Tag Archives: Ward Churchill

But of course Anglo-centric American History is a Core Credit.

So, part of the Arizona “show your papers” lynch “law” has a complete defunding of Ethnic Studies which reflect, cumulatively, the histories of a substantial majority of the people in the state. Specifically at U of A Tucson the Tucson Police RIOT squad were called to disperse and arrest students and advocates who exercised their rights to make statements opposing the slashing of Mexican-American studies, African American Studies and Native American Studies from the curriculum and the denial and decertification of degrees in which Ethnic Studies are counted as Core Credits. Much like the illegal harrassment of Ward Churchill in Denver, only on a grand scale.
At the required-by-law “does anybody object?” session the opponents of slashing E.S. were railroaded by an arbitrary time limit, any who spoke longer than the allowed time, was arrested. One dragged away in chains by the Tucson Riot Pigs was a respected and tenured professor, she is 69 years old and disabled.
We’ll have a huge crowd of the Racists here in the West Side of Colorado Springs over the Memorial Day weekend, people whose anguished and shrill shrieking screams rise up in a mighty Whiney Chorus if anybody DARES suggest that the Officially Approved “White Side of the Story” is wrong on many counts and the “settling” of the American West came about at the cost of economic, biological and siege warfare against Americans based solely on Racial Grounds.
Murdering thieves like Stanton and Palmer and Chivington, will be honored as Heroes.

Stanton and Palmer received HUGE federal Corporate Welfare subsidies for their railroad enterprises, one square mile Section for each linear mile of railroad track, approved at the same time treaties were drawn up with the Western tribes saying they would always be allowed to keep their lifestyle, and their LIVES, and their freedom…. something Abe Lincoln was signing away with the Railroad Act. Where the Rich Bitch capitalists were given the right to summarily execute people who “trespassed” on “Their” properties. Executions carried out both by Private Mercenary Thugs like the Pinkertons and Wells Fargo agents, and by the United States Army.

All of whom will be celebrated as heroes in a publicly funded subsidized event two weeks hence.
Prepare for the shrill screams of “Racism” to be lofted, once more, by the Anglo-Saxon Establishment, especially those heirs to General Palmers Federally Subsidized Corporate Welfare Real Estate Scam.
Like, most of City Council and all of the County Commissioners.

How DARE anybody suggest that the Indian Wars were Ethnic Cleansing in support of their Corporate Profit Margin?

Just like at the U.A. Tucson board of regents “Meat (deliberate sic) The People” hearings.

Amazing how their “non-racist” anti-immigrant law included Abject racism like that, isn’t it?
So they won’t offer a degree program in Non-Anglo Ethnic studies but WILL continue ta have degrees, even Doctorates, for “American” History from the strictly W.A.S.P. point of view.

Give the Black Hills back to the Lakota

Close down the strip-mine gold operation in Deadwood, stop maintaining the blasphemous idols carved onto Mount Rushmore, stop maintaining the Custer National Monument, let them rot into the Earth. They poison the very heart of the Earth Mother, Wakan Tonka. That means not “Great Spirit” like it’s usually translated, but The Great Buffalo.
The Lakota and other “sioux” tribes, and other Northern Plains tribes hold the Black Hills to be exactly that Heart. It’s said that from satellite images the Black Hills look like a massive bison heart. That might be a Rorshacht test, an inkblot or a cloud that you can project onto, or a seance where the medium will tell you, or rather, you’ll tell him/her exactly what you wanted to hear.
Maybe, but it sure does look like a bison heart.
Mount Rushmore and the Gold and now, coal mining operations are literally carving the still beating heart of the Earth. The Earth screams at us to stop, but the Big Money men don’t listen.

They carve images of some of their leading Capitalists onto the walls of that heart, and command all the people of America to pay to maintain their blasphemous idolatry.
Deadwood was founded by Lt Colonel George A. Custer while he was still in the Army. An illegal encampment of illegal immigrants onto the ultimate in American Land. Unlike migrant workers with the same title, they came not to try make an honest living, not to keep alive the hope of citizenship, the fabled “land of opportunity” touted in the propaganda.

They came to slaughter Wakan Tonka slowly, carve her open and cut holes in her heart while she’s still alive.
The Supreme Court very recently ruled that the land was, indeed, illegally seized, and offered as repayment … a settlement that would be less than a hundredth of a penny on every ten dollars taken out by the greed freaks.
Close down Sturgis, close down Deadwood. Open the gates of the Concentration/POW camps like Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge “reservations”.

Give the land back and save your Pious self-righteous “concern” for whether the Lakota and other sioux will make a profit from THEIR land. Don’t ask what they will do with it, it’s none of your God-damned business. You could use that same logic to lock me into servitude, where all my property (such as it is) could be seized and administered by “those who can manage it better”.
Who’s the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, Hosni Mubarak, Queen Elizabeth the Second? Hmm? Whoever it is, by the logic which denies the Lakota and, by extension, every tribe in America, full title to their lands, anybody who is NOT the richest man in the world could have his property seized and “administered” for him by those who are richer.

Give them back their land and don’t worry about what they’ll do with it. It will be a damn sight better than what the Thieves have done with it.

None of that “Noble Savage” crap either, it’s protectionist talk, “The Noble Savage NEEDS the Great White Father (a title invented by King George the Second of England) to protect him!”

And it’s just an excuse to take what isn’t yours and pretend that you’re “helping” the victims of your thefts and murders.
There were more Congressional Medals of Honor given to U.S. soldiers for committing ONE episode of genocide, the Wounded Knee Massacre, (edited to correct) than for any other battle in any other single war in American History. Really heroic, slaughtering children and elderly, men and women alike.
More medals given the murderers for those actions than were given in the entirety of World War Two, or the American involvement therein. Such Gallantry.

On Memorial Day there’s always a tribute in Washing Tundy Sea for those given the CMOH. That ceremony is corrupted and tainted and shit-stained by the medals given for that action.

Yeah, I know I’m in a state which worships Custer, Chivington, Carson, Palmer, Stanton, and the other murderous rogues who accompanied them on their rampages.

I realize too that their descendants live all around me and will be angry that I “slandered” great-great-grandpappy like that.
Your grandfathers dishonored their own names, and you bring shame to your own by continuing to worship the murders and thefts they committed.

Give the Black Hills back to the Lakota.

Ward Churchill wants his dollar back


DENVER– Remember the dollar bill awarded to Professor Churchill last year because the jury took him at his word that return of his tenure at the University of Colorado was the chief demand of his lawsuit for unlawful dismissal? Judge Larry [K]naves vacated the award and the verdict, which is why Churchill v CU is now being reprised for the Colorado Court of Appeals. As Lawyer David Lane outlined for the reporters, Churchill wants the reinstatement of an original secondary claim dismissed without a trial, he wants to resume teaching at CU Boulder, and precisely for its symbolism, Ward Churchill wants that dollar back. This post’s title is my guess at the Denver News headline.

Actually, mention of the solitary dollar was made in court, but from the other side. Believe it or not, CU argued against having to reinstate Ward Churchill because it adjudged the small award to be indicative of the 2009 jury’s intent. Instead of believing the jury’s statement, that they chose reinstatement in lieu of awarding damages, CU pretended that the trivial remuneration meant they couldn’t give a fig if the wronged professor got his job back either.

Oral arguments were heard today by the Colorado Court of Appeals, in a temporary venue located in the Denver Post building, which until recently was also home to the Rocky Mountain News. Was this a supreme irony, or like the usual M.O. in matters of Native American affairs, a direct insult? Ward Churchill had to plead for redress with authorities under the roof of the establishment most responsible for having slandered him.

How did it go? The room was packed, the judges did not appear to show their hand and promised a judgment would be forthcoming. Probably they say that to everybody.

David Lane gave his usual masterful performance, parrying cuts to the quick from the three judges as if his client’s claims were a foregone conclusion. Lane was ready with his trademark descriptive quips, Churchill’s persecution dubbed a “torchlight parade” where the CU trustees fell over each other to grab the microphone to denounce his September 11th Little Eichmanns quote, even as later they claim quasi-judicial immunity for terminating Churchill without prejudice.

Providing the perfect foil was CU’s counsel Patrick O’Rourke, the down syndrome-coiffed wunderbreadkind, who has me convinced there’s a niche for the incompetent lawyer shtick. How else to battle charismatic speakers like Lane, than play the everyman with a limp to elicit the jury’s sympathies. Lingering on my mind, as CU’s attack-defender lost his train of thought and asked a judge to repeat his question, was the news that O’Rourke is reportedly shortlisted for an appointment as judge, perhaps in recompense for his dispatch of Churchill v CU through the backdoor.

O’Rourke raised the inanity of having been presented with no evidence that the Boulder campus suffered a chilling effect as a result of Professor Churchill’s first amendment rights being violated. One judge ran with the theme, until Lane was able to politely corral the sophomoric philosophy quandary. I wished Lane could have gone for a laugh line: Clearly the CU faculty have become frightened to speak their minds, how else to explain the ongoing dearth of critics among them, in times of continuing and escalating barbarity by our history makers?

The turnout saw a good collection of Denver’s rising legal luminaries, Lane’s team from the original trial, the ACLU legal eagles, and members of the National Lawyers’ Guild. Also in attendance were notorious Denver activists and other Churchill supporters, including the owners of Boulder’s Left Hand Books. A notable absence for me was activist lawyer Lynne Stewart, who’d stopped by the original trial to show her solidarity for Ward Churchill and the besieged academics who served as his witnesses. At that time Stewart was appealing her sentence for aiding-and-abetting terrorists in her role as their defense counsel. This summer, Stewart received not a reprieve, but an even longer sentence, and consequently this month spent her 71st birthday behind bars.

As he did in the original trial, David Lane opened with the suggestion that this case was likely to have a legacy more broad than the presiding judges may all imagine. So far, whether the jurists for the establishment concur or not, I’d say he has been proven correct.

Power already knows the truth

As the election nears, I recall Ward Churchill’s rejection of a modern activist’s purported objective, “speaking truth to power,” as left-leaning voices speak up to validate the Democratic Party’s inherent claim to represent what the Republicans do not. As if the corporate status quo doesn’t know very well the reforms it is resisting. Speaking truth to power is not tilting at windmills, it’s flapping your arms in a charade, to convey your divination of a windmill’s function, to responses of shoulder-shrugging at the omniscience of power, literally. Democrats have absolutely nothing to offer except lip service. What else is new. So why are even stalwart leftists calling this horse race like they’ve got a candidate in the running?

Ward Churchill speaks on which settler invasion wrote the book on Apartheid

Tucson Tohono O'odham
Ward Churchill spoke in Tucson on Friday and Brenda Norrell has posted the footage. Watching the ex-CU professor speak, I can’t help but think about the university students’ loss. They’re missing the lamentably rarefied perspectives he offers of course, but more important, the inspiration gained from such an engaging luminary.

Throughout his lectures, Churchill likes to put questions back at his audience. He understands, if I can presume to project his rationale, that a mentor’s role is to bounce ideas around, and be sure his students have minds open enough to let them resonate. It’s also a sign of someone fully confident with what they are teaching. Churchill gives you the impression he’s interested in the best argument you’ve got, and I believe him, but in reality he’s going to have few peers up to the task.

When it’s time for Q and A, Prof. Churchill calls it mud-wrestling, and welcomes all shots, “even spit wads.” He draws the line at brick bats, because he says, one might bounce off his head and hit somebody else. He warns, as if he’s had practice, “because someone might get hurt. I can assure you it won’t be me.”

I wished at that moment that Tucson was not so far from Churchill’s curiously vile detractors, who attended his trial in Denver, and who hold bitch fests online about every Churchinalia for reasons unspecified. I predict they’re remunerated; the love-to-hate pretext is wearing thin, these yahoos are pro-Israeli tea-baggers. So there’s no Drunkablog or Pirate Ballerina there tonight to take the “perfessor’s” challenge. Although wouldn’t such an exchange have been simply tedious? I recall this dismal attempt mounted against “Wart” by a couple CU college Republicans, it was just embarrassing. Have Churchill’s online critics ever confronted him in person I wonder? They can spout off in the safety of anonymity, and that’s about it.

Churchill’s speech to the predominantly Anglo and O’odham border activists was about the bigger issues behind the border wall. The theme of the gathering was Apartheid in America, and Churchill demonstrated how South African Apartheid came of the successful colonial methods practiced in the United States. These were the strategies employed by the Germans in taking and settling the Eastern Front during WWII, and of course the goals of Israel in Palestine.

Churchill described how settler invasions vary from colonial administration. In the latter case, the colonizers can go home, in the former, they stay. Another distinction is critical, the settlers aren’t moving to a land and becoming part of the social system, they remain citizens of the occupying force. They bring their identity and the foreign system with them, to apply against the people indigenous to the land. The process involves two steps: displace enough of the natives to make room for yourselves, but leave just enough to serve as a labor pool, for all the building that is required of empire building. You’ve need of only a portion of the original population, to do the manual labor required of developing the land, but eventually you need them to die off. The Nazi strategy in Poland was to eleminate a great deal via war, then another mass through starvation, ill health and exposure. Methods mirrored today in Gaza. As a USA example, Churchill sited the average life expectancy of a Native American on a reservation in 1975. The age was 44.6 years old. That’s 1/3 less that the G-Pop average, equivalent to thinning the population by a third.

To cut to the quick, Churchill asked his audience how they felt about social challenges like sexism, racism, ageism, classism. All were basically in accord as being against. What’s the problem, Churchill asked. If so many are against these things, why do they persist? Then he threw imperialism into the mix, which had not been mentioned. Churchill said we cannot adequately address the others until we have a clean conscience about the land taken from America’s First Peoples. This must be the priority. First Peoples, First Nations, First Priority.

Below is the video of Friday’s Tohono O’odham event in Tucson. Take note also of the excellent speeches which followed the keynote, by Ofelia Rivas and her brother in particular.

Click ON DEMAND, then select the “Live Show Fri Nov 13 2009 06:20:55 PM” or watch it at Livestream/earthcycles.

Ward Churchill to speak for O’odham

O'odham rightsAccording to Censored News, Activist and scholar Ward Churchill will speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 W. 22nd St., on November 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to benefit O’odham VOICE Against the Wall, which since 2003 has organized and advocated for the traditional O’odham leaders and elders of the Tohono O’odham communities in the southern territory of the United States and northern territory of Mexico. Professor Churchill’s talk is part of the “Apartheid in America: Surviving Occupation in O’odham Lands”

O’odham activist Ofelia Rivas will also participate. The event is sponsored by the Dry River Radical Resource Center, the Earth First! Journal, and Voices against the Wall.

