Monday, June 09, 2008


Briarpatch ("Since 1973, Briarpatch Magazine has been serving up regular doses of news and analysis of interest to progressive Canadians") prints Ward Churchill's spiel from his SRO Canadian tour earlier this year. Nothing startling, but he had a new hook--Canada's apology for its Indian residential schools and the travelin' Truth and Reconcilation Commission. Otherwise just the usual genocide-mongering. Read it yourself, but the opening gives the all-too-familiar flavor:
Residential Schools were one of many attempts at the genocide of the Aboriginal Peoples inhabiting the area now commonly called Canada. Initially, the goal of obliterating these peoples was connected with stealing what they owned (the land, the sky, the waters, and their lives, and all that these encompassed). . . . A variety of rationalizations (social, legal, religious, political, and economic) arose to engage (in one way or another) all segments of Eurocanadian society in the task of genocide.
You are all complicit. Okay, one more hunk:
Native people and societies are not “sick,” we’re [sic] wounded. There’s a huge difference between being sick and being wounded. Don’t talk to me about “reconciling” with somebody who’s stuck a knife in my guts and is still twisting it. “Heal?” Forgive and forget? Under those circumstances? Get real. The only way that’s going to happen is if you remove your knife from my belly, accept responsibility for the effects of what you’ve done-or what you’ve allowed to be done in your name-and start making consequential, meaningful amends.
Other than "U.S. off the planet," he never says what those amends should be. Just one more:
Let’s not pretend that a person being wounded has a responsibility to reconcile with his or her attacker. What is it that Native Canada has to reconcile with Euro-Canada about, anyway? Native Canada never did a damned thing to Euro-Canada. Nothing. It’s all gone one way. Try telling someone to start reconciling with a rapist while the rape is still going on. If that sounds absurd, understand: it’s no more absurd than what’s being promoted here as a solution to the dirty legacy of Canada’s residential schools.
As always with Ward, Indians are either total victims or violent revolutionaries. Healthy. Briarpatch runs this bio-line for the disgraced fake Indian:
Ward Churchill is a veteran activist of Cherokee descent. A former professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado, now retired, he has written or edited more than 20 books, mostly on indigenous rights, including [blah, blah].
Retired. Well, at least it's "of Cherokee descent" now, no more "Keetoowah Band" stuff. Wonder if he came to some sort of agreement with them?

Update: PB notes: "If Briarpatch Magazine operates the way most other magazines do, that blurb was provided by The Perfesser hisself."

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