Ward Churchill Essay Crimes Against Humanity

Ward Churchill

Churchill speaking at the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair in May 2005.

BornWard LeRoy Churchill
1947 (age 70–71)
Urbana, Illinois, U.S.

Ward LeRoy Churchill (born 1947) is an author and political activist. He was a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1990 until 2007.[1] The primary focus of his work is on the historical treatment of political dissenters and Native Americans by the United States government. His work features controversial and provocative views, written in a direct, often confrontational style.[2]

In January 2005, Churchill's work attracted controversy because of the circulation of a 2001 essay, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens", in which he argued the September 11 attacks were a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful US foreign policy over the latter half of the 20th century; the essay is well known for Churchill's use of the phrase "little Eichmanns" to describe the "technocratic corps" working in the World Trade Center.[3]

In March 2005 the University of Colorado began investigating allegations that Churchill had engaged in research misconduct; it reported in June 2006 that he had done so.[4] Churchill was fired on July 24, 2007,[5] leading to a claim by some scholars that he was fired because of the "Little Eichmanns" comment.[6] Churchill filed a lawsuit against the University of Colorado for unlawful termination of employment. In April 2009 a Denver jury found that Churchill was wrongly fired, awarding him $1 in damages.[7][8] In July 2009, a District Court judge vacated the monetary award and declined Churchill's request to order his reinstatement, deciding the university has "quasi-judicial immunity". In February 2010, Churchill appealed the judge's decision.[9][10] In November 2010, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the lower-court's ruling.[11] In September 10, 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decisions in favor of the University of Colorado.[12] On April 1, 2013, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[13]

In a February 2014 interview, Churchill commented that after living more than forty years in the northern plains/Colorado region, he had relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 2013.[14] Churchill also stated that he had a half-dozen uncompleted books which he intended to finish and publish in the next three years.[14]

Early life and education[edit]

Churchill was born in Urbana, Illinois, to Jack LeRoy Churchill and Maralyn Lucretia Allen. His parents divorced before he was two, and he grew up in Elmwood, where he attended local schools.[15]

In 1966, he was drafted into the United States Army. On his 1980 resume, he said he served as a public-information specialist who "wrote and edited the battalion newsletter and wrote news releases."[15]

In a 1987 profile on Churchill, the Denver Post reported that he was drafted, went to paratrooper school, then volunteered for Vietnam, where he served a 10-month tour as Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), six-man teams sent out to track down the enemy.[16][17] The Post article also reported that Churchill was politically radicalized as a result of his experiences in Vietnam. Churchill told the Post that he had spent some time at the Chicago office of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the late 1960s, and briefly taught members of the Weather Underground how to build bombs and fire weapons.[16]

In 2005, the Denver Post reported that Churchill's military records show he was trained as a film projectionist and light truck driver, but they do not reflect paratrooper school or LRRP training.[15][18] The 75th Ranger Regiment Association found no record of Churchill having been a member of the unit, or a LRRP team.[19]

Churchill received his B.A. in technological communications in 1974 and M.A. in communications theory in 1975, both from Sangamon State University, now the University of Illinois at Springfield.[15]


In 1978, Churchill began working at the University of Colorado Boulder as an affirmative action officer in the university administration. He also lectured on American Indian issues in the ethnic studies program. In 1990, the University of Colorado hired him as an associate professor, although he did not possess the academic doctorate usually required for the position. The following year he was granted tenure in the Communications department, without the usual six-year probationary period, after having been declined by the Sociology and Political Science departments.

He has long been interested in issues associated with the Dawes Act, which broke up the communal reservation lands and assigned plots to individual households. Connected with that was the federal government's first use of "blood quantum" to define individual membership in tribes, for what became known as the Dawes Rolls. Since re-establishing self-governments, federally recognized tribes have established their own criteria for enrollment as members, often related to descent from recognized historical lists, but less often requiring proofs of blood quantum. Some of his published works address these issues, which he has interpreted as part of the federal government's policy of genocide against Native Americans.

In 1995 Churchill discussed his views with David Barsamian in an interview:

You could say that five hundred years ago was the basis of blood quantum in Ibero-America. But in Anglo-America, while there was some preoccupation with it, it was not formalized until the passage of the General Allotment Act, mid-1880s. At that point they began to define Indian as being someone who was demonstrably and documentably of at least one-quarter by quantum blood indigenous in a given group. You couldn't be an eighth Cheyenne and an eighth Arapaho and be an Indian. You had to be a quarter Cheyenne or a quarter Arapaho or hopefully a quarter and a quarter. The reason for this was quite clear. They were identifying Indians for purposes of allotting them individual parcels of land in the existing reservation base at that point. If they ran out of Indians identifiable as such, then the rest of the land would be declared surplus. So it was clearly in the interests of the government to create a definition of Indianness that would minimize the number of Indians that were available. It was an economic motivation for the application of this genetic criteria to Indianness in the first place. It's become increasingly so ever since." (David Barsamian (December 1995). "Interview with Ward Churchill: Historical and Current Perspectives". Z Magazine. Archived from the original on September 17, 2001. )

In 1996, Churchill moved to the new Ethnic Studies Department of the University of Colorado. In 1997, he was promoted to full professor. He was selected as chairman of the department in June 2002.[20][21][22]

In January 2005, during the controversy over his 9/11 remarks, Churchill resigned as chairman of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado — his term as chair was scheduled to expire in June of that year.[23] On May 16, 2006, the Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct at the University of Colorado concluded that Churchill had committed multiple counts of academic misconduct, specifically plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification.[4] On July 24, 2007, Churchill was fired for academic misconduct in an eight to one vote by the University of Colorado's Board of Regents.[5]

Genealogy and Tribal affiliation[edit]

In 2003, Churchill stated, "I am myself of Muscogee and Creek descent on my father's side, Cherokee on my mother's, and am an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians."[24][25] In 1992, Churchill wrote elsewhere that he is one-eighth Creek and one-sixteenth Cherokee.[26] In 1993, Churchill told the Colorado Daily that "he was one-sixteenth Creek and Cherokee."[27] Churchill told the Denver Post in February 2005 that he is three-sixteenths Cherokee.[18]

In a statement dated May 9, 2005, and posted on its website, the United Keetoowah Band initially said,

"The United Keetoowah Band would like to make it clear that Mr. Churchill IS NOT a member of the Keetoowah Band and was only given an honorary 'associate membership' in the early 1990s because he could not prove any Cherokee ancestry." The tribe said that all of Churchill's "past, present and future claims or assertions of Keetoowah 'enrollment,' written or spoken, including but not limited to; biographies, curriculum vitae, lectures, applications for employment, or any other reference not listed herein, are deemed fraudulent by the United Keetoowah Band."[28]

Two days later, the United Keetoowah Band replaced its statement and acknowledged Churchill's "alleged ancestry" of being Cherokee:

"Because Mr. Churchill had genealogical information regarding his alleged ancestry, and his willingness to assist the UKB in promoting the tribe and its causes, he was awarded an 'Associate Membership' as an honor," the tribe's website now said. "However, Mr. Churchill may possess eligibility status for Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, since he claims 1/16 Cherokee."

