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Monday, January 31, 2005
By Steven L. Taylor

I have not commented on the Ward Churchill brouhaha, because I have been otherwise occupied and really had nothing new to say about it. However, as bits and pieces of the story have come to roost in my mind, I must admit that the ability to comment has emerged. The factor that got me to address the situation was the combination of a partial interview I read (see below) and when I learned via radio this afternoon that Churchill, a department chair at a major university doesn’t even have a doctorate.

Yes, I found Churchill diatribe about the victims of 911 to be ridiculous–but am sufficiently enured to such lunacy that I tend to ignore it. But really, the whole situation raises serious questions about the wisdom of CU and of the validity of its ethnic studies program. Generically I have serious academic doubts about most ethnic studies departments (as I am unclear as to why the disciplines of literature, anthropology, sociology, political science, history, etc. are insufficient to study the human condition). It seems to me that if the argument is that these disciplines ignore certain groups or events, then the solution is to find people who study those things and put them into the appropriate departments.

Further, it is my experience that such programs aren’t especially academic, but rather quite ideological, trafficking usually in the more nonsensical ideas of the left. Indeed, I was going to comment on this aspect of the story when I read this interview with Ward Churchill from the magazine Satya, but never got around to it. Just read his responses and then tell me that this individual isn’t both pretentious and intellectually obtuse (to be kind). In fact, the picture that accompanies the interview alone is enough to bring into question his connection to reality. The whole thing strikes me as a Guevarist version of a Trekkie. Imagine an interview with a philosophy professor who specializes in logic dressing up in Vulcan robes for an interview and speaking deeply about the teachings of Surak. And if one can imagine such an event can one then actually imagine taking that person seriously as an scholar?

Throw in the fact that man doesn’t even have adequate academic training/credentials and the farcial nature of the entire affair is wholly complete.

Remarkable.

h/t: Dennis the Peasant for pointing out the article in Satya and to Roger L. Simon for noting the piece by Dennis.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (11)|
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11 Responses to “On Ward Churchill”

  1. PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » Churchill and Affirmative Action Says:

    [...] this with something close to complete confidence. This is undeniably the case. It is why my first post on Churchill was primarily about his credentials, and why Cal State Northridge, and at [...]

  2. PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » What’s the Deal with CU? Says:

    [...] nce at the University of Colorado vis-a-vis Ward Churchill. It is bad enough that someone sans a terminal degree was given a tenure-track position (and a chairmanship) at a major research sch [...]

  3. PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » On Ward Churchill, Tenure and the Nature of the Professoriate Says:

    [...] to Churchill, there can be no doubt that he is, to use a term of art, a nut job (just see my post on the subject and the interview that it links to). The very fact that he is a tenured is in [...]

  4. Rooftop Report Says:

    Ward Churchill – Member of the Idiot Club
    A level-headed rebuke of a person’s views without attacking a whole party. Refreshing. Mr. Reynolds, please take heed….

  5. Stuart Says:

    Steven Taylor,

    Thank you very much for such a well articulated view. What’s even harder to fathom is that someone as seemingly intellectual as yourself has such a difficult time forming grammatically correct sentences while criticising someone else’s academic credentials.

    Thank you for enlightening us on the standards by which we should judge the ideas of others!

  6. Steven Taylor Says:

    Many thanks for the vague critique. I have no doubt that I have made errors in this, and number of other posts. If you would like to note the errors in this one, or give me a helpful critique, I’d be happy to do my best fix said errors. I will re-read the post to see what I missed when I first wrote it, as I am fully aware of my own shortcomings as my own copy-editor. If you would like to volunteer for the job of proofing PoliBlog on a daily basis, checking the 1000s of words I often produce in a given day, feel free to send the e-mails along.

    Also I would note: one of the lamest types of hit and run criticisms that I have encountered in my almost two years of blogging is the “your argument is null and void because of a typo, a grammatical error or an awkward sentence.”
    Oddly, those who leave such missives never actually say anything about the content of the post.

  7. Steven Taylor Says:

    I found a word that should have been pluralized, a question mark that shouldn’t have been present and a “got” that I forgot to insert.

    Feel free to provide pointers to other errors. While the errors of other typically leap out at me, my own do not. After I know what I mean.

  8. Pompous G. Gumphoot Says:

    This jackass from CU exemplifies the new level of tastelesness to which CU has sunk. Lest we forget, CU’s appriciation of Colorado’s favorite son, the cannibal, Alferd Packer. CU boasts the Alfred Packer Memorial Grill , which lies below the main floor of the Memorial Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder, directly beneath the Glenn Miller lounge. A small, marble bust of Packer, unveiled by Colorado governor Roy Romer, sits on a pedestal at the hub of the grill. For those who don’t remember Al, he was the now infamous nineteenth-century Colorado pioneer who was enlisted to guide five homesteaders along the Mormon Trail into Colorado. Packer soon emerged from the San Juan Mountains – alone – and was convicted of cannibalism and sentenced to hang by Judge Melville B. Gerry. “Stand up, yah voracious man-eatin’ sonofabitch, and receive your sentence!? the judge exclaimed. “Thar were only seven Democrats in all of Hinsdale County and you ate five of them!? What next? Maybe CU can honor the Columbine killers as masters of marksmanship and demolition!!! There is more truth at the bottom of a scuttle in a barn than in the hallowed ivory towers of acedemia. At least no one calls the stuff at the bottom of the scuttle anything but what it is: manure!!!!

  9. Steven Taylor Says:

    Not to mention the football recruitment scandals from last year.

  10. df Says:

    Except for the Eichmann comment that was unnecessarily inflammatory, Churchill’s essay gets it exactly right.

    Thank God there are professors out there willing to speak the truth.

  11. vonda Says:

    Read CU Regent Michael Carrigan’s comments on Ward Churchill at http://www.thecherrycreeknews.com or http://www.northdenvernews.com.


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