Friday, March 30, 2007


Churchill Review

Ward Churchill Speaks
at Southwest Minnesota State University SMSU - March 28, 2007

Famed indigenous advocate, scholar, and human rights activist, Dr. Ward Churchill, will give a talk on Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. in the second floor ballroom of the Conference Center at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU), Marshall, MN.

Churchill is a professor of Ethnic Studies and coordinator of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Churchill has garnered much publicity over the past several years for his outspokenness on some topics, most recently in 2005 for a 2001 essay in which he questioned the innocence of the many killed in the World Trade Center attacks.
Churchill has authored more than 20 books and over 150 essays. His work is mostly centered on historical mistreatment of political dissenters and the genocide of indigenous peoples by the government and citizenry of the u.s. He recently appeared in the documentary entitled “Canary Effect.”

An acclaimed public speaker and award-winning writer, Churchill is a member of the Governing Council of the Colorado chapter of the American Indian Movement. He is a past national spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, and has served as a delegate to the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations.

His appearance is part of the “Difficult Dialogues” initiative at SMSU. The event is sponsored by SMSU, the Indigenous Nations & Dakota Studies program, and is funded by the Ford Foundation’s Difficult Dialogues Grant to the university.
Marshall, MN is located 50 minutes northeast of Sioux Falls, SD.

For more information, contact Dr. Chris Mato Nunpa, Associate Professor of Indigenous Nations & Dakota Studies, at 507-537-6118,
or Jim Tate 1-800-642-0684

“Marshall Independent”: Newspaper, Marshall, Minn.
Editorial - Ward Churchill at SMSU: As difficult as it gets

Based on the title of the program alone, you knew this was not going to be easy sometimes. Wednesday night may be one of those times: As part of the Difficult Dialogue series, Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is bringing the controversial Ward Churchill to campus for a speech at 7 p.m. in the Conference Center.It’s a little different than the speaker the night before: Former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who talks Tuesday through the same Difficult Dialogues program, has earned national awards, while Churchill has earned scorn.The Difficult Dialogues program brings speakers and courses to SMSU through a $100,000 Ford Foundation grant aimed at building understanding and open discussion on some tough issues.Churchill, the Colorado professor, has mainly stirred skepticism and outrage with his comments after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — the kind of outrage that got him canceled at a small college in New York, the kind that got him talked about intensely in the national media.Why? Because, if not flat-out saying the 9/11 victims had it coming, Churchill has said we should not be surprised they were killed and suggested the World Trade Center was a logical target for a terror attack. You don’t make friends that way, and Churchill certainly has not.He’s been attacked by academics and pundits, not to mention families of the victims. He’s also been defended by some academics for his free-speech rights, which he certainly can exercise. But, of course, the First Amendment goes both ways: People have the right to protest Churchill or ignore him, too. His main rationale for his comments seems to be that the way America treats other countries and people around the world invited the attacks of 9/11 — that we’ve done our share of human rights abuses around the globe. We probably have. But to tie those abuses to the 9/11 attacks is insensitive and illogical. Our civilians should not have to die for the wrongs of our government; rather, our government should be held accountable through the democratic process.Churchill, though, is a lightning rod. Very candid, very bold, unafraid to challenge authority or convention. Yet, unlike Rowley’s determination to point to facts and hold her bosses in the FBI accountable, Churchill seems to lump a lot of groups under the same umbrella. For instance, in a public radio interview in February 2005, Churchill was asked if he thought the World Trade Center was an acceptable or legitimate target on 9/11.Part of his response: “Do I personally think it was a legitimate target or should have been a legitimate target? Absolutely not. And that's said on the basis of all but absolute rejection of and opposition to U.S. policy. “But what you have to understand, and what the listeners have to understand, is that under U.S. rules, it was an acceptable target,” he continued. “And the reason it was an acceptable target, if none other, was that because the C.I.A., the Defense Department, and other parts of the U.S. military intelligence infrastructure, had situated offices within it, and you'll recall that that is precisely the justification advanced by the Donald Rumsfelds of the world, the Norman Schwarzkopfs, and the Colin Powells of the world, to explain why civilian targets had been bombed in Baghdad. Because that nefarious Saddam Hussein had situated elements of his command and control infrastructure within otherwise civilian occupied facilities.”Even if you try to equate our military’s choices with those of Saddam, it’s impossible to justify the 9/11 deaths. And it’s hard to think he’ll get a warm welcome in rural Minnesota, a place that has sent hundreds of its soldiers to Iraq.Churchill has been accused of hate speech, heartlessness, of blaming Israel for the 9/11 attacks, of preventing others from exercising their own free speech. He’s also been the subject of dozens of reports by Fox’s Bill O’Reilly (make of that what you will).However you look at it, his speech Wednesday is bound to live up to the program’s title: A difficult dialogue indeed.