Here’s some background on the O’odham struggle:

pamphlet cover illustrationBy J. D. Hendricks, 2004
TIAMAT PUBLICATIONS #5

The People Who Emerged From the Earth

Over two thousand years ago the descendents of the O’odham moved into the southwestern region of the area now claimed by the U.S. as the state of Arizona. 1 The O’odham have had one of the longest histories of contact with the forces of European colonization compared with the rest of the native North American peoples. The O’odham’s first contact with Spanish invaders took place in the mid 16th century; nearly one hundred years before the colonization of the North Atlantic coast and Great Lakes regions were begun by the French and English colonists. As such, the history of the O’odham provides a good context for an investigation of the colonization of Native North America, and more specifically, an investigation of the interplay between, and results of, the varied responses to colonization – that of collaboration, accommodation, and resistance.

Many histories of the O’odham refer to these desert people as the Papago. The term Papago was a name given to the O’odham by the Spanish colonizers, and is likely the result of a Spanish corruption of the O’odham word “papabi” which was the O’odham name for one of their principal bean varieties. Thus, the Spanish colonizers term for the O’odham (Papago) came to mean “the bean eaters.” 2 For the purposes of this study I will refrain from the use of the term Papago and will refer to “the people” 3 by their traditional pre-colonial name. 4

As is often the case, with the name Papago being a good example, European constructs are often imposed upon indigenous peoples by the historians that seek to portray their past. This result can occur when historians seek to glorify European norms and traditions at the expense of indigenous ones, and can also be the result of the subconscious indoctrination of the historian by the dominant culture – in this case that of western style industrial civilization. In other cases it can be the result of a simple uncritical usage of language.

One of the most dominant and reoccurring “civilized” constructs imposed upon indigenous peoples history is the commonly understood notion that the O’odham, or any other indigenous North American culture for that matter, existed as a totality or uniformed mass. This study will seek to use the history of the interaction between the O’odham peoples and the United States, both its government and its peoples, to deconstruct this myth of the totality and provide a history of the O’odham’s varied responses to colonization from an anti-colonial and anti-industrial perspective. By investigating various important case studies in O’odham history, and looking not only at resistance but also accommodation and collaboration, it is hoped that this work will help to provide a more realistic historical picture of the effects of colonization, and the intentions and reactions of both the colonizer and the colonized. Within the previously stated context and theoretical framework, this study will argue that while the O’odham responded to the U.S. invasion of their lands in various ways, the choices to resist, accommodate, or collaborate with the forces of colonization did not affect the overall U.S. policy concerning the O’odham – that policy being the eventual total assimilation of the O’odham into the dominant “civilized” industrial system. 5

This investigation will include a strong focus on O’odham resistance to colonization, as any anti-colonial history should, however it will not discount or ignore the many historical occurrences of accommodation, and in some cases outright collaboration, with the colonizers. It is important to always keep in mind that none of the actions and reactions in any of the case studies looked at are attributable to the O’odham as a “totality,” but rather are attributable only to the various groupings of O’odham, be they incarnated in the form of the individual, the clan, the village, an economic or spiritual grouping, or an established political organization.

A God of Civilization and Coercion Comes to the O’odham

The O’odham’s first encounter with Spanish invaders took place in the mid sixteenth century when a group of conquistadors led by Alvaro Nunez Cabeza de Vaca entered O’odham territory in search of gold. These men did not find the riches they were looking for and left the desert region to return to the Spanish colony. However, soon after word spread of the O’odham villages on the northern periphery of the Spanish colony, missionaries began to travel north to bring God and “civilization” to the native people residing there. By 1686, Catholic missionaries had formed a few small missions in O’odham territory using what they believed to be the influence of their soft power 6 techniques to lure the O’odham into their missions where they were then subjected to a rigorous schedule of cultural indoctrination. Most O’odham historians, including Winston Erickson, 7 and to a lesser extent, Bernard Fontana 8 have, during this time period, focused on the O’odham who chose to reside nearby and within these early missions, thus painting a picture of the O’odham as accepting of Spanish influence and cultural indoctrination.

However a closer look at this time period reveals that mission O’odham were only a small percentage of the total population of O’odham residing in the Sonoran desert 9 and that the ones who were there may not have been so for the reasons that the colonizers believed. San Xavier del Bac, the largest mission in O’odham lands, as well as many other missions, took advantage of the fact that the desert O’odham migrated in the dry winter months to the Northern Piman settlements along the rivers to work the small farm plots for sustenance. 10 The Catholic missions inserted themselves into this traditional pattern. Those O’odham who worked and lived near the missions were, for the most part, seasonal residents, which shows that the missions were viewed merely as being of utilitarian value. Thus, the O’odham as a totality were not necessarily accommodating to or interested in anything the missionaries had to offer per se, and when the missionaries began to employ “hard power” techniques and abuse or overstep the grounds for their welcome it did not go without consequence. 11

Accommodating and ignoring the missionaries was not the only response to colonization practiced by the O’odham during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although historians such as Erickson feel that “the missions did serve the O’odham well….,” 12 that assertion is contradicted by the fact that there were many large scale rebellions waged against the missions from outside and from within. In 1695, 1751, 1756, and 1776, large scale rebellions occurred in which missionaries were killed and their missions burned to the ground. 13 In some cases these rebellions were the doing of joint O’odham/Apache alliances, which is significant considering that many histories of the O’odham and Apache portray them as immemorial enemies. This may be the result of the fact that by the early nineteenth century the Spanish government initiated a campaign of divide and conquer that was continued later by the Mexican and U.S. governments to turn the O’odham and Apache against one another, thus easing the project of their subjugation.

A Change in the Occupation Government: Washington Enters O’odham Lands

In 1821, Mexican Independence from Spain was achieved and interest in the O’odham dropped away nearly entirely. By 1828, the new and secular Mexican government began the process of shutting down the missions in O’odham territory and by 1842, the last of the missions were closed. Soon after, in 1846, the United Stated initiated a war for territorial expansion against Mexico. This war was not of immediate consequence to the O’odham peoples. Isolated in desert regions, the fighting between the two occupation powers affected them little in the short run. However, the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the war, would lay the foundations for a series of disastrous events which would affect the O’odham in very negative ways.

Of greatest consequence to the O’odham was the fact that the boundary between the United States and Mexico was not finalized by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The boundary was designated by Article Five of the Treaty as being an arbitrary line roughly following the 32nd parallel, an area which runs through the southern part of modern Arizona. To the east, the border was provided by the Rio Grande. The exact boundary line along the 32nd parallel was to be decided at a later date. It is also important to note here that the Treaty also provided that all Mexican citizens absorbed by the United States were to be granted U.S. citizenship, which included all indigenous peoples in the annexed territory since under Mexican law they were considered citizens. In the treaty the United States also assumed the responsibility for preventing cross border raiding into Mexico by the southwestern tribes, specifically the Apache. 14

In the aftermath of the signing of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, it became quickly apparent that an acceptable border between Mexico and the United States along the 32nd parallel would not be achieved. An official survey expedition was assembled by the United States and Mexico in 1849 to trace out the boundary between the two countries with little success. Various borderlines were agreed to and then abandoned and re-made by the United States, sometimes in a unilateral decision that dismissed the positions of the Mexican government altogether. 15

The principal concern for the United States was to secure title to an area of land in northern Sonora, Mexico that was ideally suited for the construction of a portion of the southern continental railroad whose building was being discussed in the U.S. Congress at the time. One of the main advocates for this southern railroad route was a South Carolina man by the name of Colonel James Gadsden. Gadsden’s history of connections to powerful business, military, and political leaders is very interesting and his appointment by the United States to be Minister to Mexico in 1853 serves as a very informative source to gauge the United States’ intentions towards Native Americans and the O’odham in particular.

James Gadsden was born into an influential southern family and graduated from Yale University. After enlisting and serving in the war of 1812, Gadsden was sent to the Florida territory with Andrew Jackson to aid in the campaign of removal and extermination being waged against the Seminole Indians, which took place from 1816-1818. After this war against the Seminole, Gadsden was appointed by President Monroe as commissioner to oversee the removal of the Seminole Indians to Indian Territory. Like the more famous removal of the Cherokee, the removal of the Seminole, and the high death rate suffered as a result, unarguably constituted genocide. 16 As a reward for a job well done, Gadsden was appointed by Monroe to a seat on the legislative council of the territory of Florida, thus beginning Gadsden’s political career. In 1840, Gadsden was elected President of the Louisville, Charleston, and Cincinnati Railroad. In 1853, the Secretary of War, an ardent white supremacist and slavery defender by the name of Jefferson Davis, appointed Gadsden to be Minister to Mexico. 17 As Minister to Mexico, one of Gadsden’s primary missions was to negotiate a final demarcation of the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico. Although Gadsden was a zealous believer in Manifest Destiny, his ideas concerning racial Anglo-Saxonism 18 caused him to be an opponent of the total annexation of Mexico. Gadsden, like many racist U.S. politicians of that time, felt that the total absorption of Mexico and its non-Anglo population into the United States would pollute the Anglo bloodline too much and thus he sought only to gain enough territory for the United States to build the southern pacific route. 19 Thus, a man who had presided over a war of genocide against the Seminole Indians, was a devout racist, and who had obvious conflicts of interest due to his connections to the railroads, was put into a position to determine the territorial boundary between the United States and Mexico and in the process also determine the boundaries of the O’odham’s land. With its appointment of Gadsden, the intent of the U.S. government could not be clearer. Business interests and territorial expansion were to run roughshod, by any means necessary, over any native peoples who stood in the way.

It is no surprise that when James Gadsden finally successfully negotiated a treaty with Santa Anna to secure what is now the southern portion of Arizona, the O’odham were not consulted. In fact, the Gadsden Treaty, signed into law in 1853, did not contain any mention of the O’odham at all. Considering that the new boundary line put in place by the Gadsden Treaty literally split the traditional O’odham lands in two, it is obvious that the intentions of the United States were in no way benevolent. Here it is also important to point out that the terms of the Gadsden Treaty specifically included the same citizenship provisions which were spelled out in the earlier Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 20 Although the Gadsden treaty was of great significance for the O’odham, their isolation and the outbreak of the Civil War enabled them to live another decade in relative isolation from Anglo encroachment.

Assimilation, Cultural Destruction, Double Speak and Ordained Genocide

The causes which the Almighty originates, when in their appointed time he wills that one race of men – as in races of lower animals – shall disappear off the face of the earth and give place to another race, and so on, in the great cycle traced out by Himself, which may be seen, but has reasons too deep to be fathomed by us. The races of the mammoths and mastodons, and the great sloths, came and passed away: The red man of America is passing away!
–United States Congress Committee on Indian Affairs report, 1865. 21

No doubt with similar justifications in mind as those of the Committee on Indian Affairs, Anglo settlers began their invasion of O’odham lands less than a year after the conclusion of the Civil War. The Homestead Act had opened up the lands of Southern Arizona to Anglo squatters and in 1866, one of the first of many bills was passed by Congress granting mineral rights to any citizen who claimed them. 22 Every one of these homesteads opened and every resource extraction operation initiated without the express consent of the O’odham represented an illegal action under the Gadsden Treaty. The citizenship provisions of the Gadsden Treaty had granted citizenship to all former Mexican citizens and the O’odham were, by legal definition, included in this formulation. The United States, however, refused to consider “uncivilized” peoples as being worthy of the protections granted to citizens by the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the expropriation of property. This refusal of the United States government to follow its own laws pertaining to Native Americans when those laws happen to stand in the way of U.S. interests has been a common occurrence in United States Indian policy. This land grab was only the first of many illegalities committed against the O’odham people by the United States and its citizens. In this respect the O’odham are in a special position when compared with many other tribes. While the theft of native lands by the United States Government was usually legally justified by treaty stipulations signed between a tribe and the U.S. government, this justification could not and cannot be used in the case of the O’odham since no treaty was ever signed with the O’odham by the United States Government. 23

For the most part, the O’odham did not resist this initial incursion of Anglo settlement, rather the O’odham practiced accommodation and moved farther out into the desert to shield themselves from the new settlers invading their lands. Traditional ways were maintained with the exception of the introduction of cattle ranching. The O’odham territory was well suited for the raising of cattle and a good number of O’odham became cattle ranchers, both for purposes of subsistence as well as for sale to Anglos residing in and around Tucson. In the 1880s, as increasing numbers of Anglo cattle ranchers began to invade and take over their pasture, some O’odham began to resist.

The O’odham resisted by stealing the Anglo cattle herds which were rounded up and driven south to be sold on the Mexican market. The expropriation of Anglo cattle herds was not isolated, and it became a major concern for the settlers and the government. In at least one case, a large cattle outfit was driven out of business. 24 The concern over this outbreak of O’odham theft of Anglo cattle was large enough that newspapers as far away as Los Angeles ran stories about the phenomenon. For the most part these stories seem to have been deliberately used to justify the enclosure of the O’odham into reservations as the government and Anglo cattle ranchers seized the opportunity to gain even more O’odham land by arguing that it was an unfair burden for the Anglo cattle ranchers to have to “support” the O’odham. 25 Here, in previous case study, we have another common attribute of U.S. Indian policy in general, and one which occurs again and again in the history of O’odham contact with the U.S. government and Anglo settlers – blaming the victim.

Another official position of United States Indian policy during this time period was that everything done to the Indians was, in the words of Indian Commissioner J. Q. Smith, in their own “best interests.” 26 Whether this obvious sham was based on a subconscious guilt and delusion or was a cynical example of “double-speak,” it is obvious that Native American’s best interest’s were the last thing on the government’s mind. Nevertheless, with this reasoning as justification, the first official reservation for the O’odham was created by executive order of President Grant on July 1, 1874. This small reservation surrounded the Old Catholic mission at San Xavier del Bac. It is estimated that only about ten percent 27 of the desert O’odham took up residence within this reservation – these were labeled as “civilized” O’odham by U.S. census takers. The vast majority of O’odham were labeled as “wild” and continued to live in the vast desert regions west of San Xavier del Bac. While it is obvious that the desert O’odham were resisting cultural assimilation by avoidance, even the mission O’odham maintained a resistance to European culture as the next example will illustrate.

