Ward Churchill. Things are not what they seem to be

Three years ago, Ward Churchill wrote an article right after 9/11 comparing WTC victims to “little Eichmann’s.” The Right found the article, and has been pillorying him, as well as using it as an excuse to attack other academics.

So, is Churchill a crazed leftie who maybe has said other things worth defending, even if the Eichmann comment was noxious and loathsome? Well, dig a bit and things get real skewed… For a supposed leftist he’s done some seriously right-wing stuff, and he manages to create political chaos wherever he goes. If the results of your actions are indistinguisable from that of an agent provocateur, then it matters not if you are one, or just an incredibly quarrelsome person and world class nutcase.

Strong words? Maybe not. Ward Churchill backed the right wing death squad Contras against the FSLN (Sandanistas), said he went to fight with them, has been hugely divisive in the American Indian Movement, is almost certainly not Indian as he claims to be, and, get this, has written for Soldier of Fortune, a magazine for right wing mercenaries.

All of which are, um, odd things for a supposed leftist to have done.

Ward Churchill, the Contras, Elliott Abrams and Soldier of Fortune

Ward Churchill ‘Academic, Literary & Indian Fraud’, by Dennis Banks

From AIM, the American Indian Movement

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council representing the National and International leadership of the American Indian Movement once again is vehemently and emphatically repudiating and condemning the outrageous statements made by academic literary and Indian fraud, Ward Churchill in relationship to the 9-11 tragedy in New York City that claimed thousands of innocent people’s lives.

The sorry part of this is Ward Churchill has fraudulently represented himself as an Indian, and a member of the American Indian Movement, a situation that has lifted him into the position of a lecturer on Indian activism. He has used the American Indian Movement’s chapter in Denver to attack the leadership of the official American Indian Movement with his misinformation and propaganda campaigns.

From Indian Country

But the second issue at play, the question of a particular Indian identity – specifically as an ”enrolled” or ”associate member” of the United Keetoowah Band, as claimed by Churchill, as part and parcel of his public persona and as part and parcel of his basis for writing a large body of work – becomes the major important question about the trustworthiness of this professor’s position. His university must consider now if he has directly misled and misstated in describing his background and ethnic roots.

Churchill’s claim is so seriously in question, in this most public of cases, that it offends some as much as the galling insults and the opportunistic political reactions. Churchill, it would now seem, is neither claimed by sensible liberal scholars nor by any of the American Indian tribes, including Cherokee and Creek, to which he has claimed affiliation.