The tribe's spokesperson, Lisa Stopp, stated the tribe enrolls only members with certified one-quarter American Indian blood. The website statement further clarified that Churchill "was not eligible for tribal membership due to the fact that he does not possess a 'Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)", and the associate membership did not entitle an individual to voting rights or enrollment in the tribe.[29][30]

Churchill has never asked for CDIB certification, and finds the idea of being "vetted" by the US government offensive.[29][30]

In June 1994, the United Keetoowah Band had voted to stop awarding associate memberships.[29][31] Such honorary associate membership recognizes an individual's assistance to the tribe, but it has nothing to do with Indian ancestry, and it does not entitle an individual to vote in the tribe as a member.[32] The Keetoowah Band states that Churchill still holds the associate membership and it has not been rescinded.[32][33] In a separate interview, Ernestine Berry, formerly on the tribe's enrollment committee and four years on its council, said that Churchill had never fulfilled a promise to help the tribe.[34]

In June 2005, the Rocky Mountain News published an article about Churchill's genealogy and family history. It "turned up no evidence of a single Indian ancestor" among 142 direct ancestors [of Churchill's] identified from records.[35] The News reported that both Churchill's birth parents were listed as white on the 1930 census, as were all but two of his great-great-grandparents listed on previous census and other official documents.[31] The News found that some of Churchill's accounts of where his ancestors had lived did not agree with documented records. Numerous members of Churchill's extended family have longstanding family legends of Indian ancestry among ancestors;[31] but, none was confirmed among the 142 direct forebears of Churchill who were identified.[35]

Documents in Churchill's university personnel file show that he was granted tenure in a "special opportunity position."[21] In 1994, then CU-Boulder Chancellor James Corbridge refused to take action on allegations that Churchill was fraudulently claiming to be an Indian, saying "it has always been university policy that a person's race or ethnicity is self-proving."[36]

Some of Churchill's Native American critics, such as Vernon Bellecourt (White Earth Ojibwe) and Suzan Shown Harjo (Southern Cheyenne-Muscogee Creek), argue that his assertion of Native American ancestry without the ability to prove it might constitute misrepresentation and grounds for termination. The University has said that it does not hire on the basis of ethnicity.[36] The University of Colorado's Research Misconduct Committee conducted a preliminary investigation into whether Churchill misrepresented his ethnicity to "add credibility and public acceptance to his scholarship."[37] The committee concluded that the allegation was not "appropriate for further investigation under the definition of research misconduct."[38]

In a 2005 interview in The Rocky Mountain News, Churchill said, "I have never been confirmed as having one-quarter blood, and never said I was. And even if [the critics] are absolutely right, what does that have to do with this issue? I have never claimed to be goddamned Sitting Bull."[39] The longtime indigenous activist Russell Means said in February of that year, "So I want, from this day forward, every media person nationally, internationally and locally to know that we have ascertained that Ward Churchill is a full-blooded Indian leader."[40]

Blood quantum[edit]

Churchill has responded to requests for verification of his claimed Indian heritage in various ways, including attacking the blood quantum upon which some Native American tribes establish their membership requirements. Churchill argues that the United States instituted blood quantum laws based upon rules of descendancy in order to further goals of personal enrichment and political expediency.[41]

For decades in his writings, Churchill has argued that blood quantum laws have an inherent genocidal purpose. He says,

"Set the blood quantum at one-quarter, hold to it as a rigid definition of Indians, let intermarriage proceed as it [has] and eventually Indians will be defined out of existence".[42]

Churchill's assertions have been raised as one of the several research-misconduct allegations that were brought against him in 2005 (see below). He has been accused of using his interpretation of the Dawes Act to attack tribal governments that would not recognize him as a member.[41]


Churchill has written on American Indian history and culture, and speaks about genocide inflicted on the indigenous people of the Americas by European settlers and what he describes as the repression of native peoples that continues to this day.

According to the University of Colorado investigation, "His academic publications are nearly all works of synthesis and reinterpretation, drawing upon studies by other scholars, not monographs describing new research based on primary sources." The investigation also noted that "he has decided to publish largely in alternative presses or journals, not in the university presses or mainstream peer-reviewed journals often favored by more conventional academics."[4] In addition to his academic writing, Churchill has written for several general readership magazines of political opinion.

In 1986, Churchill wrote an essay titled Pacifism as Pathology: Notes on an American Pseudopraxis criticizing pacifist politics within the U.S. left as being hypocritical, de factoracist and ineffectual. In 1998, Arbeiter Ring Publishing published the essay in a book entitled Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America and listing Ward Churchill as the author. The book included a preface by Ed Mead, a new introduction to the essay by Churchill and a commentary by Mike Ryan. The book sparked much debate in leftist circles and inspired more aggressive tactics within the anti-globalization movement in the following few years.[43]

Agents of Repression (1988), co-authored by Jim Vander Wall, describes what the authors claim was a secret war against the Black Panther Party and American Indian Movement carried out during the late 1960s and '70s by the FBI under the COINTELPRO program. The COINTELPRO Papers (1990; reissued 2002), also co-authored with Jim Vander Wall, examines a series of original FBI memos that detail the Bureau's activities against various leftist groups, from the U.S. Communist Party in the 1950s to activists concerned with Central American issues in the 1980s.

In Fantasies of the Master Race (1992), Churchill examines the portrayal of American Indians and the use of American Indian symbols in popular American culture. He focuses on such phenomena as Tony Hillerman's mystery novels, the film Dances with Wolves, and the New Age movement, finding examples of cultural imperialism and exploitation. Churchill calls author Carlos Castaneda's claims of revealing the teachings of a Yaqui Indian shaman, the "greatest hoax since Piltdown Man."

Struggle for the Land (1993; reissued 2002) is a collection of essays in which Churchill chronicles what he describes as the U.S. government's systematic exploitation of Native lands and the killing or displacement of American Indians. He details Native American efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries to prevent defoliation and industrial practices such as surface mining.

