So who here has actually read the dreaded Ward Churchill essay?
It’s quite the scandal, despite the fact that it was written more than three years ago, as a “gut reaction” to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Churchill was going to speak at a small east coast university when conservatives suddenly found a passage in one of his old essays that they could take out of context and use to once again tar everyone left of Bob Dole.
The intentional misreading is that Churchill said that all of the victims of the attack on the World Trade Centers were “little Eichmanns”, like Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
A loose-yet-contextual reading could be “stockbrokers are evil”, a statement that probably not too many folks would get upset about.
But the most exact reading would be “just as many Germans had to plan the mundane logistics necessary for the Holocaust to take place, many of the ‘technocratic’ workers in the World Trade Center have to plan the mundane details necessary for American corporate and military carnage to take place.”
It makes me think of the post I made lately about WR Grace. A real person had to draw up train schedules to transport Jews to Auschwitz. A real person had to sign purchase orders for fresh cannisters of Zyklon-B for the gas chambers. A real employee of WR Grace had to fabricate reports and lie to the cancer-stricken citizens of Libby. And just as these villains played out their mundane treachery, so did capitalists in the WTC, building lucrative ties with brutal dictators and such.
Now, nutjob conservatives are pushing to have Churchill fired from his professorship at the University of Colorado, and even a few wanting him tried for treason. Whether you agree with him or not, this is an odd freedom of speech issue. His First Amendment rights aren’t being violated, but people are looking to hurt him as possible for what he’s said. Even stranger, Churchill isn’t even being punished for what he said, but for what scummy conservatives have said that he said. I guess I feel that Churchill should have freedom of speech, even for things that he didn’t actually say? Something like that.
No idea if it’ll have even a tiny impact, but there is an online petition supporting Churchill’s right to free speech here.
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