While visiting the old mission at San Xavier a newspaper columnist from the Los Angeles Times wrote that upon her visit in 1882, she could see “not a single civilized human habitation within miles.” This writer goes on to state that the O’odham’s dwellings were in the form of “conical mud huts.” In the casual racism and Social Darwinist rhetoric of the period she also adds that,

“The Papagos are but little in advance of gophers and prairie dogs in their habitations.” 28

The point is that after more than 200 years of European influence, even the mission O’odham continued to build their traditional shelters. 29

Progressivism and Cultural Genocide: The Dawes Act

In 1887, the General Allotment Act, also known as the Dawes Act, was signed into law. The Dawes Act was the staging point for the forced assimilation of those remnants of Native American groupings which had not been totally decimated by the preceding period of “Indian Wars” and forced relocations. The essential function of the Dawes Act was to disrupt traditional tribal land holding patterns and thus force Native Americans into the Anglo system of private property. The O’odham, like most other Native American cultures, did not have a concept of private property – land was held in common for the benefit of the village group. Communally held land was an essential pre-requisite for their Anarchistic political system and extremely de-centralized tribal structure. 30

The first section of the Dawes Act provides for equal “sections” of land to be parceled out to each “head of family.” This head of family was always understood to be the father of each family when land was allotted. Thus, this first section of the act not only attempted to destroy the communal land system of Native Americans, it also instituted Patriarchy as the basis for social functioning in Native America. 31 In addition, Section Five of the Act also provides that any un-allotted lands be subject to purchase by the United States government. Section Six and Seven provide that all monies paid by the U.S. for un-allotted Native lands be held for each tribe by the U.S. Treasury and “subject to appropriation” by the U.S. government to repay itself for the implementation of allotment as well as to provide for the “civilization” of Native Americans. 32 In less veiled words, these sections are basically stating that Native Americans will be forced to pay for their own cultural annihilation.

This interpretation of the intent of the Dawes Act becomes clearer when one looks at the arguments and debates that took place in Congress and within self described progressive “Indian rights” groups such as the Indian Rights Association. Critics of the Dawes Act in Congress such as Rep. Russell Errett understood that

“the main purpose of this bill is not to help the Indian troubles so much as it is to provide a method for getting at the valuable Indian lands and opening them up for settlement.” 33

And Senator Dawes, the namesake of the final bill, speaking of the land and resources of Native Americans stated that

“civilization has got after these possessions with a greed never before equaled but it is idle to expect to stay it….” 34

As for the progressive Indian Rights Association, they argued that

“the organization of the Indians into tribes is, and has been, one of the most serious hindrances to the advancement of civilization, and that every effort should be made to secure disintegration of all tribal organizations….” 35

And one of their leaders, Reverend L. Abbott, provided justification with the statement:

“Barbarism has no rights which civilization is bound to respect.” 36

So here we have a self-proclaimed progressive Indian Rights organization arguing for cultural genocide and against the notion that Native Americans have any rights that civilized people are bound to respect! This conclusion provides a perfect example of the essence of “progressive” or “civilized” thought.

The Dawes Act had a much less devastating effect for the O’odham than it did for many other Native American tribes. At the time of its passage, the only official reservation for the O’odham was the San Xavier reservation which, as was stated earlier, was only a small 71,090 acre reservation around the old mission San Xavier del Bac. When the allotment agent came to San Xavier in 1890, he allotted out 41,600 acres of land to the 363 O’odham whom he counted in his census as being resident at the time. 37 The vast majority of the O’odham still continued to live west of San Xavier in the expansive desert regions and were little affected by the allotment schemes. Even those O’odham who lived in San Xavier and were allotted land paid little attention to the artificial boundaries drawn on paper which supposedly privatized their land – they continued to farm and graze the land communally. 38 This refusal to abide by the provisions of the Dawes Act is also a form of resistance to cultural assimilation and adds one more example to show that for those O’odham who resisted, the most often employed method of resistance was non-compliance and avoidance. This specific response to colonization was made possible by the isolation and expansiveness of their desert home, which many Anglo’s continued to view as a “hopeless desert.” 39

The Domestication of the “Wild Papago”

The vast majority of the O’odham continued to resist assimilation and maintained a fairly traditional lifestyle – minus the introduction of cattle herding and horse rearing. In the twenty years following the passage of the Dawes Act, a growing effort was made to enclose the “Wild Papago” 40 and forcibly strip them of their traditional culture and instill them with the “civilized” values of the industrial Anglo. As was mentioned previously in the paper, ranchers and the government used O’odham cattle theft from Anglo ranchers as one tool to justify the enclosure of the O’odham within a reservation. During this period, Anglo Cattle ranchers continued to encroach deeper and deeper into O’odham territory and scuffles began to break out.

In another classic example of the “blame the victim” tactic, a pro-enclosure story was printed in the Los Angeles Times, no doubt to build public pressure for the domestication of the “Wild Papago.” The story concerns a group of O’odham who had resisted an Anglo cattleman’s attempts to enclose one of their water sources. When these O’odham continually tore down the fence that this cattleman had built, the rancher filed a report with the local Indian Agency sheriff to have the men arrested. When the sheriff arrived to arrest the O’odham responsible for defending their water source, he was taken hostage. The sheriff was later released unharmed; however, the incident was used to make the argument that such troubles can only be expected to increase if the O’odham were not enclosed on a reservation where they could be more easily controlled and monitored. 41

The tactic of occupying and diverting natural water sources was one of the tools used by the Anglo settlers and government to destroy the self sufficiency of the O’odham and force them into reservations where they would be dependent on the government for their water and would thus be easier to control and monitor. Some of the O’odham clearly understood what was happening, which is evidenced by instances of resistance both to the enclosure of natural water sources as well as resistance to the drilling of wells. One example of the U.S. government using water as a tool of forced cultural assimilation can be found by looking at an event recorded by an O’odham calendar stick 42 keeper. In 1912, the O’odham residing in the village of Santa Rosa, an isolated and traditional village in the western desert region of O’odham territory, were paid a visit by an Anglo Indian Commissioner who wished to drill a well for them. The Chief of the village objected to the drilling of the well on the grounds that it would disturb their culture, their autonomy and their self-sufficiency. The government agent proceeded to have the well drilled anyway. Upon completion of the well, the Chief of the village, according to the calendar stick keeper, stated that

“the well must be left alone and, in order that the Papagos might continue their old life, water must still be carried from the spring in the foothills.” 43

However, the prohibition by the Chief could not be upheld due to the overwhelming convenience of the new well and after a period of abstaining from its usage, the village of Santa Rosa (including the Chief) gave in and thus was assimilated into the industrial system by being made dependent on the Government well. 44 During this same time period, encroaching Anglo farmers engaged in the diversion of O’odham water sources to irrigate their farms. This practice served as another method of forcing the self sufficient O’odham into a relationship of dependence upon the government. In many areas so much water was diverted that the O’odham could no longer grow their traditional summer crops. 45

In 1919, the first incarnation of an O’odham reservation to enclose the nearly two million acres of desert that the “Wild Papago” were residing in was established. The formation of the desert O’odham reservation in 1919 ushered in a period of exponentially increased government interference in O’odham matters, and of course, the various forms of coercive assimilation were multiplied. By 1933, thirty-two unwanted wells were drilled all over the new reservation. 46 The well drilling was often opposed by those who were trying to maintain the O’odham Him’dag – the traditional ways of the desert people.

Resistance and Collaboration: O’odham Responses to Forced Modernization

In contrast to the traditional O’odham who had maintained resistance to cultural assimilation for the past 300 years, there was also a small number of O’odham based in the new reservation that welcomed collaboration with the forces of Anglo modernization and advocated for cultural accommodation and in some instances for total cultural assimilation. These men would later form an organization called the Papago Good Government League, which would serve as the propaganda arm of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and government policy in general. The leadership of this new faction had been taken from their families as youths and placed in Protestant boarding schools to be culturally indoctrinated. The Tucson Presbyterian Training School was one of the indoctrination centers where many future members of the Good Government League had been sent. 47

Religious indoctrination, whether Catholic or Protestant, has always been one of the most powerful tools of colonization and its justification used by European invaders against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The necessary counterpart to the forced indoctrination of Christian principals and morals has always been the repression of indigenous spiritual practices. The United States government understood the profound power that traditional spiritual practices had in maintaining group solidarity and cohesion and it is for this reason that such spiritual practices were made illegal and repressed historically. In 1883, a Court of Indian Offenses was established by congress at the request of Secretary of Interior Henry M. Teller to eliminate traditional spiritual practices. In a report to the commissioner of Indian Affairs, Teller laid out his goals and his rationale stating that,

“If it is the purpose of the Government to civilize the Indians, they must be compelled to desist from the savage and barbarous practices that are calculated to continue them in savagery….”

Teller went on to associate those who resisted the repression of their spirituality with the “non-progressive” faction of Indians and labeled traditional spiritualism as “debauchery,” “diabolism,” and “savagery.” The overarching argument of his letter is that in order to civilize the Indians and bring them into the industrial system, their traditional spiritualism must be destroyed. As an initial step towards this end, Teller advised that Medicine Men be “compelled” to desist from their practice of “deception.” 48

Although the Court of Indian Offenses advocated that coercion be used to repress and destroy indigenous spiritualism, it failed to succeed in this project even when it used force to try to stop traditional spiritual rituals. According to Historian Edward Spicer, the only thing the Court succeeded in doing was driving traditional spiritual practices underground. In the case of many resistant O’odham, traditional spiritual practices were continued without regard to regulations or prohibitions against them, and in many cases, federal authorities resorted to repression and arrest to try to stop these practices. One traditional spiritual practice of the O’odham which was particularly hated by the Protestant Missionaries and Indian Agents was the Vi-kita ceremony.

The Vi-kita ceremony of the O’odham has been written about and studied by many Anglo historians and anthropologists, the most prominent being Columbia Anthropologist Ruth Underhill. 49 Before going into a short description of the Vi-kita it is important to understand that this ceremony varied depending on who was conducting it and where it was being conducted. Peter Blaine, an influential O’odham man sympathetic to the traditional ways, wrote in his autobiography about Underhill’s methods. Blaine explained the traditional way for the O’odham to tell about their past was to do it

“in a group so that everybody had a chance to talk and tell it their way. Underhill was talking to just one man…Dr. Underhill was wrong all the way in how she got her information.” 50

As scholars from the dominant culture often do, Underhill had applied her own notions of hierarchy, authority and individualism to her work with the O’odham and totally disregarded their traditional methods of conveying information in a communal fashion.

The Vi-kita itself was a yearly rain and fertility festival preformed to initiate and give thanks for the yearly summer rains. The ceremony itself consisted of the communal singing of rain songs, dancing, intimate encounters, and the consumption of Navait (Saguaro wine), an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of Saguaro Cactus buds. The consumption of this wine was meant to symbolize the connection between the sky and the earth. The intake of the Navait was representative of the earth’s intake of rain. Participants drank Navait until vomiting occurred as this act embodied the clouds issuing forth rain unto the earth. It was a powerful ceremony that bonded the O’odham with the elements of nature.

When Protestant missionaries, and a small number of Protestant O’odham in the Good Government League, backed by U.S. Indian Agents, began their attempts to usurp power on the newly formed western O’odham (Sells) 51 reservation in the early 20th century, one of the first things they attacked was the practice of the Vi-kita ceremony. In the early 1930s, Peter Blaine explained that the traditional O’odham from the San Xavier reservation would travel to the western reservation for the Vi-kita. He states that,

“In the late 1920s the government tried to stop this wine drinking ceremony on the Sells reservation. But no Papago or Agency police could ever stop it.”

In one instance Blaine tells the story of how he helped defend three traditional O’odham Vi-kita ceremony leaders when they were arrested by agents from the Indian Bureau and jailed in Tucson. During the trial, a group of Protestant O’odham men from the Good Government League 52 argued for the repression of the ceremony – one of these men, Richard Hendrix, would continue to plague the traditional O’odham in future encounters. To respond to the collaborationist Good Government League, the resistant traditional O’odham formed the League of Papago Chiefs to counter the attempts of the Protestant Good Government League to usurp control on the reservation. 53

The Indian Reorganization Act and O’odham land rights

On June 18th, 1934, President Roosevelt signed into law the Indian Reorganization Act which finally stopped the forced allotment process initiated by the Dawes Act in 1887. The Indian Reorganization Act was viewed by its proponents as being in the best interests of the Indians. One of the reasons for this view was the fact that the Dawes Act and its forced allotment provisions had resulted in the loss of 90,000,000 acres of tribal lands and it was hoped by some, including then Indian Commissioner John Collier, that the Indian Reorganization Act could be used to regain some of this lost land.

The public was also encouraged to view the Indian Reorganization Act as being beneficial for Native Americans. A large article in the Los Angles Times entitled “The Bill to Return Indian Rights” stated that:

“After a century of graft, plunder and injustice, this bill has the objective of handing their own souls back to the Indians.” 54

However, such optimism and notions of cultural relativism were not held by all. As a precursor to the Indian Reorganization Act, a report was prepared for the Secretary of the Interior in 1928 to lay out the need for a change in Federal Indian Policy. The report stated that the “great majority of Indians are ultimately to merge into the general population” and that it was the government’s responsibility to assimilate Native Americans into “white civilization” because “the hands of the clock cannot be turned backwards.” Sympathetic attempts to help Native Americans retain their culture were stigmatized as attempts to “preserve them as museum specimens.” 55 Indian Commissioner John Collier was one of those who believed that Native Americans should retain their culture and that “the awakening of the racial spirit must be sustained….” 56 However, although the finalized Indian Reorganization Act did contain elements that were meant to “help” Native Americans, many of its articles were still designed to impose “civilized” systems on Native Americans.

It can be argued that the intent of the finalized Indian Reorganization Act was to initiate a new chapter in the push for the total cultural assimilation of the Native American tribes. The argument that there was no qualitative change between the Dawes Act and the Reorganization Act is legitimate. The Indian Reorganization Act provides the examples for the argument. The main tool of assimilation in the Indian Reorganization Act was the provision in Section 17 which allowed for Native American tribes to form their own tribal governments, constitutions and laws which, although it is not specifically stated, were intended to be Anglo in structure and functioning. In the case that these native governments were not sufficiently acceptable to the U.S. government, section 17 also provided that all Tribal Government formations must be “approved by the Secretary of the Interior.” 57 This clearly shows that the intent of the Act was not to allow Native Americans to become fully autonomous, either culturally or politically. For a tribe such as the O’odham, which had a long history of decentralization and consensus decision making, the imposition of western style liberal democracy, with its attendant centralization and majority rule system, was an obvious method of forced cultural indoctrination. Peter Blaine, who was mentioned earlier, was an O’odham man who had sympathy for the traditional, decentralized and communal way of O’odham societal organization. When the collaborationist Papago Good Government League began to maneuver themselves into the position of representing all of the O’odham, Blaine took it upon himself to lead the charge to discredit their assertions to business interests and the Federal Government that they represented the O’odham. Blaine wrote that:

“This so-called council represented only their own church people, but they took it upon themselves to become a council for all Papagos. They had meetings. Nobody attended them but these four guys because most people didn’t recognize them as leaders.” 58

In 1934 Blaine, along with another O’odham from the Gila Bend reservation named Leon Pancho became the first O’odham to travel to Washington D.C. These two men were sent as representatives of the traditional chiefs of the O’odham villages to argue against a recent court order that closed the Sells reservation to outside, Anglo owned, mining. The court order was a result of a lawsuit brought by the members of the Good Government League, including Richard Hendrix, who had teamed up with outside lawyers. These lawyers were to receive as payment a ten percent share of all land reclaimed from the mining companies, or a monetary equivalent. As this entire procedure was done behind the backs of the majority of the O’odham, when it was revealed, there was great resentment towards the Good Government League by many of the O’odham.