Churchill's Indians Are Us? (1994), a sequel to Fantasies of the Master Race, further explores American Indian issues in popular culture and politics. He examines the movie Black Robe, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation killings, the prosecution of Leonard Peltier, sports mascots, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, and blood quantum laws, calling them tools of genocide. Churchill is particularly outspoken about New Age exploitations of shamanism and American Indian sacred traditions, and the "do-it-yourself Indianism" of certain contemporary authors. John P. LaVelle of the University of New Mexico School of Law published a review of Indians Are Us? in The American Indian Quarterly. Professor LaVelle, an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation, states that Indians Are Us? twists historical facts and is hostile toward Indian tribes.[44] It was in this book that Churchill first made the claim that the United States distributed "smallpox-infested blankets" to Indian tribes, a claim which he repeated several times over the next decade. The claim has been criticized as a falsification. Churchill has, however, received support from some scholars.[45][46]

From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985–1995 (1996) is a collection of 23 previously published essays on Native American history, culture, and political activism. In his introduction to this volume, Howard Zinn lauds "the emergence of a new generation of Native-American scholars" and describes Churchill's writing as "powerful, eloquent, unsparing of cant and deception".

Churchill's A Little Matter of Genocide (1997) is a survey of ethnic cleansing in the Americas from 1492 to the present. He compares the treatment of North American Indians to historical instances of genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, Turks against Armenians, and Europeans against the Gypsies, as well as Nazis against the Poles and Jews.

In Perversions of Justice (2002), Churchill argues that the U.S.'s legal system was adapted to gain control over Native American people. Tracing the evolution of federal Indian law, Churchill argues that the principles set forth were not only applied to non-Indians in the U.S., but later adapted for application abroad. He concludes that this demonstrates the development of the U.S.'s "imperial logic," which depends on a "corrupt form of legalism" to establish colonial control and empire.

Churchill's controversial essay on 9/11 was expanded into a book-length manuscript, published as On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality (2003) by AK Press. The book features two other chapters, one listing US military interventions, another listing what Churchill believes to be US violations of international law. The original essay takes the "roosting chickens" of the title from a 1963 Malcolm X speech, in which Malcolm X linked the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy to the violence which Kennedy perpetuated as "merely a case of chickens coming home to roost." Churchill's essays in this book address the worldwide forms of resistance that he posits were and continue to be provoked by U.S. imperialism of the 20th and 21st centuries.

In Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Impact of American Indian Residential Schools (2004), Churchill traces the history of removing American Indian children from their homes to residential schools (in Canada) or Indian boarding schools (in the USA) as part of government policies (1880s–1980s) which he regards as genocidal.

Activism on Native American issues[edit]

Churchill has been active since at least 1984 as the co-director of the Denver-based American Indian Movement of Colorado, now an autonomous chapter of the American Indian Movement. In 1993, he and other local AIM leaders, including Russell Means, Glenn T. Morris, Robert Robideau, and David Hill, broke with the national AIM leadership, including Dennis Banks and the brothers Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt, claiming that all AIM chapters are autonomous. The AIM Grand Governing Council is based in Minneapolis and retains the name of the national group. It says that the schism arose when Means, Churchill, Glenn T. Morris and others openly supported the Miskito Indian group Misurasata, who were allied with the anti-revolutionary, CIA-backed Contras.[47]

Journalists such as Harlan McKosato attributed the split to Means and other AIM members dividing over opposition to the Bellecourt brothers because of their alleged involvement in the execution of Anna Mae Aquash in December 1975, who was then the highest-ranking woman in AIM but had been suspected of being an informant.[48] It was a year in which other FBI informants had been discovered in AIM. On November 3, 1999, Means held a press conference in Denver, Colorado in which he accused the Bellecourt brothers of complicity in Aquash's death, and named three lower-level AIM members involved in her death: Arlo Looking Cloud, John Graham, and Theda Nelson Clarke.[48] This was the first time that an AIM leader active at the time of the Aquash murder had publicly accused AIM of having been involved.[49]

Looking Cloud and Graham were convicted of murder in 2004 and 2010, by federal and South Dakota state juries, respectively. By then Clark was being cared for in a nursing home and was not indicted. Means attributed the split in AIM to divisions in the aftermath of Aquash's murder. The journalist Harlan McKosato said in 1999, "...her [Aquash's] death has divided the American Indian Movement..."[50]

The schism continued, with the national AIM leadership claiming that the local AIM leaders, such as Churchill, are tools of the U.S. government used against other American Indians. The leaders of the national AIM organization, now called AIM Grand Governing Council, claim that Churchill has worked in the past as an underground counter-intelligence source for the U.S. government, for example the FBI, and local, non-Indian, police forces, to subvert the national AIM organization. Specifically, they refer to a 1993 Boulder, Colorado interview with Jodi Rave, a former columnist for the Denver Post, in which Churchill stated that he "was teaching the Rapid City Police Department about the American Indian Movement."[51] In addition, Vernon Bellecourt accused Churchill of having 'fraudulently represented himself as an Indian' to bolster his credentials. Bellecourt said he complained to the University of Colorado about this as early as 1986.[52]

Churchill has been a leader of Colorado AIM's annual protests in Denver against the Columbus Day holiday and its associated parade. Colorado AIM's leadership has come into conflict with some leaders in the Denver Italian American community, the main supporters of the parade.[53][54] As early as 2004, Churchill had claimed that such parades are unconstitutional, arguing that the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution provides Native Americans with a right not to be subjected to such displays, overriding the First Amendment rights of non-Native Americans.[55]

9/11 essay controversy[edit]

Churchill wrote an essay in September 2001 entitled On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. In it, he argued that the September 11 attacks were provoked by U.S. foreign policy. He compared the role of financial workers at the World Trade Center in "ongoing genocidal American imperialism" to the role played by Adolf Eichmann in organizing the Holocaust. In 2005, this essay was widely publicized when Hamilton College invited Churchill to speak.[3] This led to both condemnations of Churchill and counter-accusations of McCarthyism by Churchill and supporters. Following the controversy, the University of Colorado interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said, "While Professor Churchill has the constitutional right to express his political views, his essay on 9/11 has outraged and appalled us and the general public."[23]

A documentary called Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech, broadcast on HBO, prominently features Churchill's case in addressing the issues of free speech and First Amendment rights.

Research misconduct investigation[edit]

The controversy attracted increased academic attention to Churchill's research, which had already been criticized by the legal scholar John LaVelle and historian Guenter Lewy.[44][56][57] Additional critics were the sociologist Thomas Brown, who had been preparing an article on Churchill's work, and the historians R.G. Robertson and Russell Thornton, who claimed that Churchill had misrepresented their work.[58][59] In 2005, University of Colorado Boulder administrators ordered an investigation into seven allegations of research misconduct,[37] including three allegations of plagiarism, and four allegations of fabrication or falsification regarding the history of the Dawes Act, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990, and statements that smallpox was intentionally spread to Native Americans by John Smith in 1614 and by the United States Army at Fort Clark in 1837 (not to be confused with the well-documented use of smallpox-infected blankets at Fort Pitt in 1764).

