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Ward Churchill at CSU Monterey Bay on May 2

Semana de la Raza 2005

Monday, May 2nd
7:00 pm
CSUMB University Center Ballroom (Bldg. 29)


Key Note Address by Ward Churchill, Native Scholar and Activist, "On Perpetual War: U.S. State Sponsored Terrorism & the Limits of Academic Dissent."

Introduction by Rudy Rosales, Tribal Member Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation.

Presented by California State University at Monterey Bay, MEChA and Events Workgroup.
Ward Churchill
Ward Churchill Under Attack

Professor Ward Churchill Addresses Assembly at Reed College

The controversial Ward Churchill speech

Ward Churchill at Under the Volcano in Vancouver

Ward Churchill
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ward LeRoy Churchill (born October 2, 1947) is an American writer, academic, and activist. He is currently a tenured professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author of many books and essays, Churchill is highly outspoken on Native American issues and US foreign policy. Churchill became nationally known in 2005 when talk show host Bill O'Reilly lambasted him for an essay he wrote immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This kicked off a media frenzy, which then expanded to include examinations of Churchill's ethnic heritage, his academic qualifications and other writings, and his activities as an American Indian activist.

9/11 essay controversy

Churchill wrote an essay about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which he focused on American foreign policy actions which he argues provoked and justified the attacks. His critics reject the notion that anything could have provoked or justified the killing of 3000 innocent victims. The piece was later incorporated into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. (The "roosting chickens" phrase comes from Malcolm X's equally controversial comment relating to the assassination of president John F. Kennedy that Kennedy "never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon.")

In the essay, which subsequently became the focus of significant criticism and controversy, he compared Americans to the "good Germans" of Nazi Germany. Churchill contends that the vast majority of Americans completely ignored the civilian suffering caused by the sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s. He characterized these sanctions as a policy of genocide, and repeatedly referred to their effect upon the children of Iraq.

In addition to the impact of the Iraq sanctions, Churchill argues that the Middle East policy of President Lyndon Johnson and the history of Crusades against the Islamic world contributed to the "provocations."

Churchill states:

As for those in the World Trade Center, well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved and they did so both willingly and knowingly.

He said those killed in the attacks "were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it." [1] (

In January of 2005, attention was drawn to the essay after he was invited to speak at Hamilton College as a member of a panel titled "Limits of Dissent". The text was then quoted on the January 28, 2005 edition of the Fox News Channel program The O'Reilly Factor. Bill O'Reilly initiated a campaign against Churchill imploring his viewers to e-mail the college. A flood of 6,000 e-mails resulted. In the ensuing uproar, the lecture was changed to a larger venue, but then was ultimately cancelled by president Joan Stewart due to "credible threats of violence".

In response to what Churchill called "grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning [his] analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks" Churchill clarified his views:

I am not a "defender" of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable".

He continues later:

It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than "collateral damage". If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when they are routinely applied to other people, they should not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them. [2] (,1299,DRMN_957_3512084,00.html)

Following the report on Fox, Churchill became a focus of national attention. On January 31, 2005 he resigned as chairman of the Ethnic Studies department at University of Colorado but remains a tenured professor. A special meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado was held on Thursday, February 3, 2005, to discuss the case. Colorado Republican governor Bill Owens and other Democrat and Republican state lawmakers have publicly called for his dismissal. Churchill's supporters among the faculty and student body claim that allegations against Churchill are a pretext to discredit a notable liberal academic, which they say undermines freedom of speech, academic freedom, and ethnic studies departments nationwide.

The Colorado House of Representatives, with unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats, adopted a resolution condemning Churchill's statements about 9/11.

The Board of Regents of the University of Colorado, meeting in executive session at The Fitzsimons campus of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center on February 3 2005, adopted a resolution apologizing to the American people for Churchill's statements regarding the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and ratifying Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano's review of Churchill's actions. He was directed to investigate whether Churchill overstepped his bounds as a faculty member, whether his actions are cause for dismissal, and whether his writings are protected by the First Amendment.

In response to Churchill's speech being cancelled at Hamilton, Hawaiian Studies Professor and Hawaiian Sovereignty movement member Haunani-Kay Trask invited him to speak at the University of Hawaii on February 22 2005, where Churchill responded to his critics and argued for academic freedom and free speech.

A fellow professor at the University of Colorado, Emma Perez, alleges that attacks against Ward Churchill are an organized "test case" by neo-conservatives to stifle liberal criticism of the War on Terror and to directly undermine the funding of ethnic studies departments nationwide. [3] (

The Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights gave an honorable mention award to Churchill's volume in 2004 (prior to the controversy), and has defended Churchill's right to free speech. [4] (

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Re: Ward Churchill at CSU Monterey Bay on May 2

Here we go again, when will so-called conservative America wake-up from this long, self induced dream. To believe that American policy does not have an ill affect on people of color domesticall and abroad is surely an illusion that has methodically sustained the test of time. How dare the American government display such an abundance of hubris and then believe that their overseas policy won't reciprocally strike them in the face at any given time. Wake-up America, it's a new day and hour.


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