No Free Speech For Ward Churchill (With a Side Note on the Pressing Need To Sodomize Bill O'Reilly With a Microphone):
Ward Churchill is a badass motherfucker, a fighter for causes in ways that most liberals only dare to believe possible. Indeed, agree or disagree with him, but most of us are pussies in the wake of Churchill's boots. Churchill's Native American activism, including his support for the American Indian Movement and political prisoner Leonard Peltier, merged with his fight against genocides all over the world. He has supported those who debunk Holocaust deniers, and he has called attention to the continuing genocides in Third World countries. He was one of the major figures in revealing the extent of the FBI's COINTELPRO effort to spy on Americans and crush leftist organizations in the 1960s. Of course, at some point, he had to be destroyed.
So Ward Churchill writes this essay on September 11, 2001. Titled "'Some People Push Back': On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," Churchill says that the United States is not an innocent victim of the 9/11 attacks, that long-term policies of the United States led to the inevitability of someone, at some point, trying to do violence against America. (Indeed, one thing that Churchill does that ought to give comfort to right-wingers is that he makes a connection between Iraq and the attacks, but does so by acknowledging the half-million children who died in Iraq as a result of U.S.-led sanctions.)
Essentially, Churchill's essay merely points out the obvious: that America, and, by extension, its citizens, must recognize that this nation is part of the world, and that the world doesn't obey our timetable, laws, or politics. Problem is, of course, that in the essay, Churchill referred to the "technocrats" who worked in the Twin Towers as "little Eichmanns," referencing Hitler's man who created the machine of genocide but did no killing himself. In other words, and uncomfortably, as is Churchill's way, the former chair of the University of Colorado Ethnic Studies Department posed this question, one that has been asked about the German people themselves, "How complicit is a population in the crimes of its government?"
Over three years later, with little controversy surrounding the essay and later book on the subject, and during which Churchill did not back down from his stance, Churchill is asked to speak at various colleges in the Northeast, including Hamilton College in New York. And then good people, left and right, re-discover Churchill's writings, and all of a sudden it's a free-for-all in trying to fuck-up Churchill's life because he called those who work in the machine of capitalism and government, including those in and out of the World Trade Center, "little Eichmanns." Churchill is called "pro-terrorist" by the Governor of Colorado and finds himself under investigation for his writings and speeches at the University of Colorado.
Fox "News" host and a man to whom "civilized discourse" means spitting the bones of small children at his guests, Bill O'Reilly, went on the warpath against Churchill. On the radio, in print, and on his television show, O'Reilly made it his mission to fuck up Churchill's life. He had his viewers, pathetic, deluded fuckers who sit in their shitty little rental units and think the liberals are the ones dicking them over with their "tax and spend" ways, terrorize Hamilton College into cancelling Churchill's appearance, an event which caused O'Reilly to crow like a buzzard finding a sweet cougar corpse. O'Reilly went further, though, pushing that Churchill ought not have his university position and lashing out at the old bugaboo of the "liberal media" when it was suggested that O'Reilly might have made more of this than necessary. (So viciously does O'Reilly want to ruin Churchill that his "poll" at his website asks if Churchill should be fired.)
O'Reilly claimed he was holding Churchill "accountable" for his speech, where he "compared Americans killed on 9/11 to Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi." This would be the same Bill O'Reilly who compared Michael Moore and Al Franken to Josef Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda. See, the problem with the Goebbels comparison is that the Minister was creating lies to cover for the men in power in Germany. Goebbels was masterful at making the weakest in the Third Reich into scapegoats for the crimes of the fascists.
There's the background. Return tomorrow for the rudeness on what it means to have some motherfucking freedom of speech in this America. (And never fear - later this week, we're gonna get back to the Social Security nightmare and the budget that fucks over all of us in ways great and small.)