On May 16, 2006 the University released their findings; the Investigative Committee agreed unanimously that Churchill had engaged in "serious research misconduct", including falsification, fabrication, and two of the three allegations of plagiarism.[4] The committee was divided on the appropriate level of sanctions.[4] The Standing Committee on Research Misconduct accepted the findings of the Investigative Committee but also disagreed on what sanctions should be imposed.[60] Churchill's appeal against his proposed dismissal was considered by a panel of the University's Privilege and Tenure Committee, which found that two of the seven findings of misconduct did not constitute dismissible offences. Three members recommended that the penalty should be demotion and one year's suspension without pay, while two favored dismissal.[5][61]

On July 24, 2007, the University regents voted seven to two to uphold all seven of the findings of research misconduct, overruling the recommendation of Privilege and Tenure panel that two be dismissed. By a vote of eight to one, the regents determined to fire Churchill.[5][61]

The next day, Churchill filed a lawsuit in state court claiming that the firing was retribution for his expressing politically unpopular views.[62] The jury in Churchill's suit for reinstatement weighed the university's claims of academic misconduct per jury instructions it received in the case. As Stanley Fish said, "It was the jury’s task to determine whether Churchill’s dismissal would have occurred independently of the adverse political response to his constitutionally protected statements."[63] The jury found that the alleged misconduct would not have led to Churchill's firing and rejected the university's academic misconduct claim as the grounds for dismissal. On April 1, 2009, a Colorado jury found that Churchill had been wrongly fired, and awarded $1 in damages.[7] As one of the jurors said later in a press interview, "it wasn't a slap in his face or anything like that when we didn't give him any money. It's just that [Churchill's attorney] David Lane kept saying this wasn't about the money, and in the end, we took his word for that."[64] Churchill's counsel asked Chief Judge Larry J. Naves of the Denver District Court to order reinstatement in light of the verdict.

On July 7, 2009, Judge Naves found that the defendants (university) were entitled to quasi-judicial immunity as a matter of law, vacated the jury verdict and determined that the University did not owe Churchill any financial compensation.[10][65] Naves denied Churchill's request for reinstatement at CU.

Churchill appealed both decisions. On November 24, 2010, a three-judge panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision.[66] In February 2011, Churchill filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Colorado Supreme Court.[67] In late May 2011, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear his case.[68] Court records indicate that oral arguments began June 7, 2012.[69] On September 10, 2012, the court ruled that the University had "quasi-judicial immunity", upholding the trial court's ruling.[70] On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Churchill.[71]



Books, as editor

Books, as author and co-author:

  • Culture versus Economism: Essays on Marxism in the Multicultural Arena. with Elisabeth Lloyd. Indigena Press. 1984. 
  • Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. with Jim Vander Wall. Boulder CO: South End Press. 1988. ISBN 978-0-89608-294-6. 
  • The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret War Against Domestic Dissent. with Jim Vander Wall. Boulder CO: South End Press. 1990. ISBN 978-0-89608-359-2. 
  • Fantasies of the Master Race: Literature, Cinema, and the Colonization of American Indians. Common Courage Press. 1992. ISBN 978-0-87286-348-4. 
  • Churchill, Ward (1992). Jennie and Jim Vander Wall, ed. Cages of Steel: The Politics of Imprisonment in America (Activism, Politics, Culture, Theory, Vol. 4 ed.). Maisonneuve Press. ISBN 978-0-944624-17-3.  Re-released as Churchill, Ward (2004). Jim Vander Wall, ed. Politics of Imprisonment in the United States. AK Press. ISBN 978-1-904859-12-3. 
  • Struggle for the Land: Indigenous Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Expropriation in Contemporary North America. Common Courage Press. 1993. ISBN 978-1-56751-001-0.  Revised and expanded edition: Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Colonization. San Francisco CA: City Lights Books. 2002. ISBN 978-0-87286-415-3. 
  • Indians Are Us?: Culture and Genocide in Native North America. Common Courage Press. 1994. ISBN 978-1-56751-021-8. 
  • Since Predator Came: Notes from the Struggle for American Indian Liberation. Aigis Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-883930-03-5. 
  • Churchill, Ward (1996). From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism 1985–1995. Boulder CO: South End Press. ISBN 978-0-89608-553-4. 
  • Churchill, Ward (July–September 1992). "I Am Indigenist: Notes on the Ideology of the Fourth World". Z Papers. 1 (3). Archived from the original on September 16, 2001. 
  • Churchill, Ward (1994). "Let's Spread the Fun Around". Archived from the original on September 12, 2007.  First published as "Crimes Against Humanity" in Margaret Anderson and Patricia Hill (eds.) (1994). Race, Class and Gender: An Anthology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. pp. 366–73.  Also published under the titles "The Indian Chant and the Tomahawk Chop" and "Using Indian Names as Mascots Harms Native Americans".
  • Churchill, Ward (November 1998). "Smoke Signals: A History of Native Americans in Cinema". LiP Magazine. 
  • Churchill, Ward (Winter–Spring 2003). "An American Holocaust? The Structure of Denial". Socialism and Democracy. 17 (2): 25–76. doi:10.1080/08854300308428341. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005. 
  • Churchill, Ward (Spring 2005). "The Ghosts of 9-1-1: Reflections on History, Justice and Roosting Chickens". Alternative Press Review. 9 (1): 45–56. Archived from the original on October 2, 2006. 
  • Churchill, Ward (July–August 2007). "The Fourth World: Struggles for Traditional Lands and Ways of Life". Left Turn. 25: 25–29. 
Audio and video
  • Doing Time: The Politics of Imprisonment, audio CD of a lecture, recorded at the Doing Time Conference at the University of Winnipeg, September 2000 (AK Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-902593-47-0)
  • Life In Occupied America (AK Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-902593-72-2)
  • In A Pig's Eye: Reflections on the Police State, Repression, and Native America (AK Press, 2002, ISBN 978-1-902593-50-0)
  • US Off The Planet!: An Evening In Eugene With Ward Churchill And Chellis Glendinning, VHS video recorded July 17, 2001 (Cascadia Media Collective, 2002)
  • Pacifism and Pathology in the American Left, 2003 audio CD recorded at an AK Press warehouse in Oakland (AK Press Audio)
  • Z Mag Ward Churchill Audio August 10, 2003 and earlier
  • Churchill Speaks About Academic Freedom – Free Speech Radio News February 9, 2005
  • Ward Churchill Under Fire – Free Speech Radio News, February 3, 2005.
  • The Justice of Roosting Chickens: Ward Churchill Speaks The Pacifica Network Show, Democracy Now!
Churchill testifying in the civil trial of Ward Churchill v. University of Colorado.

In fairness, it must be admitted that there was an infinitesimally small segment of the body politic who expressed opposition to what was/is being done to the children of Iraq. It must also be conceded, however, that those involved by-and-large contented themselves with signing petitions and conducting candle-lit prayer vigils, bearing "moral witness" as vast legions of brown-skinned five-year-olds sat shivering in the dark, wide-eyed in horror, whimpering as they expired in the most agonizing ways imaginable.