While in Washington D.C., Blaine was informed of the pending Indian Reorganization Act, and he became a supporter of the Act due to its provision allowing for the self government of Native Americans, as well as a provision in section Six that allowed the Secretary of Interior to manage mineral, mining, and livestock on the reservation. 59 In the case of the O’odham this meant that the reservation would be re-opened to mining and they would regain an important means of economic sustenance. According to Blaine, the mines were an important economic resource for the O’odham as they provided jobs and a market where beef and other O’odham products could be sold. 60 This is yet another unfortunate example of how the incursion of Anglo industrial technology served to destroy the self-sufficiency of the O’odham by making them dependent on it for survival.

Whether or not the mines were truly in the best interest of the O’odham is a complex topic which cannot be dealt with here. However it should be stated that Blaine and his companions’ trip to Washington D.C. was financed by the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, an organization that functioned in support of the mining interests, not the O’odham. This Tucson Chamber of Commerce was the same organization that had aggressively petitioned President Wilson to rescind his 1916 act forming the Sells reservation because it prevented Anglo agricultural interests from exploiting the area’s “best agricultural and grazing lands.” 61

Resistance to and Collaboration with the “White Man’s War”

Not long after the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act and the formation of the first O’odham Tribal Government, the United States declared war on Japan, thus entering World War II. The participation of Native Americans in World War II has been well publicized, especially the role the Dineh (Navajo) played as code talkers in the South Pacific. The United States government and the mainstream media portrayed Native Americans as being eager to fight for their homeland, and eager to assimilate into “white civilization” once they returned from the war. Nearly 25,000 62 Native Americans served in the United States military during World War II, many of whom were no doubt under the impression that their service would be rewarded with increased “rights” after the war’s end. Instead, as a “reward” for Native Americans participation in World War II the United States government established the Indian Claims commission in 1946 to legalize the U.S. occupation of Native American Lands never granted to the U.S. by treaty, passed House Concurrent Resolution 108 to terminate tribal recognition as separate entities from the Federal Government, and then instituted a plan in 1954 to relocate Native Americans off the reservation and into “Indian Ghettos” in the nation’s large cities. 63 These were the “rewards” for participation in World War II.

Like many other Native American Tribes, some of the O’odham Nations members participated in World War II. Ruth Underhill claims that the O’odham enlisted to serve in World War II “in droves” 64 and it is documented that the O’odham tribal government bought $10,000 in war bonds. 65 However, the extent of this involvement was distorted by the media, academia, and even some of the O’odham leaders in the tribal government. Richard Hendrix, a former member of the collaborationist Good Government League, had risen to prominence in the new O’odham tribal government by this time and was interviewed by the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society on November 16, 1942. In this interview Hendrix exposed the extent to which he had allowed his mind to be colonized and assimilated into that of the dominant white culture. Speaking of colonization in general and World War II in particular, Hendrix stated that the O’odham had:

Learned to love the American government and they learned to love the Stars and Stripes. And when the war came and the time came for our boys to be registered, there was no exception. They registered just the same as white boys did. And now they are out fighting alongside the white boys, the American boys. They are just as anxious as the white boys to kill as many Japs, to kill as many Germans, and they are very anxious to win this great war so that the Papago people in this desert land may continue to enjoy the freedom of their homes. 66

Hendrix’s internalization of white supremacist racial notions is a heart breaking and shocking example of the extent to which he had accepted the ideology of “white civilization.” In addition, his assertion that every O’odham boy registered for the war with “no exception” is glaringly false.

Aside from the fact that there are always exceptions to everything, there was also a large scale organized resistance to World War II led by an old Chief and medicine man, Pia Machita, and his band of traditional O’odham who resided in an isolated village in the north western area of the Sells Reservation known as the Hickwan district. According to Peter Blaine, the O’odham residing in some of the most isolated villages in the Hickwan district had not seen a white man until the 1930s, and continued to practice the traditional O’odham Him’dag. 67 When Pia Machita was informed of the compulsory registration of young O’odham boys for induction into World War II, he instructed the youth of his village to refuse to sign the registration forms when they were visited by the local Indian Agent. Pia Machita was a very traditional leader who refused cultural assimilation and would not accept the authority of the Bureau of Indian Affairs or the O’odham tribal government. Finally, after all efforts to persuade Pia Machita’s village to register had failed, the tribal chief of police and a gang of Federal Marshals led by U.S. Marshall Ben McKinney invaded the village at two in the morning on October 16th, 1941, with tear gas bombs and guns drawn – when the Marshals attempted to take Pia Machita into custody some of the young men from the village used force to liberate him and severely beat one of the federal marshals. In the face of this resistance, the government agents and their local collaborators retreated to Tucson. When the Attorney General’s Office heard of the resistance on the O’odham reservation, they immediately got involved in the effort to repress this draft resistance movement as quickly as possible to prevent its possible spread to other reservations. By May 17th, 1941, after a period of about six months of trying to track down Pia Machita and his small band of men, Marshall McKinney and O’odham collaborators including Jose Ignacio from the tribal government, surrounded Pia Machita in the village of Stoa Pitk and took him into custody without incident. 68

Peter Blaine was the O’odham tribal chairman during the time that Pia Machita was leading the draft resistance movement. Although he did not believe that Pia Machita and his men were threats in any way, he was annoyed by what he perceived to be their stubbornness and attributed their draft resistance to his belief that they “didn’t really understand what they were doing.” 69 In reality, it was Blaine who did not understand the reasons behind Pia Machita and his men’s resistance to enlistment. Pia Machita and his men understood very well what they were doing – they were resisting giving aid to a government that they understood was their enemy. Given this understanding, and given the dictionary definition of the word “collaboration,” it becomes necessary to label those O’odham who participated in the arrest of Pia Machita as such – collaborators. The understanding that the U.S. government was the enemy of the traditional O’odham of the Hickwan district was based upon a long history of attempts by the U.S. government to force the Traditional O’odham of that area to abandon the Him’dag and embrace elements of Anglo “progress” such as dams, railroads, wells, and the protestant religion. Despite Peter Blaine’s inability to understand why the O’odham in the Hickwan district rejected Anglo-civilization in its totality, he still maintained sympathy for the people there. When Pia Machita and two co-defendants were finally sentenced to serve 18 months in prison at Terminal Island Federal Prison for their roles in leading the resistance movement, Peter Blaine eventually came to their aid and used his connections as tribal chairman to persuade the sentencing Judge to release Pia Machita early and allow him to return to the reservation and his family. 70

Conclusion

The history of the O’odham’s contact with the United States government has been one marked by a persistent current of resistance to cultural assimilation into “white civilization.” This resistance has included a variety of tactics and actions. The favored tactic of resistance to assimilation for many of the O’odham groupings seems to have been that of avoidance and feigned accommodation to Anglo culture when expedient. However, as was evidenced by the O’odham’s early history of contact with the Spanish, they did not refrain from waging armed resistance to colonization when they were pushed into a situation where other tactics might have been ineffectual.

In addition to resistance and accommodation, it has also been shown that some of the O’odham choose to engage in direct collaboration with the Anglo colonization of their lands and minds. As this paper has shown, the levels of collaborative activity amongst the O’odham varied, and so did the effects of such collaboration. When investigating instances of collaboration it is always important to understand the context which produced them and to remember that the ultimate blame for a situation of oppression should always be placed upon the group committing the acts of repression – in this case the United States government and allied business interests. It is important to show such examples of collaboration and to understand that all human cultures who have been the victim of colonization have invariably contained individuals who chose to collaborate for a variety of reasons. The O’odham are no exception to this rule. Making apologies for collaboration or failing to mention the instances where such collaboration did occur creates a historical distortion and does nothing to aid present struggles for liberation.

The O’odham responses to colonization never represented a totality, but a strong current of resistance is evident throughout their history. In regards to the United States government, it can be said, given the primary sources looked at, and the final drafts of laws signed and policies followed, that the intent of the United States government toward all Native American tribes, when it was not outright genocidal, has been the cultural destruction and absorption of remaining Native Americans into the dominant industrial culture of “white civilization.” Regardless of the varying tactics used, and the various lip service about “best interests” and “justice,” it has been shown that there has never been a qualitative change in United States policy toward the O’odham people and Native Americans in general. The O’odham have maintained aspects of their traditional culture despite the best efforts of the government to force assimilation, not as a result of such efforts. A continuing current of struggle between the forces of colonization and resistance has persisted for centuries, in all its various forms, within the minds and bodies of many O’odham and will continue until liberation.

NOTES:

1
This date is based on archeological evidence gathered by E.W. Haury in Ventana Cave. Haury, E.W. The Stratigraphy and Archeology of Ventana Cave Arizona. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1950. Cited from Williams, Thomas R. “The Structure of the Socialization Process in Papago Indian Society.” Social Forces, Vol.36, No.3. p.253.

2
Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1989. pp.37-39.

3
The name “O’odham” is roughly translated as “the people” in the Piman dialect spoken by the various O’odham groupings.

4
In 1986 the tribal government of the Papago reservation officially changed its name to the Tohono O’odham Nation.

5
The term “civilized” is a problematic historical term, and its definition tends to be very subjective. The meaning of the term and its use as a label is heavily influenced by how the author and the reader understand its meaning. For the purposes of this paper, the term “civilized” refers to the totality of the “western” cultural, political, and economic system – and most importantly the belief that technological/industrial progress is inherently beneficial and liberatory. For most, being labeled “civilized” is viewed as a positive and the label of “un-civilized” or “savage” is viewed in the reverse. However, for the purposes of this study it is imperative to understand that this author views “civilization” itself as an inherently oppressive and destructive entity, and this must be kept in mind to correctly understand the arguments and analyses in the paper.

6
The term “soft power” refers to the concept of gaining influence and control over another group by means of the attraction of the dominating group’s cultural attributes and the use of commodification rather than using military might and coercion (“hard power”) to gain that influence. See Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Soft Power: The means to success in world politics. New York: Perseus Books, 2004.

7
Erickson, Winston T. Sharing the Desert: The Tohono O’odham in History. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003.

8
Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989.

9
According to Catholic missionary records, the numbers of mission O’odham during this time period were somewhere around 2,000. However, according to population estimates there were at least 10,000 O’odham peoples living in this area. See Fontana, Bernard L. Of Earth and Little Rain . pp.11,46.

10
Fontana, Bernard L., p.40.

11
It is well documented that many of the Missions resorted to physical abuse, forced confinement and occasional murder to coerce the O’odham into compliance. San Xavier del Bac, the largest and most famous of Catholic missions in O’odham lands was built with forced labor. See Daniel McCool; “Federal Indian Policy and the Sacred Mountains of the Papago Indians.” Journal of Ethnic Studies 9.3 (1981).p59.

12
Erickson, Winston P., p.66.

13
Fontana, Bernard L., pp.61-64.

14
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb 2nd, 1848. United States Statutes At Large, pp. 922-943

15
For a detailed treatment of this series of events see; Garber, Paul N. The Gadsden Treaty. Glouchester: Peter Smith, 1959.

16
For more information on the removal of the Seminole; Stannard, David E. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. P.124. For additional information about the Seminole Wars see; Churchill, Ward. “A Little Matter Of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present.” San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1997.

17
All dates for the political appointments of James Gadsden are cited from Paul Garber’s “The Gadsden Treaty.” Pages 74-81.

18
Racial Anglo-Saxonism was a belief popular in the later 19th century which held that Europeans of Anglo-Saxon descent were at the forefront of evolution and were responsible to bring civilization to the world. This ideology was used as a convenient justification for the extermination and removal of Native Americans. For a detailed study of this ideology see: Horsman, Reginald. Race And Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981.

19
For a detailed investigation of the role that the railroads played in the Gadsden purchase see; Schmidt, Louis B. “Manifest Opportunity and the Gadsden Purchase.” Arizona and the West, vol.3 (autumn 1961).

20
Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979. p.1.

21
United States Congress. Joint Special Committee. Condition of The Indian Tribes. Report of the joint special committee, appointed under joint resolution of March 3, 1865. With an appendix. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1865.

22
Erickson, p.77

23
During this time period many treaties were negotiated with native tribes in the regions west of the Mississippi to gain legal justification for the United States’ theft of their lands. For a detailed list of treaties signed between the United States and Native American tribes, see the compendium edited by Charles J. Kappler. Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. 7 volumes. Washington, D.C.: Unites States Government Printing Office, 1903-4.

24
Spicer, Edward H. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1533-1960. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1962. p.138.

25
“Arizona News; Papago Cattle-thieves Brought to Justice.” Los Angeles Times. Feb 1, 1894. Also see: “Arizona News; Report Showing the Depredations Committed by Papago Indians on Stockmen’s Herds.” Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1895, In addition see; “Arizona News: Papagoes Destroying Cattle in Large Numbers.” Los Angeles Times. Mar 23, 1894.

26
Kehoe, Lawrence. “Our New Indian Policy and Religious Liberty.” Catholic World, vol. 26 (Oct. 1887). P.96.

27
Erickson p.78.

28
“Tucson And Fort Lowell; Notes of a Visitor – The Church of San Xavier.” Los Angeles Times. Nov 18, 1882.

29
The Spanish had brought the adobe style of construction to the O’odham but, although the resources for adobe construction were readily available to the O’odham at San Xavier, they continued to build their traditional grass huts.

30
For a detailed study of traditional O’odham tribal structure and life style see; Underhill, Ruth M. Social Organization of the Papago Indians. Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1939. ________. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

31
For the most part, traditional Native American societies exhibited gender parallelism and were rarely if ever patriarchal by definition. For a detailed study of gender in Native America see: Allen, Paula G. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

32
All direct quotations from Dawes Act. General Allotment Act (Dawes Act). February 8, 1887. Printed in its totality in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

33
U.S. Congress, House Committee on Indian Affairs, Lands in Severalty to Indians: Report to Accompany H.R. 5038, 46th Cong., 2nd sess., May 28, 1880, H. Rept. 1576, pp.7-10. Reproduced in: Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1975.

34
Letter from Henry L. Dawes to Henry M. Teller (Commissioner of Indian Affairs), September 19, 1882. Dawes Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Reproduced in: Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1975.

35
Washburn, Wilcomb E. The Assault on Indian Tribalism: The General Allotment Law (Dawes Act) of 1887. P.12.

36
Washburn, p.16.

37
Fontana, pp. 77-79.

38
Erickson, p. 92.

39
“Baboquivari Peak.” Los Angeles Times. Nov 4, 1894.