March 26, 2007

Response to Minnesota “Marshall Independent” newspaper editorial:

Regarding the March 26, 2007 Independent “Opinion Page” reference to Ward Churchill’s talk at SMSU, it is still amazing how the media seemingly continues to support a corrupt government and even more corrupt “war.” Keep in mind war was never “declared officially” by congress so that atrocities could take place outside of the Geneva Convention (Abu Ghraib, Guantanimo Bay, etc.).
Instead of embracing those who predict what everyone should have known about this misguided invasion/occupation, many – including democrats choose to admit their mistake of supporting the genocide now in Iraq. Also keep in mind the government gave Hussein the chemicals and propped him up when he supposedly “gassed the Kurds.”
The public should go ask intelligent questions and try to find out the wisdom Churchill may have to share with them. An open mind is a valuable resource in an often too closed-minded society. Thank Ward Churchill for bringing this to light when it wasn’t popular to do so.

Churchill Review
March 29, 2007

Controversial tenured University of Colorado at Boulder Professor, Ward Churchill, continued his high energy speaking tour with a recent stop at the Southern Minnesota State University campus in Marshall, Minn. On March 28, 2007. Over 150 students, faculty, and members of the public from as far away as White Earth, Minn. to Sioux City, Iowa came to hear the dynamic and eloquent speaker address the issue of world genocide – pointing a finger at and exposing the denial of the holocaust which occurred (and continues to occur) against Indigenous “American Indians” right here in the United States.
In 2001 just after the planes were flown into the world trade center in New York, City, Churchill explained in a paper that many corporations who violated mideast citizens rights to a government free form big oil and corporate and United States manipulation were housed in the “twin towers” – which might explain why the Arab “freedom-fighters” chose that target to send a message to America to stop meddling middle eastern affairs and oil fields.
This ignited a firestorm among far right wing republicans who supported and concocted the “war” (a war was never officially “declared” against Iraq by the government, many feel so that the United States could skirt Geneva Convention “war rules” prohibiting torture and illegal detention).
Efforts were carried out – and are ongoing - to remove Churchill from his professorship in Boulder based upon his thoughts and writings on the 911 incident and he remains steadfast to expose the Iraq and mideast debacle present and past presidential administrations have put the American people in.
On hand for the event were numerous professors, an Ojibwe Spiritual Advisor, from the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota, and Scott C. Barta, Ihanktunwan DaNakota (Yankton Dakota “Sioux”) of Sioux City, Iowa, founder of and the Morning Glory Foundation.
The SMSU event lasted well over four hours long – many feeling that even a Bill Clinton or George W. Bush speaking event could’ve held listeners that long, with Churchill sitting down among the die-hard crowd towards the closing of the historic learning experience, revealing his grass roots and “hard truth/cold facts” style which makes him such a sought-after presenter.

Very straight forward concise review of the event.
Churchill was a well recieved speaker who shared about things that people are afraid to engage and talke about. Freedom of Speech also means engaging in conversation with others.
People would get along better in the world if they actually sat down and discussed thing instead of avoiding them.
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