Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Spotlight or ignore Churchill?

UC still has to decide what they are going to do, and that will gain some more headlines for Ward Churchill. My gut says that this UWW speech was the pinnacle of this story though. Churchill will slowly fade back into obscurity. That's a good thing, but so too has been the spotlight that has been shined upon him. I've been thinking quite a bit about the 'ignore him' v. 'write about him' debate which was made most visibly by The American Mind and Ann Althouse. I've come to the conclusion that shining the light was the better course of action, and not just because I was doing my fair share of it. If you were to look at the course syllabus for UW Whitewater's American Indian History class, you would find a Ward Churchill selection on the reading list for April 25th. I think a number of professors in Native American courses put Churchill on their reading lists because what he says fits within the constructs of how they view American Indians. They do not look at his scholarship critically. This spotlight has forced a lot of people to view Churchill's work more critically whether they like it or not. Instead of automatically passing Churchill's work off on students without an ounce of thought, thereby indoctrinating their students with some pretty caustic and not always factual stuff, a little bit of extra thought will go into putting him on the reading list.

Then again, maybe I'm just a hopeless optomist.


Anonymous said...

'Nary a peep from anyone on Churchill's rip-off of Native Americans. The sucker claims to be from any number of tribes and cannot provide verification for any of them, yet nobody questions how some of his claimed expertise comes from being an Indian. Check out Indian Country Today on the net and see how they lambast this fraud. The American Indian Movement flat out condemns him.

Anonymous said...

I wrote before reading, my apology. You do address the fact that churchill is an exploiter. Thanks so much! I am amazed at how Liberals conveniently overlook this. What would they say about someone doing red face? If anyone does black face it makes the national news, yet a creep like churchill gets paid for rip-off.

Anonymous said...

We will see if you are a "hopeless optomist" as you say when the Univesity of Colorado acts on their review of Ward Churchill's tenure. Personally, I am a pessimist.