40
The term “Wild Papago” was a term used by the government and media to marginalize those O’odham who continued to resist “civilization.”

41
“The Indian War Cloud.” Los Angeles Times. May 22, 1885.

42
The Calendar Stick was a device used by the O’odham as a tool to aid in the remembering of their history. The Calendar Stick itself was a cactus stick on which notches were carved at various intervals which aided the history keeper in the remembrance of events.

43
Fontana, p.54.

44
This example is meant to show the insidious nature of industrial technology and is not intended to place any blame on this specific group of O’odham for their ultimate choice to begin using the well. This example is given to show how industrial technology always comes with strings attached. In this case, once the village becomes dependent on the well they in turn become dependent on the Anglo civilization which is needed to maintain the functioning of such a well, and thus become less able to resist other Anglo incursions. In addition it must be pointed out here that the traditional water gathering procedure talked about was preformed by O’odham women. Due to this fact, some may feel that by resisting the building of the well, the male O’odham are in fact seeking to perpetuate patriarchy. It is true that the O’odham did have a system of gendered roles, but the overall system made room for exceptions and is best characterized as one of gender parallelism, not patriarchy. It is the Anglo industrial system that brought patriarchy to the O’odham. For more information see: Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979. Also see: Allen, Paula G. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

45
Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979. pp..5-8.

46
Spicer, p. 140.

47
Spicer, p.141.

48
All quotes taken directly from: House Executive Document no.1, 48th Cong., 1st sess., serial 2190, pp.x-xii. Reproduced in; Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

49
For a detailed account of the Vi-kita see: Davis, Edward H. The Papago Ceremony of Vikita. New York: Museum of The American Indian, 1920. Also see: Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.

50
Blaine, Peter. Papagos and Politics. Tucson: The Arizona Historical Society, 1981. p.42.

51
The expansive western O’odham reservation was officially called the Sells reservation. It was named after the first Indian agent in the region, John Sells.

52
The Good Government League was formed by a small group of Protestant O’odham who used the organization to advocate for the assimilation of the O’odham into Anglo civilization as well as to promote general U.S. Indian policy.

53
Blaine, pp.40-50.

54
“Bill To Return Indian Rights ” Los Angeles Times. June 8, 1934.

55
Lewis Meriam et al., The Problem of Indian Administration. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1928. Selection printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

56
Annual Report of the Secretary of Interior, 1934, pp.78-83. Reprinted in; Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

57
Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian Reorganization Act) June 18, 1934. U.S. Statutes at Large, 48:984-88. Re-printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

58
Blaine, p.50.

59
Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian Reorganization Act) June 18, 1934. U.S. Statutes at Large, 48:984-88. Re-printed in: Prucha, Francis, P. ed. Documents of United States Indian Policy. 3rd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000.

60
Blaine, pp.50-53.

61
McCool, Daniel. “Federal Indian Policy and the Sacred Mountains of the Papago Indians.” Journal of Ethnic Studies 9.3 (1981). p.62.

62
Holm, Tom. “Fighting A White Mans War: The Extent and Legacy of American Indian Participation in World War II.” The Journal of Ethnic Studies. 9.2. p.70.

63
For more on this aspect of the Indian Claims Commission, and a discussion about the termination act see: Forbes, Jack D. The Papago-Apache Treaty of 1853: Property Rights and Religious Liberties of the O’odham, Maricopa and Other Native Peoples. Davis: Native American Studies Tecumseh Center, U.C. Davis, 1979.

64
Underhill, Ruth. Papago Woman. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979. P.94.

65
Blaine, p.115.

66
Hendrix, Richard. Talk by Richard Hendricks, Prominent Papago Indian, Given at the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, November 16, 1942. The Kiva, vol. 8 (Nov. 1942).

67
Blaine, p.92.

68
Flaccus, Elmer. “Arizona’s Last Great Indian War: The Saga of Pia Machita.” The Journal of Arizona History, vol. 22 (1981).

69
Blaine, p.101.

70
Blain, pp.103-4.

© 2004, REPRODUCTION FOR NON-PROFIT INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES IS ALLOWED

Judge Larry Naves mocks justice in Ward Churchill ruling

Judge Larry Naves Ward Churchill rulingYesterday Judge Larry Naves vacated the jury verdict in the Ward Churchill trial and refused to compel CU to reinstate Churchill saying that to do so would send a message to students that the University of Colorado “tolerates academic misconduct.” This, despite the fact that the jury found that charges of academic misconduct were made in order to silence Churchill without appearing to violate his free speech rights and wrongly fired him based on the trumped up charges.

The judge also failed to award any damages to Churchill, nor did he rule that CU must pay his legal fees. Further, Judge Naves’ 42-page ruling indicated that CU was a quasi-governmental body and, as such, should have been shielded from litigation to begin with.

Of course, Churchill attorney David Lane will appeal the ruling to a higher court, hopefully one that has more respect for the judicial system and the Constitution. This isn’t over, but how unfortunate that the bastard Judge Naves has prolonged the charade.

Pioneering human shields since 9-11-01

WTC 911 terrorist attackWard Churchill called them Little Eichmanns, but if that’s giving the World Trade Center workers too much credit, at minimum they were human shields, masking the Command & Control Center of America’s economic war machine.
 
The US military is quick to blame its foes for using human shields, to explain the collateral damage we always inflict –Iraq, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah– but who more deliberately than the USA? The huge weapons industry makes all fifty states legitimate military targets, and now because armed drones are piloted from US soil, the homeland war zone extends into our homeland, for which the American public is the human shield.

UCSB Hillel students Rebecca Joseph, Tova Hausman highlight poor education

Charges against Professor William RobinsonToday’s university campuses have to deal with College Republicans, ACTA and NeoMcCarthyists. The latest uneducable creeps shopped their leftist-professor- horror-story to the Anti-Defamation League, to brand their teacher’s criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitic.” UCSB senior Rebecca Joseph and junior Tova Hausman both took exception to Professor William Robinson’s Sociology Listserv email comparing Israel’s mop up operation in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. Below are the words they cut and pasted together to accuse Robinson.

The literacy level of these two students is probably on par for Twilight fans, but definitely unbecoming for the University of California system. The first letter is reputedly from a college senior. Rebecca Joseph‘s opening argument was plagiarized from the internet, but she continues to scold Professor Robinson for straying from her idea of what makes a university professor. The second complaint from UCSB junior Tova Hausman copies the first letter’s form, but adds the accusation of sexual misconduct for leaving her feeling raped.

Is it unfair to put simple college students under national scrutiny like this? From their own words they show themselves to be rather helpless. But what to do when students, or some unscrupulous backers, are taking aim at a respected tenured professor? It’s serious business. Organizations like ACTA and Hillel are out to enforce a veritable Right Wing PC rectitude. As if it’s politically incorrect to make fun of uneducated on campus!

Keeping educators silenced was easier during the Bush administration, but the dampers are still on Academic Freedom. Ward Churchill may have won his case in court against the University of Colorado, but opinionated faculty are still few and far between. The latest attack against William Robinson attempts to reinforce more of the same.

UCSB senior Rebecca JosephProbably by now Hillel is wishing they’d coaxed a better educated pair of students to face off against Robinson. The administrators who received the complaint letters should have earmarked the girls for a remedial English refresher in anticipation of their graduation. But let’s look beyond the cheap shots.

The accusations inarticulated here are scurrilous where they are not outright illogical. You be the judge.

First Student Complaint
Here’s the first complaint received by UCSB, from Rebecca Joseph, Vice-president of the Santa Barbara campus Orthodox Jewish Chabad. Interestingly, UCSB has a number of pro-Israel action groups: Hillel, Jewish Awareness Movement on Campus, American Students for Israel, Stand With Us, AIPAC and the Israeli Palestinian Film Festival (which judging by the lineup runs films only by un-self-critical Israelis and sympathetic Palestinians).

Here is Rebecca Joseph’s complaint, uncorrected.

To Whom It May Concern:

On Monday, january 19, at 1:02 pm, I received an email from Professor Robinson for the course Sociology of Globalization (Soc 130SG). The subject of the email was “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” This email compared the aggression of the Nazis to the Jews in Germany, to that which is going on between Palestine and Israel today. Professor Robinson wrote the first three paragraphs including the following: “Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw…” In addition to his few words, he attached an email describing the comparison which goes on to another attachment showing pictures to prove his point.

This email shocked me; before I did anything I gave him the benefit of the doubt and emailed him back asking, “I just wanted to know what this information was for? Is it for some assignment or just information that you put out there for us?” His response was “Rebecca, just for your interest….. I should have clarified.”

At this point I felt nauseous that a professor could use his power to send this email with his views attached, to each student in his class. To me this overstepped the boundaries of a professor and his conduct in a system of higher education. Due to this horrific email I had to drop the course. being a senior and needing any classes I could get, this left me in need of more classes which added more stress.

Two weeks later I saw a friend that was in the course with me and I asked him if it was ever brought up in class or discussed even for a brief minute or two, he responded by telling me that he never even mentioned it in class and that he too would have dropped the course, but he needed it to graduate on time.

Anti Semitism is considered to be hatred toward Jews –individually and as a group– that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. An important issue is the distinction between legitimate criticism of policies and practices of the State of Israel, and commentary that assumes an anti-Semitic character. The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy.

I found these parallel images intimidating, disgusting, and beyond a teacher role as an educator in the university system. I feel that something must be done so other students don’t have to go through the same intimidating, disgust I went through. I was asked to speak to him and get him to apologize but I feel that it will not make a difference for future students of his.

Whatever the outcome may be, I am hoping for some apology from Robinson, for not only my self and but for my peers in the class as well. In addition I would like to see more happen then just an apology because he has breached the University’s Code of Conduct for Professors and that this issue must be dealt with immediately.

In the Faculty Code of Conduct in Part II, Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Unacceptable Faculty conduct, in Section A, Teaching and Students, it states that “The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the faculty member, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as mentor, educator, and evaluator.”

However Professor Robinson has turned away from his professional responsibilities through his “significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course.” (Part II, Section A, Number 1, b). He has also violated the universities policy by “participating in or deliberately abetting disruption, interference, or intimidation in the classroom,” (Part II, Section A, Number 5). Robinson has done so through this intimidating email which had pushed me to withdraw from this course and take another one.

In the University System professors above all, are to be “effective teachers and scholars,” Robinson has gone against his rights as a professor at the university through his, “unauthorized use of University resources or facilities on a significant scale for personal, commercial, political, or religious purposes,” (Section II, Section C, Number 3). Robinson used his university resources, to email each student in this course to get his view across, in doing so; he became a representation of the faculty members of the University of California Santa Barbara. The code of conduct state that, “faculty members have the same rights and obligations as all citizens. They are as free as other citizens to express their views and to participate in the political process of the community. When they act or speak in their personal and private capacities, they should avoid deliberately creating the impression that they represent the University.” By Robinson using his university email account he attaches his thoughts with that of the university and they become a single entity sharing the same ideas.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration of this matter and I am hoping to here [sic] back in the near future.

Thank you,

Rebecca Joseph

Junior Tova Hausman accused UCSB professor William Robinson of being anti-SemiticSecond student complaint
The second letter, which cribs from the first obviously, was sent by UCSB junior Tova Hausman. At least she credits the US State Dept as the source of her definition of “anti-Semitism.” But Hausman adds the accusation of sexual impropriety, taking a page it seems from David Mamet’s Oleanna.

February 19, 2009

To whom it may concern,

My name is Tova Hausman, and I was enrolled in Professor William Robinson’s Sociology 130 SG course this Winter 2009. The course was called Social Globalization. Our class received an email in the second week of class, from the professor, called “Parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” It discussed the parallel acts and images between Nazi Germany during World War II and the present day Israelis. He claims that what the Nazis did to the Jews during the war is parallel to what Israel is doing to Palestine right now. Professor Robinson clearly stated his anti Semitic political views in this email that were unjust and unsolicited. The department of states 2004 definition of anti-Semitism: Anti Semitism is considered to be hatred toward Jews –individually and as a group– that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity. An important issue is the distinction between legitimate criticism of policies and practices of the State of Israel, and commentary that assumes an anti-Semitic character. The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy……

In all the years of schooling and higher education I have never experienced an abuse of an educator position. Taking the opportunity to disseminate personal political views through obtaining email addresses of the class roster that are only for academic use, show betrayal and complete abuse of powers by the professor. To hide behind a computer and send this provocative email shows poor judgment and perhaps a warped personality. The classroom and the forum of which higher education is presented needs to be safe and guarded so the rights of individuals are respected. handle

To express one’s political views is not necessarily wrong but here it was not relevant to the subject matter. How could one continue to participate in this professor’s class? The fact that the professor attached his views to the depiction of what my great grandparents and family experienced shows lack of sensitivity and awareness. What he did was criminal because he took my trust and invaded something that is very personal. I felt as if I have been violated by this professor. Yes I am aware of Anti-Semites, but to abuse this position in an environment of higher education where I always thought it to be safe, until now, is intimidating.

This professor should be stopped immediately from continuing to disseminate this information and be punished because his damage is irreversible. He abused his privilege to teach, to lead, and to mentor.

Bellow is a list of the faculty code of conduct in which I believe Professor Robinson violated:

Part I — Professional Rights of Faculty
2. the right to present controversial material relevant to a course of instruction.

Part II — Professional Responsibilities, Ethical Principles, and Unacceptable Faculty Conduct
A. Teaching and Student

The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is the foundation of the University’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the faculty member, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherent in this relationship heighten the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between faculty member and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning consistent with the goals and ideals of the University. Whenever a faculty member is responsible for academic supervision of a student, a personal relationship between them of a romantic or sexual nature, even if consensual, is inappropriate. Any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process.

1. Failure to meet the responsibilities of instruction, including:
(b) significant intrusion of material unrelated to the course;

2. Discrimination, including harassment, against a student on political grounds, or for reasons of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, national origin, ancestry, marital status, medical condition, status as a covered veteran, or, within the limits imposed by law or University regulation, because of age or citizenship or for other arbitrary or personal reasons.

5. Participating in or deliberately abetting disruption, interference, or intimidation in the classroom.

Types of unacceptable conduct:

B. Scholarship
Violation of canons of intellectual honesty, such as research misconduct and/or intentional misappropriation of the writings, research, and findings of others.

C. University
3. Unauthorized use of University resources or facilities on a significant scale for personal, commercial, political, or religious purposes.

E. The Community Ethical Principles.
“Faculty members have the same rights and obligations as all citizens. They are as free as other citizens to express their views and to participate in the political processes of the community. When they act or speak in their personal and private capacities, they should avoid deliberately creating the impression that they represent the University.” (U.C. Academic Council Statement, 1971)

I expect this matter to be looked into and wish to be contacted soon.

