Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Cancer Ward

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for linking to an Inside Denver article on Ward Churchill which catalogues the lengthy history of his denunciation by bona-fide Indians before Colorado University. His accusers include his ex-inlaws. Some excerpts:

David Bradley, a Santa Fe-area American Indian artist whose feud with Churchill has endured more than a decade, says he told CU a long time ago that Churchill should be fired. ...

Vernon Bellecourt, an American Indian Movement activist, says he first approached the university with questions about the veracity of Churchill's claim to American Indian heritage in 1986. "We went out there with a stack of documents to tell them about him," Bellecourt said. "I made a special trip to Colorado and went to the university.

"We told the university he wasn't Indian and was disruptive in the community," said Carole Standing Elk, a California Indian activist. "We said, 'He doesn't represent us, and how did you put him in the ethnic studies department?' "

"I sent a letter to the university in 1992 saying he's not a native person," said Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Morning Star Institute. She says she received a response from a university official saying Churchill had not been hired because he was an American Indian.

Bradley, a Chippewa, said there are several reasons he and Churchill clashed. ... In 1994, Bradley contacted CU, lodging his complaint with Evelyn Hu-De-Hart, then director for CU's Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. ...

Rhonda Kelly, 41, of Winnipeg, the older sister of Churchill's deceased third wife, Leah Renae Kelly, also contacted CU. ... Churchill later published a book of Kelly's writings, In My Own Voice. In a lengthy preface, he contended that the American Indian woman's alcoholism and other personal troubles could be traced ... Rhonda Kelly, a second-year law student, has produced a 15-point brief of inaccuracies she said she has found in Churchill's preface. She has asked the book's publisher to remove it from circulation, and to ask a man writing a screenplay based on the book to desist. ... He said his wife was a victim of acute alcoholism and that he "fought a long and lonely battle to save her." ... Churchill, in the wake of Leah Kelly's death, established a fund at CU for Rhonda Kelly's two children and contributed $200. ... "My sister Leah Renae Kelly had so much promise, but ... she instead turned to alcohol to escape the torment and humiliation in her marital home."

Controversy, or perhaps more accurately, acrimony, has been on Churchill like a cheap suit from the git-go. At least some of the accusations leveled against him received official cognizance from the University, which used the equal opportunity argument as a justification for retaining him, whatever he was and whatever he claimed to be.

"However, given the fact that equal opportunity is the law of the land and that positions in the public sector are to be awarded to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and based only on their ability to do the job, the university does not believe that any attempt to remove Mr. Churchill because of his ethnicity or race would be appropriate. Even if Mr. Churchill is not an American Indian, as he claims, Title VII protects Caucasians as well as persons of color. Further, it has always been university policy that a person's race or ethnicity is self-proving. ... observation and self-identification are the most reliable indicators of one's racial grouping."

But allowing a person to adopt any race that he chooses makes a nonsense of racial preferences. There is an inner and inescapable logical contradiction between adopting a policy based on racial diversity and then making race, in turn, a dependent on some other variable. By transitivity, the policy based on 'racial diversity' would really be driven by this hidden variable, which is a function of 'consciousness'. In other words, 'racial diversity' becomes a dummy for ideological quotas. In plain English: "all your base are belong to us".