

And where is PB, anyway?

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