Be it said as well, and this is really the crux of it, that the "resistance" expended the bulk of its time and energy harnessed to the systemically-useful task of trying to ensure, as "a principle of moral virtue" that nobody went further than waving signs as a means of "challenging" the patently exterminatory pursuit of Pax Americana. So pure of principle were these "dissidents," in fact, that they began literally to supplant the police in protecting corporations profiting by the carnage against suffering such retaliatory "violence" as having their windows broken by persons less "enlightened" – or perhaps more outraged – than the self-anointed "peacekeepers."

Property before people, it seems – or at least the equation of property to people – is a value by no means restricted to America's boardrooms. And the sanctimony with which such putrid sentiments are enunciated turns out to be nauseatingly similar, whether mouthed by the CEO of Standard Oil or any of the swarm of comfort zone "pacifists" queuing up to condemn the black block after it ever so slightly disturbed the functioning of business-as-usual in Seattle.

Small wonder, all-in-all, that people elsewhere in the world – the Mideast, for instance – began to wonder where, exactly, aside from the streets of the US itself, one was to find the peace America's purportedly oppositional peacekeepers claimed they were keeping.

The answer, surely, was plain enough to anyone unblinded by the kind of delusions engendered by sheer vanity and self-absorption. So, too, were the implications in terms of anything changing, out there, in America's free-fire zones.

Tellingly, it was at precisely this point – with the genocide in Iraq officially admitted and a public response demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were virtually no Americans, including most of those professing otherwise, doing anything tangible to stop it – that the combat teams which eventually commandeered the aircraft used on September 11 began to infiltrate the United States.

 Meet the "Terrorists"
Of the men who came, there are a few things demanding to be said in the face of the unending torrent of disinformational drivel unleashed by George Junior and the corporate "news" media immediately following their successful operation on September 11.

They did not, for starters, "initiate" a war with the US, much less commit "the first acts of war of the new millennium."

A good case could be made that the war in which they were combatants has been waged more-or-less continuously by the "Christian West" – now proudly emblematized by the United States – against the "Islamic East" since the time of the First Crusade, about 1,000 years ago. More recently, one could argue that the war began when Lyndon Johnson first lent significant support to Israel's dispossession/displacement of Palestinians during the 1960s, or when George the Elder ordered "Desert Shield" in 1990, or at any of several points in between. Any way you slice it, however, if what the combat teams did to the WTC and the Pentagon can be understood as acts of war – and they can – then the same is true of every US "overflight' of Iraqi territory since day one. The first acts of war during the current millennium thus occurred on its very first day, and were carried out by U.S. aviators acting under orders from their then-commander-in-chief, Bill Clinton. The most that can honestly be said of those involved on September 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.

That they waited so long to do so is, notwithstanding the 1993 action at the WTC, more than anything a testament to their patience and restraint.

They did not license themselves to "target innocent civilians."

There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to 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. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they 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.

The men who flew the missions against the WTC and Pentagon were not "cowards." That distinction properly belongs to the "firm-jawed lads" who delighted in flying stealth aircraft through the undefended airspace of Baghdad, dropping payload after payload of bombs on anyone unfortunate enough to be below – including tens of thousands of genuinely innocent civilians – while themselves incurring all the risk one might expect during a visit to the local video arcade. Still more, the word describes all those "fighting men and women" who sat at computer consoles aboard ships in the Persian Gulf, enjoying air-conditioned comfort while launching cruise missiles into neighborhoods filled with random human beings. Whatever else can be said of them, the men who struck on September 11 manifested the courage of their convictions, willingly expending their own lives in attaining their objectives.

Nor were they "fanatics" devoted to "Islamic fundamentalism."

One might rightly describe their actions as "desperate." Feelings of desperation, however, are a perfectly reasonable – one is tempted to say "normal" – emotional response among persons confronted by the mass murder of their children, particularly when it appears that nobody else really gives a damn (ask a Jewish survivor about this one, or, even more poignantly, for all the attention paid them, a Gypsy).

That desperate circumstances generate desperate responses is no mysterious or irrational principle, of the sort motivating fanatics. Less is it one peculiar to Islam. Indeed, even the FBI's investigative reports on the combat teams' activities during the months leading up to September 11 make it clear that the members were not fundamentalist Muslims. Rather, it's pretty obvious at this point that they were secular activists – soldiers, really – who, while undoubtedly enjoying cordial relations with the clerics of their countries, were motivated far more by the grisly realities of the U.S. war against them than by a set of religious beliefs.

And still less were they/their acts "insane."

Insanity is a condition readily associable with the very American idea that one – or one's country – holds what amounts to a "divine right" to commit genocide, and thus to forever do so with impunity. The term might also be reasonably applied to anyone suffering genocide without attempting in some material way to bring the process to a halt. Sanity itself, in this frame of reference, might be defined by a willingness to try and destroy the perpetrators and/or the sources of their ability to commit their crimes. (Shall we now discuss the US "strategic bombing campaign" against Germany during World War II, and the mental health of those involved in it?)

Which takes us to official characterizations of the combat teams as an embodiment of "evil."

Evil – for those inclined to embrace the banality of such a concept – was perfectly incarnated in that malignant toad known as Madeline Albright, squatting in her studio chair like Jaba the Hutt, blandly spewing the news that she'd imposed a collective death sentence upon the unoffending youth of Iraq. Evil was to be heard in that great American hero "Stormin' Norman" Schwartzkopf's utterly dehumanizing dismissal of their systematic torture and annihilation as mere "collateral damage." Evil, moreover, is a term appropriate to describing the mentality of a public that finds such perspectives and the policies attending them acceptable, or even momentarily tolerable.

Had it not been for these evils, the counterattacks of September 11 would never have occurred. And unless "the world is rid of such evil," to lift a line from George Junior, September 11 may well end up looking like a lark.

There is no reason, after all, to believe that the teams deployed in the assaults on the WTC and the Pentagon were the only such, that the others are composed of "Arabic-looking individuals" – America's indiscriminately lethal arrogance and psychotic sense of self-entitlement have long since given the great majority of the world's peoples ample cause to be at war with it – or that they are in any way dependent upon the seizure of civilian airliners to complete their missions.

To the contrary, there is every reason to expect that there are many other teams in place, tasked to employ altogether different tactics in executing operational plans at least as well-crafted as those evident on September 11, and very well equipped for their jobs. This is to say that, since the assaults on the WTC and Pentagon were act of war – not "terrorist incidents" – they must be understood as components in a much broader strategy designed to achieve specific results. From this, it can only be adduced that there are plenty of other components ready to go, and that they will be used, should this become necessary in the eyes of the strategists. It also seems a safe bet that each component is calibrated to inflict damage at a level incrementally higher than the one before (during the 1960s, the Johnson administration employed a similar policy against Vietnam, referred to as "escalation").