Thank you,

Tova Hausman

Well let’s make a point to contact this McCarthy wannabe. These are crummy students fancying themselves campus sanitizers for Israel. What contemptible innuendo and vacuous indignation! The two students reportedly approached the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where they were advised to work through the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.

Abraham FoxmanLetter sent from the ADL
Pressure then came from Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman who visited the campus in a covert meeting to recommend the immediate reprimand of Professor Robinson. (Foxman even had these words for the Gaza analysis offered by Bill Moyers.)

February 9, 2009

William I. Robinson
Professor of Sociology
Global and international Studies
Latin American and Iberian Studies
University of California – Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Dear Professor Robinson:

We have received complaints that on January 19, 2009, you sent an email to a number of your student entitled “parallel images of Nazis and Israelis.” If this allegation is true, ADL strongly condemns the views expressed in your email and urges you to unequivocally repudiate them.

While your writings are protected by the First Amendment and academic freedom, we rely upon our own rights to say that your comparisons of Nazis and Israelis were offensive, a historical and have crossed the line well beyond legitimate criticism of Israel.

In our view, no accurate comparison can be made between the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed by the Nazis against the Jews. Nor can Israeli actions or policies be fairly characterized as acts of ethnic cleansing or genocide. Unlike the Holocaust (and to more recent examples of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Rwanda and Kosovo), there is no Israeli ideology, policy or plan to persecute, exterminate or expel the Palestinian population — nor has there ever been. In direct contrast, the Nazis’ “final solution” to the “Jewish problem” was the deliberate, systematic and mechanized extermination of European Jewry. Hitler’s “final Solution” led to the calculated, premeditated murder of six million Jews and the destruction of thriving Jewish communities across Europe.

We also think it is important to note that the tone and extreme views presented in your email were intimidating to students and likely chilled thoughtful discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clearly, that is antithetical to the very purpose of the academy. Finally, using your university email address to send out material that appears unrelated to your Globalization of Sociology course likely violates numerous parts of the University of Santa Barbara Faculty Code of Conduct (see, for example, Part I, 2; Part II, A, 1, b; Part II, C, 3; Part II, E, 1).

Again, ADL strongly condemns the views expressed in the January 19, 2009 email and we urge you to unequivocally repudiate them.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Silverman
Santa Barbara Regional Director
Anti-Defamation League

Cc:
Department Chair, Verta Dean
Chancellor, Henry T. Yang
President, Mark G. Yudof

Martin Scharlemann, University of California at Santa BarbaraEmail from UCSB Charges Officer:
Instead of dismissing the dubious accusations, the school is convening an investigation. But not without impropriety on the part of the Charges Officer Martin Scharlemann. Prof. Scharlemann insisted that Robinson produce a written refutation BEFORE he would reveal the formal accusations leveled by the two students. Read the formidable exchanges at the website mounted by the UCSB students and faculty rallying to Robinson’s defense.

Charges Officer E-mail Re: Charges

Professor Robinson,

Responding to your memo of 3 April, here is a summary of the allegations:

* You, as professor of an academic course, sent to each student enrolled in that course a highly partisan email accompanied by lurid
photographs.

* The email was unexpected and without educational context.

* You offered no explanation of how the material related to the content of the course.

* You offered no avenue to discuss, nor encouraged any response, to the opinions and photographs included in the email.

* You directly told a student who inquired that the email was not connected to the course.

* As a result, two enrolled students were too distraught to continue with the course.

* The constellation of allegations listed above, if substantially true, may violate the Faculty Code of Conduct.

In the (”not exhaustive”) list of examples included with that Faculty Code of Conduct, the most proximate are part II, A. 1. b and A. 4.

On the other matters you raise, while my conversation with the students was confidential, I can tell you that I did not advise them to seek an “apology” from you. And yes, I did offer you an opportunity “if you wish” to provide a written response to the complaint before I met with the Charges Advisory Committee, which is solely vested with the authority to dismiss a complaint as frivolous and unfounded.

-Martin Scharlemann

Dan ChinitzAnd from the internets…
And let’s not overlook the attempts to initiate an email campaign to bring public pressure on UCSB to reprimand Professor Robinson. A commenter to this blog linked to a website advocating a form email to convey (our) universal indignation over the anti-Semitism at UCSB. The form letter is suggested by “anonymous” (possibly Alvin Black aka Dr. Mike) and he recommended signing it “Name withheld to protect privacy.” We reprint the opening and closing here:

Dear Chancellor Yang,

As I am sure you know, several months ago, Professor William I. Robinson, a self described “scholar -activist” and professor of Sociology and Global Studies at your university, forwarded an email to his students condemning Israel. The email contained images of Nazi atrocities along with images from Israel’s defensive campaign against Hamas’s terror. This comparison is considered by both the US State Dept and the European Union, in their working paper on anti-Semitism, to cross the line into anti-Semitism. This email was so disturbing to at least two students that they felt compelled to drop his class. Because of the nature of the emails, the Anti-Defamation League, as well as the UCSB Academic Senate’s Charges Committee have become involved.

[…etc…]

And thus the Arab world’s war against Israel becomes a nation-wide campus war against Jews.

Professor Robinson seems to have chosen to join the ranks of these “erstwhile defenders.”

I most sincerely urge you, therefore, to draw a line in the sand. The university should not be a promoter of Jew-hatred, nor an inciter of violence.

Sincerely yours,

Name withheld to protect privacy

Anonymity
Isn’t that what this post is about actually? We’ve aggregated the criticisms flying against Professor Robinson, but most notably this article seeks to expose the UCSB students who led the faceless attack against Professor Robinson.

Until the Los Angeles Times revealed their names today, the identities of both Joseph and Hausman had been concealed. Even the specific complaints they brought against Robinson were kept secret from the accused himself. Now, what kind of people insist on slandering others from the shadows?

At NMT, we make ourselves known, while many of our detractors do not. We could not care less, but if apologists for Israel’s crimes consider themselves in the right, why do they hide behind aliases?

If you support Israel’s “right to defend itself” by breaking international conventions and committing war crimes, stand up and say it. If you think Israel has every right to take the land of the Palestinians and keep it, Goddamn it come out from behind your creepy disguises and say it. If you’re going to impugn others for whatever false transgression, without the courage to reveal yourself, do you expect anyone to accord you credibility?

If you are going to condemn the Palestinians of Gaza for exercising their basic human right to resist an illegal foreign invasion and occupation of their land, you better have the nerve to say it publicly. Cowards.

UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

Putting down the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
Wouldn’t you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that any criticism of their actions can simply be dismissed as “anti-Semitic?” Photographs and confessions emerging from the IDF’s atrocities in Gaza just beg comparison the German Einsatzgruppen in Poland. Earlier this year UC Santa Barbara professor William Robinson forwarded an email photo essay to a UCSB listserv, the already much-circulated side by side comparison to the WWII atrocities. Two students complained, plagiarizing stock IDF lingo. Now the Anti-Defamation League wants Robinson to recant. With IDF propagandists pouring on the bullshit, let’s revisit the documents.

As has already been noted, Professor Robinson is a harsh critic of US foreign policy, and already a likely target for the goon squad enforcers of Western Capitalism. Not many of America’s actions are defensible, so Robinson has to be attacked by desperate means. Lucky for the lackey-jackals, Robinson chose to criticize Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians of Gaza. Bingo!

The Israeli propaganda machine has armed aspiring Israel-defenders with a blanket rebuttal: just yell “ANTI-SEMITISM!” And what a load of crap that is. Much turns on the definition of “anti-Semitism.” It packs the punch of meaning someone who hates Jews, but the advocates of Zionism have expanded the definition into 3-D! Zionist apologist Nathan Sharansky has coined the 3D definition of ant-Semitism: demonization of Israel, double standards, and delegitimization. You don’t have to look closely to note that those points outline all the rebuttals of criticisms of Israel and any question of the legitimacy of the Zionist usurpation of Palestine.

The criticisms posed by those concerned for the fate of Gaza are the same expressed by a large portion of the Israeli Jewish population as well. But the US Israeli lobby, militantly Zionist, has the complicity of the US war-mongering corporate media, thus the IDF Megaphone protestations get traction. These are the same cheap shots leveled against Ward Churchill. By flooding the internet to create the sensation that the indignation was shared, the IDF spammers have been successful in slandering these dissenting academics.

Since we’re seeing this technique being slopped unto our comment forums, let’s examine the statement for which Robinson is being attacked. First we’ll present Robinson’s email. The next post will feature the ensuing letters of complaint, two from UCSB students, and third from the ADL.

Original Email
Here is Professor Robinson’s original email, including his attachment of the Judith Stone article. This accompanied the aforementioned photo essay he forwarded.

Subject: [socforum] parallel images of Nazis and Israelis
From: “William I. Robinson” …
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 21:00:05

If Martin Luther King were alive on this day of January 19, 2009, there is no doubt that he would be condemning the Israeli aggression against Gaza along with U.S. military and political support for Israeli war crimes, or that he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinians. I am forwarding some horrific, parallel images of Nazi atrocities against the Jews and Israeli atrocities against the Palestinians. Perhaps the most frightening are not those providing a graphic depiction of the carnage but that which shows Israeli children writing “with love” on a bomb that will tear apart Palestinian children.

Gaza is Israel’s Warsaw – a vast concentration camp that confined and blockaded Palestinians, subjecting them to the slow death of malnutrition, disease and despair, nearly two years before their subjection to the quick death of Israeli bombs. We are witness to a slow-motion process of genocide (Websters: “the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group”), a process whose objective is not so much to physically eliminate each and every Palestinian than to eliminate the Palestinians as a people in any meaningful sense of the notion of people-hood.

The Israeli army is the fifth most potent military machine in the world and one that is backed by a propaganda machine that rivals and may well surpass that of the U.S., a machine that dares to make the ludicrous and obnoxious claim that opposition to the policies and practices of the Israeli state is anti-Semitism. It should be no surprise that a state founded on the negation of a people was one of the principal backers of the apartheid South African state not to mention of the Latin American military dictatorships until those regimes collapsed under mass protest, and today arms, trains, and advises military and paramilitary forces in Colombia, one of the world’s worst human rights violators.

Below is an article written by a U.S. Jew and sent to a Jewish newspaper. The editor of the paper was fired for publishing it.

Quest for Justice

By Judith Stone

I am a Jew. I was a participant in the Rally for the Right of Return to Palestine. It was the right thing to do.

I’ve heard about the European holocaust against the Jews since I was a small child. I’ve visited the memorials in Washington, DC and Jerusalem dedicated to Jewish lives lost and I’ve cried at the recognition to what level of atrocity mankind is capable of sinking.

Where are the Jews of conscience? No righteous malice can be held against the survivors of Hitler’s holocaust. These fragments of humanity were in no position to make choices beyond that of personal survival. We must not forget that being a survivor or a co-religionist of the victims of the European Holocaust does not grant dispensation from abiding by the rules of humanity.

“Never again” as a motto, rings hollow when it means “never again to us alone.” My generation was raised being led to believe that the biblical land was a vast desert inhabited by a handful of impoverished Palestinians living with their camels and eking out a living in the sand. The arrival of the Jews was touted as a tremendous benefit to these desert dwellers. Golda Mier even assured us that there “is no Palestinian problem.”

We know now this picture wasn’t as it was painted. Palestine was a land filled with people who called it home. There were thriving towns and villages, schools and hospitals. There were Jews, Christians and Muslims. In fact, prior to the occupation, Jews represented a mere 7 percent of the population and owned 3 percent of the land.

Taking the blinders off for a moment, I see a second atrocity perpetuated by the very people who should be exquisitely sensitive to the suffering of others. These people knew what it felt like to be ordered out of your home at gun point and forced to march into the night to unknown destinations or face execution on the spot. The people who displaced the Palestinians knew first hand what it means to watch your home in flames, to surrender everything dear to your heart at a moment’s notice. Bulldozers leveled hundreds of villages, along with the remains of the village inhabitants, the old and the young. This was nothing new to the world.

Poland is a vast graveyard of the Jews of Europe. Israel is the final resting place of the massacred Palestinian people. A short distance from the memorial to the Jewish children lost to the holocaust in Europe there is a leveled parking lot. Under this parking lot is what’s left of a once flourishing village and the bodies of men, women and children whose only crime was taking up needed space and not leaving graciously. This particular burial marker reads: “Public Parking”.

I’ve talked with Palestinians. I have yet to meet a Palestinian who hasn’t lost a member of their family to the Israeli Shoah, nor a Palestinian who cannot name a relative or friend languishing under inhumane conditions in an Israeli prison. Time and time again, Israel is cited for human rights violations to no avail. On a recent trip to Israel, I visited the refugee camps inhabited by a people who have waited 52 years in these ‘temporary’ camps to go home. Every Palestinian grandparent can tell you the name of their village, their street, and where the olive trees were planted. Their grandchildren may never have been home, but they can tell you where their great-grandfather lies buried and where the village well stood. The press has fostered the portrait of the Palestinian terrorist. But, the victims who rose up against human indignity in the Warsaw Ghetto are called heroes. Those who lost their lives are called martyrs. The Palestinian who tosses a rock in desperation is a terrorist.

Two years ago I drove through Palestine and watched intricate sprinkler systems watering lush green lawns of Zionist settlers in their new condominium complexes, surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire in the midst of a Palestinian community where there was not adequate water to drink and the surrounding fields were sandy and dry. University professor Moshe Zimmerman reported in the Jerusalem Post (April 30, 1995), “The Jewish children of Hebron are just like Hitler’s youth.”

We Jews are suing for restitution, lost wages, compensation for homes, land, slave labor and back wages in Europe. Am I a traitor of a Jew for supporting the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their birthplace and compensation for what was taken that cannot be returned?

The Jewish dead cannot be brought back to life and neither can the Palestinian massacred be resurrected. David Ben Gurion said, “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves…politically, we are the aggressors and they defend themselves…The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country…”

Palestine is a land that has been occupied and emptied of its people. It’s cultural and physical landmarks have been obliterated and replaced by tidy Hebrew signs. The history of a people was the first thing eradicated by the occupiers. The history of the indigenous people has been all but eradicated as though they never existed. And all this has been hailed by the world as a miraculous act of G-d. We must recognize that Israel’s existence is not even a question of legality so much as it is an illegal fait accompli realized through the use of force while supported by the Western powers. The UN missions directed at Israel in attempting to correct its violations of have thus far been futile.

