Monday, April 1, 2013

Darn - Ward Churchill's Not Coming Back to Colorado

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Ward Churchill's appeal.

In case you don't recognize this name, this former University of Colorado professor published an essay shortly after 9/11, saying that people who died at the World Trade Center deserved it. They (un)wittingly supported US actions overseas, which automatically made them "little Eichmanns." (Churchill later said that his comments had been grossly overstated, and he really didn't mean that. Be sure to check out his parting statement below.)

Needless to say, he got a lot of publicity -- which did not please the chancellors at CU too much. They also did some checking into accusations that Churchill's work had plagiarized other sources...as well as fabricating other research. (The whole complicated mess is covered here. He'd also copied a Native American-themed print, reversing and selling it as his own original design.) 
     Churchill, the head of the Ethnic Studies department, did not have the Indian blood he'd claimed to possess -- something he used to justify his affirmative action hire, and eventual tenure. (He later said he'd been initiated as a Cherokee tribal member, so that solved the problem. Unfortunately, it was only an associate membership given to non-bloodline members - and that's since been retracted, on the grounds that Churchill abused it.) Eventually he resigned as chairman, but tried to keep his teaching job. CU's chancellors fired him, instead.

The jury in the subsequent court case initially ruled that Churchill was fired for his incendiary essay, not his plagiarism and false claims. It then awarded him damages: $1.

"What was asked for and what was delivered was justice," Ward Churchill said outside the courtroom. (How a single buck did that was not mentioned, although apparently the University of Colorado ended up paying Churchill's legal bills, as well.)
 
    I would almost be tempted to think that the Supreme Court released this decision on April 1st on purpose. Except, as the Brick points out, they probably didn't think about it. As Tommy Lee Jones points out in Men in Black, "We in the FBI do not have a sense of humor we're aware of:"



Full story (sort of) is here, along with Churchill's latest comment: 

I retract nothing. What I said has been validated beyond my wildest expectations, to tell you the truth, so let's just say that I rest my case. A lot of people were outraged by my remark, of course, but, to cop a quote from Rick Perry, 'You throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one who yaps is the one who got hit.' In other words, the people upset were the f***ing Eichmanns. Look in the mirror and own it, guys. You identified yourselves by frothing at the mouth for being called by your right name. See? Perry's good for something, after all.

Yep. He's learned a lot from his experience. Happy April, Fool.

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