Since implementation of the overall plan began with the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it takes no rocket scientist to decipher what is likely to happen next, should the U.S. attempt a response of the inexcusable variety to which it has long entitled itself.

 About Those Boys (and Girls) in the Bureau

There's another matter begging for comment at this point. The idea that the FBI's "counterterrorism task forces" can do a thing to prevent what will happen is yet another dimension of America's delusional pathology.. The fact is that, for all its publicly-financed "image-building" exercises, the Bureau has never shown the least aptitude for anything of the sort.

Oh, yeah, FBI counterintelligence personnel have proven quite adept at framing anarchists, communists and Black Panthers, sometimes murdering them in their beds or the electric chair. The Bureau's SWAT units have displayed their ability to combat child abuse in Waco by burning babies alive, and its vaunted Crime Lab has been shown to pad its "crime-fighting' statistics by fabricating evidence against many an alleged car thief. But actual "heavy-duty bad guys" of the sort at issue now? This isn't a Bruce Willis/Chuck Norris/Sly Stallone movie, after all.. And J. Edgar Hoover doesn't get to approve either the script or the casting.

The number of spies, saboteurs and bona fide terrorists apprehended, or even detected by the FBI in the course of its long and slimy history could be counted on one's fingers and toes. On occasion, its agents have even turned out to be the spies, and, in many instances, the terrorists as well.

To be fair once again, if the Bureau functions as at best a carnival of clowns where its "domestic security responsibilities" are concerned, this is because – regardless of official hype – it has none. It is now, as it's always been, the national political police force, an instrument created and perfected to ensure that all Americans, not just the consenting mass, are "free" to do exactly as they're told.

The FBI and "cooperating agencies" can be thus relied upon to set about "protecting freedom" by destroying whatever rights and liberties were left to U.S. citizens before September 11 (in fact, they've already received authorization to begin). Sheeplike, the great majority of Americans can also be counted upon to bleat their approval, at least in the short run, believing as they always do that the nasty implications of what they're doing will pertain only to others.

Oh Yeah, and "The Company," Too

A possibly even sicker joke is the notion, suddenly in vogue, that the CIA will be able to pinpoint "terrorist threats," "rooting out their infrastructure" where it exists and/or "terminating" it before it can materialize, if only it's allowed to beef up its "human intelligence gathering capacity" in an unrestrained manner (including full-bore operations inside the US, of course).

Yeah. Right.

Since America has a collective attention-span of about 15 minutes, a little refresher seems in order: "The Company" had something like a quarter-million people serving as "intelligence assets" by feeding it information in Vietnam in 1968, and it couldn't even predict the Tet Offensive. God knows how many spies it was fielding against the USSR at the height of Ronald Reagan's version of the Cold War, and it was still caught flatfooted by the collapse of the Soviet Union. As to destroying "terrorist infrastructures," one would do well to remember Operation Phoenix, another product of its open season in Vietnam. In that one, the CIA enlisted elite US units like the Navy Seals and Army Special Forces, as well as those of friendly countries – the south Vietnamese Rangers, for example, and Australian SAS – to run around "neutralizing" folks targeted by The Company's legion of snitches as "guerrillas" (as those now known as "terrorists" were then called).

Sound familiar?

Upwards of 40,000 people – mostly bystanders, as it turns out – were murdered by Phoenix hit teams before the guerrillas, stronger than ever, ran the US and its collaborators out of their country altogether. And these are the guys who are gonna save the day, if unleashed to do their thing in North America?

The net impact of all this "counterterrorism" activity upon the combat teams' ability to do what they came to do, of course, will be nil.

Instead, it's likely to make it easier for them to operate (it's worked that way in places like Northern Ireland). And, since denying Americans the luxury of reaping the benefits of genocide in comfort was self-evidently a key objective of the WTC/Pentagon assaults, it can be stated unequivocally that a more overt display of the police state mentality already pervading this country simply confirms the magnitude of their victory.

 On Matters of Proportion and Intent

As things stand, including the 1993 detonation at the WTC, "Arab terrorists" have responded to the massive and sustained American terror bombing of Iraq with a total of four assaults by explosives inside the US. That's about 1% of the 50,000 bombs the Pentagon announced were rained on Baghdad alone during the Gulf War (add in Oklahoma City and you'll get something nearer an actual 1%).

They've managed in the process to kill about 5,000 Americans, or roughly 1% of the dead Iraqi children (the percentage is far smaller if you factor in the killing of adult Iraqi civilians, not to mention troops butchered as/after they'd surrendered and/or after the "war-ending" ceasefire had been announced).

In terms undoubtedly more meaningful to the property/profit-minded American mainstream, they've knocked down a half-dozen buildings – albeit some very well-chosen ones – as opposed to the "strategic devastation" visited upon the whole of Iraq, and punched a $100 billion hole in the earnings outlook of major corporate shareholders, as opposed to the U.S. obliteration of Iraq's entire economy.

With that, they've given Americans a tiny dose of their own medicine.. This might be seen as merely a matter of "vengeance" or "retribution," and, unquestionably, America has earned it, even if it were to add up only to something so ultimately petty.

The problem is that vengeance is usually framed in terms of "getting even," a concept which is plainly inapplicable in this instance. As the above data indicate, it would require another 49,996 detonations killing 495,000 more Americans, for the "terrorists" to "break even" for the bombing of Baghdad/extermination of Iraqi children alone. And that's to achieve "real number" parity. To attain an actual proportional parity of damage – the US is about 15 times as large as Iraq in terms of population, even more in terms of territory – they would, at a minimum, have to blow up about 300,000 more buildings and kill something on the order of 7.5 million people.

Were this the intent of those who've entered the US to wage war against it, it would remain no less true that America and Americans were only receiving the bill for what they'd already done. Payback, as they say, can be a real motherfucker (ask the Germans). There is, however, no reason to believe that retributive parity is necessarily an item on the agenda of those who planned the WTC/Pentagon operation. If it were, given the virtual certainty that they possessed the capacity to have inflicted far more damage than they did, there would be a lot more American bodies lying about right now.

Hence, it can be concluded that ravings carried by the "news" media since September 11 have contained at least one grain of truth: The peoples of the Mideast "aren't like" Americans, not least because they don't "value life' in the same way. By this, it should be understood that Middle-Easterners, unlike Americans, have no history of exterminating others purely for profit, or on the basis of racial animus. Thus, we can appreciate the fact that they value life – all lives, not just their own – far more highly than do their U.S. counterparts.

 The Makings of a Humanitarian Strategy

In sum one can discern a certain optimism – it might even be call humanitarianism – imbedded in the thinking of those who presided over the very limited actions conducted on September 11.

Their logic seems to have devolved upon the notion that the American people have condoned what has been/is being done in their name – indeed, are to a significant extent actively complicit in it – mainly because they have no idea what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

Now they do.

That was the "medicinal" aspect of the attacks.