In Hertzl’s “The Jewish State,” the father of Zionism said, “…We must investigate and take possession of the new Jewish country by means of every modern expedient.” I guess I agree with Ehud Barak (3 June 1998) when he said, “If I were a Palestinian, I’d also join a terror group.” I’d go a step further perhaps. Rather than throwing little stones in desperation, I’d hurtle a boulder.

Hopefully, somewhere deep inside, every Jew of conscience knows that this was no war; that this was not G-d’s restitution of the holy land to it’s rightful owners. We know that a human atrocity was and continues to be perpetuated against an innocent people who couldn’t come up with the arms and money to defend themselves against the western powers bent upon their demise as a people.

We cannot continue to say, “But what were we to do?” Zionism is not synonymous with Judaism. I wholly support the rally of the right of return of the Palestinian people.

US Army blankets are generic today

US Army blanketWhen I was assembling my dorm room kit for college, I wanted an army blanket as a bed cover. For reasons I must have understood better then, the heavy duty olive drab wool, emblazoned with a U.S. monogram, was inarguably cool. Its generic quality was iconic, thus it had a caché more authentic than a stack of Izods. I considered my Army blanket to be the No. 2 Pencil of bed linens.

I forgot about that blanket until the Ward Churchill trial in Denver, when the contention arose whether the US army spread small pox to North Dakota Indians by means of infected blankets. Native American oral tradition has been retelling this tale, but the White Man’s narrative is pushing back.

The ignoble suggestion remains a penciled notation in American History texts, except by scholars such as Churchill, because anti-revisionists want to see more proof. Deniers seem to willfully overlook that perpetrators might have cloaked their trail, sooner than document their scurrilous coup. Where are the blankets, or invoices for the blankets? With only songs about the blankets, how is anyone to confirm their provenance? It’s hearsay, the defenders say, bitter, vindictive slander to implicate the US Army for the 1837 small pox epidemic, just because the Red Man’s comprehension could not attribute another cause.

Although the Indian accounts aren’t so pointed. They tell of an Indian chief who stole the blankets from the white soldiers, unwittingly bringing the outbreak back to his camp.

Now I’ll not assert that US Army blankets have always had a “U.S.” stenciled on them, nor even that they were army-colored, as khaki wasn’t on the uniform palette until the turn of the century. But governments have always needed to distinguish government property, to discourage their agents from divesting of their standard issue for personal gain.

I will contend that it is only from the perspective of our contemporary culture of abundance, that we presume a blanket is nondescript without a trademark. In our overloaded consumer economy, it is not unreasonable to believe that an item without its receipt cannot be assumed to have come from a particular store. Indeed we need designer logos to differentiate products when we cannot assess the quality for ourselves. Today, even thread-counters are at pains to tell an Eddie Bauer from a CJ Crew by touch. But not so in the Wild West. The carpet-bagger mercantile purveyors of the West may have ushered in mass-produced dry goods, but I hardly think varieties were indistinguishable. Wanna bet there was quite a difference between blankets woven by Indians, blankets bartered from trading posts, and standard army issue?

Petty bureaucrat resents being called… The Holocaust denials of Larry DeWitt

Internment camp for Japanese-Americans, Granada Relocation Center, Amache Colorado
In the face of Ward Churchill’s vindication in a Colorado court, and now hearing support for him by fellow academics, Wingnut Holocaust Deniers are rallying behind whichever colleague will grab their dunce baton. The latest denier is academic aspirant, Social Security Administration archivist Larry DeWitt, who’s been nursing a masters from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus. His master’s thesis was about little known SSA efforts to mitigate The Wartime Internments & Other “Restrictive Governmental Actions.”

Example: his caption under a photograph of quarters at the Manzanar relocation camp reads: “Figure 43: While these internees do indeed have a bare lightbulb overhead, their living conditions are not as primitive as the rhetoric of some historians may imply.”

DeWitt has been an Agency Historian for the SSA since 1995, in which capacity he cobbled a history of the department, with a view it appears, to lay a groundwork for its privatization. You can read more about DeWitt at larrydewitt.net, a website “created as part of coursework in the graduate program of the History Department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).”

But he calls it: A Miscellany of History, Philosophy and Public Policy: A portal to four websites containing the work of historian and public policy scholar Larry DeWitt.

Most recently, DeWitt assumes to be an authority on scholarship, opining on the History News Network website: Ward Churchill: He’s Baaack! Here’s his opening line: “Well, that embarrassment for the liberal academy—Ward Churchill—is back in the news again.”

A recent article for Coloquio: Revista Cultural was about Iraq: “Doing the right thing the wrong way.”

Are DeWitt’s writing unremarkable? Yes, but for a federal agency that has proven to be vulnerable to partisan attack, I think DeWitt’s positions are ominously charged. Here are some more articles:

“Howard Zinn: The Historian as Don Quixote,” HNN, 01/26/09

“The Future Social Security Debate,” Independent Voice , April/May 2008

“How Historians Can Help Frame the Next Social Security Debate,” HNN, 10/22/07

“It is Time to Impose Peace on the Middle East,” August 2006

“Should Historians Try to Rank President Bush’s Presidency?” HNN, 5/22/06

“A Progressive Argument for Overturning Roe,” October 2005

“It’s Not the Cows Who are Mad,” January 2004

Larry W. DeWitt of the Social Security Administration

Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct

Marie Walden and Ward ChurchillLiterary theorist and legal scholar, Stanley Fish, weighs in on the report of the “committee of faculty peers” that found Ward Churchill guilty of academic misconduct.
 
“The verdict did not surprise me because I had read the committee’s report and found it less an indictment of Churchill than an example of a perfectly ordinary squabble about research methods and the handling of evidence.”

“The accusations that fill its pages are the kind scholars regularly hurl at their polemical opponents. It’s part of the game. But in most cases, after you’ve trashed the guy’s work in a book or a review, you don’t get to fire him. Which is good, because if the standards for dismissal adopted by the Churchill committee were generally in force, hardly any of us professors would have jobs.”

In the New York Times column, Fish concludes his Churchill-exonerating analysis by claiming that he doesn’t question the integrity of the committee leading the witch hunt, excusing their dishonesty with “they just got caught up in a circus that should have never come to town.”

Apparently Stanley Fish didn’t see any of the lying douchenozzles on the stand, or read their vomit-inducing 125-page report trashing Ward Churchill’s 30-year stint as polemicist laureate. Still, I appreciate Mr. Fish setting the record straight: Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct. I hope David Lane, Ward’s wildly fabulous attorney, is gearing up to sue the stuffing out of the next bastard who publicly claims he is.

Churchill juror Bethany Newill explains

A few interesting things about the Ward Churchill jury came to light today (a sigh of relief from Pirate Ballerina!). The jury thought — right up until the judge gave them their instructions — they were to determine whether Ward Churchill was guilty of academic misconduct. When they realized they needed only to decide only whether the 9/11 essay was a substantial motivating factor in his dismissal, they agreed very quickly that it was.

Although apparently the jury took their deliberations seriously, they didn’t want to have anything to do with the damages portion of the process. They hoped the judge would do the job for them but when they found out that wasn’t permitted, they gave it a half-hearted shot. This from Westword’s interview with juror Bethany Newill:

Once Judge Larry Naves reiterated that the jury had to tackle this task, Newill confirms that “the majority of us were in favor of giving him money,” but they didn’t know how much to award. “We were given a four-page set of rules to determine the amount, and there was also an option that we didn’t have to do it. And one of the rules said there needed to be a preponderance of the evidence to show the financial effect it had on Ward Churchill. And there was no real dollar amount other than the loss of wages.”

Ultimately, the jurors followed the lead of David Lane, Churchill’s attorney. “He said, ‘What price can you put on a reputation?'” Newill remembers. “And we all decided that there’s not a price you can put on a reputation. And even though this was protected speech, there are still consequences to your actions and your words. When Ward Churchill wrote that essay, he had to think that people would be affected by that, negatively or positively, and that he would need to reap the consequences on his reputation.” Still, she emphasizes that “it wasn’t a slap in his face or anything like that when we didn’t give him any money. It’s just that David Lane kept saying this wasn’t about the money, and in the end, we took his word for that.”

No doubt, a jury of peers! Just not Ward Churchill’s peers!

Still open season on Witch Churchill

Eric holds banner at Churchill Trial
DENVER- Ward Churchill’s saga is bigger than the persecution of a scholar who defies the master narrative, bigger than Native American contentions over how their victor writes its history, bigger than America’s First Amendment Freedom of Speech, it’s WHAT HE SAID.

We can fantasize that the American psyche is sophisticated enough to care about what is written of its history. I’m not sure Americans care what’s in their rear view mirror as long as the Drive Thru is still open. But put a swastika on our Red White and Blue…

The story today is a professor exonerated, accusers rebuked, and American civil liberties protected. It’s even fashionable to say you agree with what Churchill wrote in his 9/11 essay, like it was history.

You can say you agree, but try to say it.

What American is not a Little Eichman?

Ward Churchill prevails over Western Civ

Professor Ward Churchill stands before Denver court house
DENVER- The jury ruled for Ward Churchill today, that he was wrongfully terminated, on the basis of his 9/11 essay, and that CU had no other justification to fire him. It remains for the judge to order the university to reinstate the professor, with back pay, and pay Attorney David Lane’s legal fees. In other words, the accusations made against Churchill have been repudiated, and the regents showed themselves to be perjurers. It was my impression the ex-Rocky Mountain News columnists left the courtroom with their tongues between their wobbly knees.

Churchill v University of Colorado

Churchill v University of ColoradoThis is court room 6, where the trial stretched for three and a half weeks. We’re looking over the plaintiff’s desk, to the right is the podium. That’s Ward Churchill’s coat draped on his chair.

I would expect that Churchill is owed an apology from the several publications which perpetuated the untruths about his scholarship. Beside the RMN, there’s Westword, the Denver Post, the Boulder Daily Camera, etc, etc, basically everyone who’s peddled the plagiarism falsehoods, thinking them substantiated by the CU committee. Now the falsehoods are disproved are adjudicated. Now it will be libel, to repeat those untruths about Churchill.

Churchill v University of Colorado

Churchill v University of Colorado

Churchill v University of Colorado

Churchill v University of Colorado

Press conference after verdict

Mimi Wesson has um big penis envy

CU Professor Marianne Wesson on her rideDENVER- And it’s a strange lot of penises she covets: there’s Bob Guccione, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton and… Ward Churchill. In a private email in the midst of the CU firestorm over Churchill’s 9/11 essay, Wesson compared the “thoroughly unpleasant” Churchill to a pornographer, wife-batterer-killer, pedophile and cheat –as attorney David Lane reminded us in his closing arguments today. But it wasn’t the email that tipped me off, nor her fiction-writer persona promotional photo on the motorcycle. It was something which Marianne “My friends call me Mimi” did on her first day of testimony, early in the trial. When she left the witness stand, Wesson did not return to her seat, nor to the chairs located by the defense table for CU-aligned witnesses. During her break, Churchill-slayer Mimi Wesson chose the chair directly behind Ward Churchill.

Did anyone else remark on this? Even though Wesson stubbornly tried to project an adult impartiality about the case, as would befit the chairperson of a committee deciding another faculty member’s fate, off the stand Wesson couldn’t resist the urge which it appears drove her to solicit the committee chair position in the first place: to face “male celebrity wrongdoers” and take them down.

In the courtroom Wesson denied agreeing to the committee appointment only with the proviso that she be in charge, but her earlier videotaped deposition recorded otherwise. By her own account, Wesson had asked to be chairperson of the board selected to investigate Churchill. When Wesson blamed a possible stenographer’s error for the inconsistency, Attorney Lane pointed out that the courtroom had just heard her deposition with its own ears.

As a pup fiction writer, and a frequent law commentator on mainstream news programs, it’s clear Wesson welcomes the public eye. During the “All Churchill, all the time” mayhem, maybe she saw an opportunity to pretend to have incited the Churchill lynch mob.

Scrummy leaderI hope Wesson will be remembered for her testimony in this trial, in which the law professor demonstrated she was crafty enough to avoid admitting her prejudice, but couldn’t distance herself from the incriminating grandstanding she’d already done.

The “Wesson Committee” was shown in this trial to have been a hatchet team of academic hacks. Whose foray into Native America Ethnic Studies, purportedly to debunk Ward Churchill’s scolarship, resembled a visit of Ugly Americans to an Indian reservation. With Mimi the Emasculator wanting both to drive and ride shotgun.

Churchill v Churchill

ward-churchillClosing arguments will be heard this morning in the Ward Churchill trial and then the case goes to the (very young and earnest) jury.

Winston Churchill said “history is written by the victors” which has been a central thesis in much of Ward Churchill’s work. It’s scrumptiously ironic that when Ward Churchill wins his case against CU, he’ll become a contributor to the “Master Narrative” he so despises. I’m guessing his chapter will be full of tales of brave Indiginists and murdering technocrats, white male regents and the soulless women who love them. Academia will be recast as the valiant protector of the ruling elite and the mighty slayer of free thought and open debate. The jury of young, multiracial unsophisticates will be consecrated as puissant defenders of justice. A few vindictive ex-wives and some illicit boys’ room puffing may be tossed in to add color.

When Ward Churchill prevails against the esteemed institution that called into question his academic integrity, his reputation as a scholar and a brilliant polemicist will be restored. More importantly, the master narrative will no longer be inscrutable.

The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.
— W. Churchill

Churchill v CU Trial wraps up today

Denver Courthouse in court room sixDENVER- Can it be any easier to be a witness to history? Come to the Denver Courthouse this morning before 9 AM. It’s the large columned building opposite the state capitol. Ascend the imposing steps which rise directly from Civic Center Park. Passing the shortest security line, compared to the four ground floor entrances, take a right and go all the way down the hall. Court Room 6 is where Ward Churchill’s case against the University of Colorado will be put in the jury’s hands today.

Info about the where and how to attend the trial has been sparse, tailored to an audience familiar with Denver court battles perhaps, but do not be deterred. From the address advertised, “1437 Bannock Street,” you could envision any old judicial facility, but this is THE judicial facility, at Denver’s center, and for the last three weeks, the TV News vans give it away.

There is no court employee to answer questions outside. Go in any entrance and from there get to the second floor, and proceed to the NW end. There you’ll see media reporters huddled into a vending machine cranny converted for this occasion into a video feed center. Around the corner is room six.

If court is already in session, there will be nary a peep outside, but don’t hesitate to quietly open the door and circumnavigate the pews. If you still have a hat on, an officer seated directly right of the door will grab you as you enter and let you know to take it off.

The first row is reserved for the media, who spill over into the second row to have access to the power strip. More sit in folding chairs in the rear corners of the room, for the same reason. Laptops abound, and there’s a constant murmur of keyboards clicking. You won’t notice a lull until statements reveal something significant and the keyboardists resume in unison.

