Saturday, February 05, 2005

Op ed on Infoshop

In my rash of recent posts, I never got around to putting a link up to my own op ed that I penned concerning Ward Churchill, freedom of speech, and attacks from the right-wing limiting that freedom.

Chuck and the good folks over at Infoshop picked up the op ed that I wrote and shopped to several left-leaning websites. With the subject of free speech front and center in the controversy swirling around Churchill, I would have thought a few more websites and bloggers would have had something to say about it. With Bill O'Reilly's nightly character assasinations against Churchill, I kept waiting for someone with a national forum, like Al Franken and Air America to take up his defense. Apparently, free speech that crosses whatever line Churchill was deemed to have crossed by the liberal arbiters of good taste, warrants shunning.

Bloggers like Atrios, Daily Kos, and even David Brock over at Media Matters had nothing to say about calls for censor and demands for Churchill's job at the University of Colorado. Even David Neiwert, who's written extensively on the rise of fascist tendencies in the U.S. was silent about this. Common Dreams, a newswire that carries a wide spectrum of progressive thought and opinion chose to run an op ed criticising Churchill. The obvious clamping down on dissent certainly warranted more commentary from the left. Lord knows it's been all over Free Republic and other right-leaning sites.

I have my own thoughts as to why this is, but I'll save it for a later post. I've spent a good part of the past three days writing, sending emails and making phone calls in support of Churchill. I need some time away from my keyboard. With the temperature in the 50's outside, the spring thaw up here in the Northeast is upon us. I think I'll get out and enjoy the sunshine and maybe put on the x-country skis and take a buzz through the pines.


Anonymous said...

I think the lack of support coming from the left (better use would have been liberals, rather than left) has to do with Churchill not fitting their profile of polite protest.

Churchill, regardless of one's opinion of him, certainly has a right to say what he did and not be facing the level of attack that he is.

Ugliness begets ugliness; the U.S. foreign policy has been every bit of that and worse. Engaging in state-sponsored terror under the flag of freedom and liberation is fraudulent.

Too many liberals want to straddle the fence on wearing their progressive ideals on their lapel (or bumper), while doing little in the way to bring about real change.


Jim said...


I'd tend to agree with you. You can see it over at CommonDreams--alot of sniping rather than rallying around a comrade that needs support.

The conservatives are winning the battles because they can find a way to unite around Das Fuhrer, despite his reprehensible policies. Liberals and even progressives are given to hair-splitting and purity tests, instead of solidarity.

Richard Estes said...

Let's face it, the problem is obvious: Churchill is a leftist, not a liberal, and, hence, liberals are willing to abandon him to the wolves because Churchill is exactly the kind of person they believe costs them elections.

Just another example of self-serving liberal hypocrisy in which they vociferously fight for their own rights in struggles with the right, and demand, as an entitlement, left support, but stand strangely silent when the right devours their leftist competitors.

And, back in the halcyon Clinton/Gore days, they tried to do it themselves, remember the attempt to destroy the Pacifica radio network through their surrogates on the board, like Mary Francis Berry?

With that said, I have defended Churchill on the Net, posting in a number of places, TalkLeft, and the Progressive Review, where the issue has been raised.

The attack on Churchill carries disturbing overtones. The CU Board of Regents said that it would "review his speeches and writings", evocative of the cultural purges of the 1930s conducted by the Nazi judiciary and security apparatus. As I've already said elsewhere, Churchill preemptively anticipated the future with his "little Eichmanns" comment. They are sitting on the CU Board of Regents.

Jim said...


Excellent points about liberals and also the historical significance of all of this. Our historical amnesia is killing us!

Glad you've been posting--I've tried to do as much as I can in that manner.

Richard Estes said...

those CU Regents and administrators, the "little Eichmanns", are at it again:

last week, students are prevented from speaking

today, Churchill is

see the following excerpt:

[Colo. Prof Challenges Speech Cancellation

Published: February 8, 2005

Filed at 4:31 p.m. ET

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- A University of Colorado professor under fire for comparing the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to Nazis went to federal court Tuesday challenging a decision to cancel his speech.

On Monday, Colorado administrators announced they had canceled the speech by ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill for Tuesday because of security concerns. Earlier this month, Hamilton College in upstate New York canceled another speech by him because of death threats against the professor and its administrators.

The dispute over the professor is one of several controversies that have roiled the Boulder campus.

In his filing Tuesday in Denver federal court, Churchill asked a judge to prohibit CU from canceling the speech, calling the last-minute decision to do so ``nothing but an effort to stifle me and not let me speak on a matter of public and personal concern.''

``I was intending to explain my meaning to the audience, in particular the CU student body,'' Churchill said in an affidavit. His lawsuit alleges the university violated his rights and those of the people who hoped to hear him speak.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, three hours before Churchill was to speak. A university spokeswoman did not immediately return calls, but campus police spokesman Lt. Tim McGraw said authorities are prepared to provide security if the judge clears the way for the speech.]

Richard Estes said...

UPDATE: CU relented after the filing of the lawsuit to allow the event to go forward

Anonymous said...

I'm not suprised that the so-called
liberals such as Al Franken, Norman
Solomon, Marc Cooper and the phony
Nation didn't come to the defense
of Brother Churchill. The Democrats
silence on this shows how truly
pathetic they are as a party. It's
quite amazing that some right wing
trash such as former majority leader, Richard Armey can get away
with stating that "Palestinians
should just leave Israel" which
is a racist statement, yet Brother
Churchill can tell the raw truth of
why America is hated throughout the world and gets a media lynching.
Brother Churchill didn't go before
the United Nations and lie about
Iraq's so-called "Weapons of Mass
Destruction." Brother Chuchill was
not responsible for the 9-11 attacks and furthermore, Brother
Churchill didn't tell the press
that Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie
Plame was working for the CIA.
Brother Churchill is 100% right. His comments is supported by the
Army's War College and the Pew
research that said that America's
foriegn policy and indiffrence
to the sufferings of other populations is causing record level
hate for this country even by it's
long standing allies.
Supporting Brother Churchill is
a support for freedom, justice
and accountability. Something that
the so-called liberals and phony
so-called conservatives have no
concept of.