To all appearances, the idea is now to give the tonic a little time to take effect, jolting Americans into the realization that the sort of pain they're now experiencing first-hand is no different from – or the least bit more excruciating than – that which they've been so cavalier in causing others, and thus to respond appropriately.

More bluntly, the hope was – and maybe still is – that Americans, stripped of their presumed immunity from incurring any real consequences for their behavior, would comprehend and act upon a formulation as uncomplicated as "stop killing our kids, if you want your own to be safe."

Either way, it's a kind of "reality therapy" approach, designed to afford the American people a chance to finally "do the right thing" on their own, without further coaxing.

Were the opportunity acted upon in some reasonably good faith fashion – a sufficiently large number of Americans rising up and doing whatever is necessary to force an immediate lifting of the sanctions on Iraq, for instance, or maybe hanging a few of America's abundant supply of major war criminals (Henry Kissinger comes quickly to mind, as do Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Bill Clinton and George the Elder) – there is every reason to expect that military operations against the US on its domestic front would be immediately suspended.

Whether they would remain so would of course be contingent upon follow-up. By that, it may be assumed that American acceptance of onsite inspections by international observers to verify destruction of its weapons of mass destruction (as well as dismantlement of all facilities in which more might be manufactured), Nuremberg-style trials in which a few thousand US military/corporate personnel could be properly adjudicated and punished for their Crimes Against humanity, and payment of reparations to the array of nations/peoples whose assets the US has plundered over the years, would suffice.

Since they've shown no sign of being unreasonable or vindictive, it may even be anticipated that, after a suitable period of adjustment and reeducation (mainly to allow them to acquire the skills necessary to living within their means), those restored to control over their own destinies by the gallant sacrifices of the combat teams the WTC and Pentagon will eventually (re)admit Americans to the global circle of civilized societies. Stranger things have happened.

 In the Alternative

Unfortunately, noble as they may have been, such humanitarian aspirations were always doomed to remain unfulfilled. For it to have been otherwise, a far higher quality of character and intellect would have to prevail among average Americans than is actually the case. Perhaps the strategists underestimated the impact a couple of generations-worth of media indoctrination can produce in terms of demolishing the capacity of human beings to form coherent thoughts. Maybe they forgot to factor in the mind-numbing effects of the indoctrination passed off as education in the US. Then, again, it's entirely possible they were aware that a decisive majority of American adults have been reduced by this point to a level much closer to the kind of immediate self-gratification entailed in Pavlovian stimulus/response patterns than anything accessible by appeals to higher logic, and still felt morally obliged to offer the dolts an option to quit while they were ahead.

What the hell? It was worth a try.

But it's becoming increasingly apparent that the dosage of medicine administered was entirely insufficient to accomplish its purpose.

Although there are undoubtedly exceptions, Americans for the most part still don't get it.

Already, they've desecrated the temporary tomb of those killed in the WTC, staging a veritable pep rally atop the mangled remains of those they profess to honor, treating the whole affair as if it were some bizarre breed of contact sport. And, of course, there are the inevitable pom-poms shaped like American flags, the school colors worn as little red-white-and-blue ribbons affixed to labels, sportscasters in the form of "counterterrorism experts" drooling mindless color commentary during the pregame warm-up.

Refusing the realization that the world has suddenly shifted its axis, and that they are therefore no longer "in charge," they have by-and-large reverted instantly to type, working themselves into their usual bloodlust on the now obsolete premise that the bloodletting will "naturally" occur elsewhere and to someone else.

"Patriotism," a wise man once observed, "is the last refuge of scoundrels."

And the braided, he might of added.

Braided Scoundrel-in-Chief, George Junior, lacking even the sense to be careful what he wished for, has teamed up with a gaggle of fundamentalist Christian clerics like Billy Graham to proclaim a "New Crusade" called "Infinite Justice" aimed at "ridding the world of evil."

One could easily make light of such rhetoric, remarking upon how unseemly it is for a son to threaten his father in such fashion – or a president to so publicly contemplate the murder/suicide of himself and his cabinet – but the matter is deadly serious.

They are preparing once again to sally forth for the purpose of roasting brown-skinned children by the scores of thousands. Already, the B-1 bombers and the aircraft carriers and the missile frigates are en route, the airborne divisions are gearing up to go.

To where? Afghanistan?

The Sudan?

Iraq, again (or still)?

How about Grenada (that was fun)?

Any of them or all. It doesn't matter.

The desire to pummel the helpless runs rabid as ever.

Only, this time it's different.

The time the helpless aren't, or at least are not so helpless as they were.

This time, somewhere, perhaps in an Afghani mountain cave, possibly in a Brooklyn basement, maybe another local altogether – but somewhere, all the same – there's a grim-visaged (wo)man wearing a Clint Eastwood smile.

"Go ahead, punks," s/he's saying, "Make my day."

And when they do, when they launch these airstrikes abroad – or may a little later; it will be at a time conforming to the "terrorists"' own schedule, and at a place of their choosing – the next more intensive dose of medicine administered here "at home."

Of what will it consist this time? Anthrax? Mustard gas? Sarin? A tactical nuclear device?

That, too, is their choice to make.

Looking back, it will seem to future generations inexplicable why Americans were unable on their own, and in time to save themselves, to accept a rule of nature so basic that it could be mouthed by an actor, Lawrence Fishburn, in a movie, The Cotton Club.

"You've got to learn, " the line went, "that when you push people around, some people push back."

As they should.

As they must.

And as they undoubtedly will.

There is justice in such symmetry.


The preceding was a "first take" reading, more a stream-of-consciousness interpretive reaction to the September 11 counterattack than a finished piece on the topic. Hence, I'll readily admit that I've been far less than thorough, and quite likely wrong about a number of things.

For instance, it may not have been (only) the ghosts of Iraqi children who made their appearance that day. It could as easily have been some or all of their butchered Palestinian cousins.

Or maybe it was some or all of the at least 3.2 million Indochinese who perished as a result of America's sustained and genocidal assault on Southeast Asia (1959-1975), not to mention the millions more who've died because of the sanctions imposed thereafter.

Perhaps there were a few of the Korean civilians massacred by US troops at places like No Gun Ri during the early ‘50s, or the hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians ruthlessly incinerated in the ghastly fire raids of World War II (only at Dresden did America bomb Germany in a similar manner).

And, of course, it could have been those vaporized in the militarily pointless nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are others, as well, a vast and silent queue of faceless victims, stretching from the million-odd Filipinos slaughtered during America's "Indian War" in their islands at the beginning of the twentieth century, through the real Indians, America's own, massacred wholesale at places like Horseshoe Bend and the Bad Axe, Sand Creek and Wounded Knee, the Washita, Bear River, and the Marias.

Was it those who expired along the Cherokee Trial of Tears of the Long Walk of the Navajo?

Those murdered by smallpox at Fort Clark in 1836?

Starved to death in the concentration camp at Bosque Redondo during the 1860s?

Maybe those native people claimed for scalp bounty in all 48 of the continental US states? Or the Raritans whose severed heads were kicked for sport along the streets of what was then called New Amsterdam, at the very site where the WTC once stood?

One hears, too, the whispers of those lost on the Middle Passage, and of those whose very flesh was sold in the slave market outside the human kennel from whence Wall Street takes its name. And of coolie laborers, imported by the gross-dozen to lay the tracks of empire across scorching desert sands, none of them allotted "a Chinaman's chance" of surviving.

The list is too long, too awful to go on.

No matter what its eventual fate, America will have gotten off very, very cheap.

The full measure of its guilt can never be fully balanced or atoned for.

Ward Churchill (Keetoowah Band Cherokee) is one of the most outspoken of Native American activists. In his lectures and numerous published works, he explores the themes of genocide in the Americas, historical and legal (re)interpretation of conquest and colonization, literary and cinematic criticism, and indigenist alternatives to the status quo. Churchill is a Professor of Ethnic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies. He is also a past national spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. His books include Agents of Repression, Fantasies of the Master Race, From a Native Son and A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust   

In March 2009 Ward Churchill has been in court, suing the University of Colorado for firing him, a move the university made in 200_ as retaliation for this essay. Reports from the trial here are courtesy of the Ward Churchill Trial Blog maintained by the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network:

More Documents of Interest from early 2005

  • Review of "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" , by Faith Attaguile (LiP Magazine Summer 2004)
  • Review of "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" , by Jeb Brandt (The Indypendent Jan. 9 2005)
  • Johnson: Churchill Not Alone in Pointing Finger , from Rocky Mountain News (Feb. 2 2005)
  • U. of Colorado Faculty Rallies Around Professor , from Associate Press (Feb. 2 2005)
  • Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center Statement in Support of Ward Churchill (Feb. 2 2005)
  • American Association of University Professors on Professor Ward Churchill Controversy (Feb. 3 2005)
  • Beat the Devil: Ward Churchill and the Mad Dogs of the Right , by Alexander Cockburn (The Nation, Feb. 3 2005)
  • Colorado Regents Will Investigate Professor Who Compared September 11 Victims to Nazis , by Scott Smallwood (Chronicle of Higher Education, Friday, February 4, 2005)
  • Students, Faculty at Hamilton College Back Controversial Discussion , by Marshand-Boone (Utica Observer Dispatch, February 4, 2005)
  • The Distortions of Acumen: Liberals Trash Ward Churchill , by Joshua Frank (Press Action, February 4 2005)
  • Churchill Rant Has Some Truth , by Reggie Rivers (Denver Post, February 4th 2005)
  • Professor Under Fire for 9/11 Comments , by T..R. Reid (Washington Post, February 5, 2005)
  • Raise Your Voice But Keep Your Head Down by Michael Albert (ZNet February 5th 2005)
  • The Distortions of Acumen Continued , by Joshua Frank (Press Action, February 7th 2005)
  • Thousands Attend Churchill Speech , by Erin Gartner (Associated Press, February 8th 2005)
  • The Anti-AIM Tide Is Rising (Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, February 9th 2005)
  • Churchill: "I Do Not Work For Bill Owens" (News4Colorado, February 9th 2005)
  • Prof: Never Back Down by Howard Pankratz and George Merritt (Denver Post, February 9th 2005)
  • What Ward Churchill didn't say; It's the singer, not the song... by Mickey Z. (Februaryt 9th 2005)
  • Killing the Messenger: Ward Churchill's Sins Against the Empire by Steven Best (Press Action, February 10th 2005)
  • N.Y. Professor Loses Post Over Churchill Controversy (Associated Press, February 11th 2005)
  • Ward Churchill is Neocon Test Case for Academic Purges by Emma Perez, Ethnic Studies Chair at UC (February 15th 2005)
  • An Open Letter to Ward Churchill: My Brother, the "Eichmann" by Michael Faughnan (Boulder Daily Camera, Feb. 16th 2005)
  • The Termination and Removal of Ward Churchill by Scott Lyons (Indian Country, February 17th 2005)
  • Churchill Gets Support at Forum by Brittany Anas (Boulder Daily Camera February 18th 2005)
  • The Witch Hunt Against Ward Churchill (Revolutionary Worker, February 20th 2005)
  • Churchill Clarifies 9/11 Stand in Hawaii (Associated Press, February 23rd 2005)
  • Ward Churchill and 911 by Robert Jensen (The Progressive Trail, February 23rd 2005)
  • So how come? by Dani Newsum (February 26th 2005)
  • CU weighs buyout for firebrand prof by Dave Kurtin and Arthur Kane (Denver Post, Februrary 26th 2005)

Also check out Letters of Support for Ward Churchill from the UCB Academic Community .

Some institutions of "higher" learning are now enforcing a Colorado law that says that full time professors have to signa loyalty oath: click here for more details

Also on the aforementioned site is an indepth article that was written years before the current controversy that refutes many of the allegations and attacks on Churchill that have just recently been "revealed" by the mainstream media: http://www.coloradoaim.org/why.html

Almost one hundred different articles by Ward Churchill are available on ZNet, click here for a list: http://www.zmag.org/search/search_results.cfm?keyWords=Ward+Churchill&collection=allZnet&searchType=simple

You can purchase books and spoken word CDs by Ward Churchill at leftwingbooks.NET

While many people have contacted me upset at my posting this essay to my site, the following is certainly the best email i have received on this subject so far:

Thank you for posting the illuminating essay by Professor Churchill. Although the essay is 99% accurate, there is a fatal flaw in this line...

Evil – for those inclined to embrace the banality of such a concept – was perfectly incarnated in that malignant toad known as Madeline Albright, squatting in her studio chair like Jaba the Hutt, blandly spewing the news that she'd imposed a collective death sentence upon the unoffending youth of Iraq.
...Having received the Star Wars trilogy on DVD for Christmas, I would like to point out that Jabba the Hut (two b's, one t) did not squat in a studio chair, he reclined on a raised dais overlooking the floor where he received important guests. By comparing Jabba's seating style to that of Albright, Dr. Churchill demeans not only Jabba, but legions of loyal Star Wars fans the world over. If, like me, you are offended by Professor Churchill's misrepresentation of one of George Lucas' most compelling and memorable characters, please join me in petitioning the CU Board of Regents in favor of Dr. Churchill's dismissal. Please forward this to any other Star Wars fans you know, unless they are fans of Jar Jar Binks, a latter-day Joseph Goebbels who willingly served as a propagandist for the genocidal, imperialist monarchy of Queen Amidala, and later served in the Galactic Senate as an apologist for the Gungan use of biological weapaons in the dispute with the Trade Federation

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