Breaks are at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM or so, with an hour and a half for lunch at noon. Leave a coat to mark your seat, or lose it to whoever returns first. The audience seated in the westward pews have a better view of the witness stand, as from elsewhere you are impeded by the lawyers or their laptops on the podium.

The audience is a largely friendly collection. Most everyone looks like a Churchill supporter, except for the CU representatives who stick to the last SW pew, and the occasional note-taker in the middle and SE rear. The owners of Left Hand Books in Boulder have been there almost everyday, as have Professor Churchill’s family and a number of friends.

You can’t miss it. Colfax and Civic Center Park.
Denver Courthouse

Lynne Stewart visits Churchill Trial

Human rights activist Lynn Steward marches with husband Ralph PointerDENVER- For local media wonks who may have lost sight of the national significance of the Churchill v CU trial, the Denver courtroom was visited last week by radical luminary Lynne Stewart, who traveled from New York in a show of solidarity with Churchill’s fight against a systemic quashing of dissent now reaching into US academia.

Lynne and her husband Ralph Poynter scheduled their Denver visit to coincide with Professor Churchill’s testimony and the anticipated end of the 3-week trial. But arriving Wednesday and leaving Friday, they missed both. We met the couple on Thursday, the day’s session which was cut short by the closings due to severe weather.

As the lawyer to accused terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, Stewart was convicted in 2005 of conspiracy and giving material aid to a terrorist. She was sentenced to 28 months in prison, but is free on bail while awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Denver reporters missed Stewart’s visit in their seemingly predisposition to ignore the trial’s greater ramifications, except for the lip service they pay to the Right Winged media’s national obsession with Ward Churchill and their idea of blasphemy.

No matter how inflammatory Professor Churchill’s essay, the actions taken by CU to appease Colorado politicians, represent nothing less than the gagging of dissent. And in a university, where you’d hope all the voices would be dissenting. What good are fascist professors outside of PE and Machine shop? Is school any place for a humanities faculty member who is bigoted or conservative?

Personally, I resent idiocy over the airwaves, but in the schools it is just unforgivable.

The case has generated headlines across the country and spurred fiery debates about academic freedom versus academic integrity.

This is how the Boulder Daily Camera summarizes the Churchill case. While they admit to the trial’s notoriety, they frame the argument just as Churchill’s censors would approve. A false choice between freedom and integrity.

It’s not freedom versus integrity. It’s freedom and integrity versus the subjugation of both. While Professor Churchill and allies stand for freedom of speech, and integrity of character, the college is being shown, in league with the media, to represent neither.

Ex RMN columnists stuck to their guns

Vincent Carroll now reporting for the Denver PostDENVER- Considering the villainous role the Rocky Mountain News played in the vilification of Ward Churchill, their insinuations having been thoroughly discredited in this trial, you’d think the RMN columnists now writing for the Denver Post would be self-conscious about taking the same mocking stance. But they are not. Attorney David Lane chats with them most amicably, but still they file the typical anti-academic hit pieces. Columnist Vincent Carroll summarized Churchill’s recent testimony as: Ward’s world of brazen claims.

In an earlier piece, Carroll recaps Churchill’s alleged misconduct, but where an objective reporter would say “alleged,” Carroll writes “gross.” Don’t think the RMN vets aren’t well aware that a vindication for Churchill means a repudiation of their libel.

Mike Littwin formerly of the Rocky Mountain NewsMike Littwin is no better. For him, yawns in the audience are not a sign of defense attorney Patrick O’Rourke’s pedestrian presentation, but of the discussion’s irrelevance. Of Native American history in dispute, of genocide still denied by CU in this example, Littwin concludes: the World has moved beyond Churchill.

Churchill and his curiously vile detractors

Ward Churchill caricatureDENVER- There’s an interesting sideshow at the Churchill v CU case having to do with a cadre of unsavory Ward Churchill online critics. What they are writing is hardly interesting but their unceasing doggedness, repeating only ad hominem attacks, leads one to wonder who they are and what horse do they have, in not only this race, but in Churchill’s ongoing activism. These are the same voices which heckled the DNC organizers, AIM, and the contra-Columbus actions.

It’s a little circle of shit-knitters, who cross-link or repost each other’s comments from Blogspot blogs Drunkablog, Slapstick Politics, People’s Press Collective, and riding point on the Churchill Trial, Pirate Ballerina. These are Little Green Football variety ditto-heads, and I hardly mean to draw attention to them, but their relentless character assassination seems to wag the local media dogs, and one might as well look into that.

Meaning, more in a bit.

Churchill amused the courtroom audience by illustrating his sarcastic use of quotation marks, as one might refer to the Rocky Mountain News as a “newspaper.”

It’s not enough to conclude Professor Churchill has enemies. There are Native American casino owners who might be threatened by Churchill’s revisiting of the past, there are rivals for Churchill’s influence in the American Indian Movement. Obviously there are historians eager to retread what they’ve invested in the Master Narrative. Curiously, there are Zionists who are vehemently opposed to the discussion Churchill wants to provoke. And I suppose there are stupid white males who will stand for no diminishment of God Blessed America.

These bloggers are the latter “Right Wing” variety obviously, and bring nothing to the table but personal attacks. But what sustains them, tasked as they appear to be, to hound Ward Churchill on a daily basis, year after year?

There are players both on the national scene, and locally, who I consider complete bastards who merit every rebuke possible, but that doesn’t mean I dedicate my every utterance when they so much as visit the bathroom.

Churchill lends trial his sonorous levity

DENVER- Court Room 6 is packed once again as Ward Churchill takes the stand to detail his wrongful dismissal by CU. His testimony began yesterday afternoon, and Attorney David Lane is outlining the basis for damages. Churchill isn’t asking for money. Says he, “I want my job.” Churchill testified that his publishing output is 5% of his usual, only two or three articles in journals, and four books under contract but still awaiting delivery. But Churchill is quick to reassure the room that the works are forthcoming, and he is upbeat, despite CU committee members having testified, sadly but triumphantly, of having reduced Churchill’s reputation, thirty years and twenty books, to a pitcher of warm spit. Lane asked Churchill: “How does this make you feel?”
“Angry” is Churchill’s reply. “But anger is no new feeling for me.”

Cross-examination has begun, Attorney Patrick O’Rourke is inadvertently treating the jury to the very character assassination upon which Churchill has been making his case. O’Rourke’s first question pretended to inform the jury that he and Churchill had become familiar over the course of these many legal actions, and thus direct questions would not be improper or disrespectful. But he loaded his question thus:

“I’m going to ask direct questions, will you be willing to give me direct answers?”

O’Rourke used a second question purportedly to frame his his line of questions. “Professor Churchill, is it fair to say that you’ve been accused of many things, of not being a real Indian, for example, and after your 911 essay, of a half million things it seems like, would that be fair to say?”

“Uh, yes. Although probably not a half million…”

“Well, I’m not going to ask you about any of those things, I’m going to stick to just the allegations made by the committee.”

Later O’Rourke questioned why a previous witness, Russel Means, had referred to his colleague as Doctor Churchill. “You don’t have a PhD, do you?” He asked Churchill. “You only have a Masters, isn’t that correct?”

Churchill explained that he had been given an honorary doctorate, to which O’Rourke replied, “So it’s just an honorary doctorate?”

Asked Churchill: “Do you mean to dishonor it?”

Driving Miss McIntosh

Marjorie K. McintoshDENVER- At first the testimony from a CU committee member who voted to dismiss Ward Churchill seemed utterly damning. Dr. Marjorie McIntosh, retired Distinguished Professor of history, gave her testimony by video because she would be lecturing in England at the time of the Churchill v CU trial. She came across like a wise elder, her scolding kind and maternal. She had me convinced that Ward should be sent to his room, but for an indelible pallor that began to infect her testimony as the retired professor grew tired under scrutiny. And like the history of 14th Century England which was her specialization, it became inescapably evident that Marjorie McIntosh was very, very white.

At face value, Dr. McIntosh’s quiet authoritative demeanor seemed beyond reproach, expressing as she did her support for Ward Churchill’s right to speak. McIntosh described how her father was a dean at U of M who reputedly stood up to Senator McCarthy. She explained her initial reluctance to be party to a Right Wing attempt to “get” Professor Churchill. At first Ms. McIntosh seemed as earnest as your own grandmother, if your grandmother was also a well spoken distinguished academic.

But the cracks in Ms. McIntosh’s maternal concern showed themselves even before the plaintiff’s cross-examination. When Professor McIntosh described herself as “fair and impartial,” it was in contrast, she offered, to Professor Churchill for example, who she understands may not be impartial or neutral.

Partiality
Under cross-examination McIntosh went further. To paraphrase: “Professor Curchill is not a trained historian, he has an MA, he is a scholar who writes on historical subjects. He presents himself as a specialist, but he does not have that training.”

By contrast we are meant to infer, McIntosh is a Distinguished Professor, rewarded for having had a “national impact” on scholarship, and having produced work which has “directed” consequential research.

Questioned about the significance of tenure, McIntosh described the rigorous qualifications which she met. But with a smile she would not vouch for a uniformity of high standards at CU, since, obviously… She held her tongue as if too polite to say it: Ward Churchill was a glaring example of the opposite.

A second indication of Dr. McIntosh’s personal bias might be suggested by how she characterized committee chairwoman Mimi Wesson’s perceived personal agenda: Did she detect any bias on the committee, in particular with Wesson? McIntosh saw no evidence of bias, and she thought Wesson treated Professor Churchill with great respect, both in his presence and after. McIntosh was impressed by Wesson’s professionalism.

Another of McIntosh’s responses hints at a further insincerity. She and her SCRUM colleagues were tasked with investigating one allegation each made against Churchill. McIntosh was “foot soldier” for the Madan Indian Ft Clark episode. Discrepancies in Churchill’s account had been brought to the university’s attention by Arizona professor Lavall, a rival of Churchill’s in the American Indian Movement. McIntosh was asked whether she knew that Lavall’s allegations had been raised six years before being addressed by her committee. Perhaps to dodge the accusation that the timing of their inquest was more related to Churchill’s 9/11 essay, McIntosh replied that she did not know. After of course, delivering the findings of what she presented as an exhaustive review of all available evidence.

Allegation A
Allegation A held that Churchill falsified an account of the 1837 small pox outbreak in North Dakota. McIntosh was charged with verifying Churchill’s claims (1) that small pox was deliberately spread by the US Army using blankets, (2) that said blankets were dispensed from a St Louis small pox infirmary, (3) that the infected Indians were ordered to scatter, (4) that a vaccination was deliberately kept from the indians, and (5) that the dead numbered upwards 400,000.

According to Lavall and the CU committee, Churchill was held to have been negligent in citing sources. While Churchill countered that his accounts came from oral tradition, much of it commonly known, McIntosh encountered none.

While McIntosh concedes that she does shares no heritage with Native Americans, to perhaps have grown up with oral accounts, but she argues that Churchill is similarly neither from the tribal lines from which he would have heard Mandan stories.

Did you give Professor Churchill the benefit of the doubt? Dr. McIntosh was asked?

“I would say we gave him a great big benefit of the doubt” McIntosh replied. Her research found no oral tradition of small pox evidence. “We could have stopped there and found him guilty of fabrication and falsification.” Instead the committee magnanimously contacted Churchill to ask for further evidence. They were surprised when he produced conflicting sources. Most surprising, McIntosh condescended, was not getting a straight-forward answer from Professor Churchill.

McIntosh summarized the generally accepted narrative of the 1837 epidemic: Every summer a fur trading company working along the Missouri River, sent a steamship north from St Louis, to the fortified trading posts lying along the river, at their furthest, 2000 miles north. Only once a year, the “Saint Peter” steamed upriver with trading goods to exchange for furs and hides, and with “annuities” which were gifts for Indian tribes who had signed a treaty with the government. A week into the 1837 voyage, one passenger was showing signs of an illness but the captain decided against forcing a disembarkation. By two weeks, everyone on the boat had contracted what was by then undeniably a small pox outbreak. As each of these travelers got off at the trading posts, small pox spread from every stop. The Mandan Indians lived 300 miles north of Ft Union, the furthest point of the steamboat. At least 90% of their number were killed. That much is undisputed.

About involvement of US soldiers, blankets, an infirmary, a vaccination withheld, and an order to scatter, Ms. McIntosh found absolutely no proof. She conceded that some accounts hint that the outbreak was intentional, a couple of accounts mention blankets. On this point the committee agreed the thesis could have been justified. But St Louis newspaper archives reveal no trace of an infirmary nor of a small pox outbreak. There were no medical records kept at the trading posts, nor even any medical staff. Etc.

And as to Churchill’s numbers… “Churchill cites 100,000, then 125,000, then 250,00 and now as many as 400,000.” Churchill attributes the figures to “as Professor Thornton suggests.” But according to McIntosh, Thornton never gave any numbers.

Disputing the numbers, the means, the details, reminds me of another pattern of denial.

Holocaust Denial
Is this not the very basis of Holocaust Denial? A perpetrator culture, commits a genocide, then quibbles with accusers by pointing to the paucity of evidence. It’s a mobster’s strategem. Leave no witnesses and there’s no one to tie you to a crime. A massacre thoroughly executed leaves no trace. History is written by the victors. The master narrative, in Western Heritage, has always had a white master.

Do I liken McIntosh to Jessica Tandy’s role in Driving Miss Daisy? If Tandy had quietly not transformed, but instead held tenaciously to her condescending racism. I would be loath to offend those courageous souls who labor to get to the truth about recorded history, but Holocaust Denial is about repudiating mankind’s evil deeds. Where evidence is sparse, because the perpetrators covered their tracks, others come along to cast doubt on the original crime. The details matter less than the crime. Here we have white man’s genocide against the Native Americans. All the details are in dispute. Held together, they deny the whole of what we can plainly see as the truth.

Asked if she was acquainted with Critical Race Theory, McIntosh replied she wasn’t. She professed uncertainty about even the tenure process for Ethnics Studies. She feels those kind of studies are emotional and partisan. Enlish history has debate too, but less resonance in people’s current lives.

Academic disciplines
Dr. McIntosh became combative when challenged about her proficiency with history from taken from oral tradition. In her later scholarship, Ms. McIntosh worked in contemporary Ugandan women’s studies. Oral sources build African history, but not in English history, where archival history preempts oral sources. We are left to question if McIntosh can reconcile how to incorporate oral accounts not from the present.

Was she coming at this subject with a bias? No, she’d never heard of the Mandan small pox epidemic.

Did anyone put pressure on her, to arrive at her findings? “In the first place, it didn’t occur to me that anyone would put pressure on me.” In discussing her apprehension about joining committee, Mcintosh “did not think the University would be critical of me.”

Media coverage of Denver Churchill Trial

Media gather around video feed from Churchill vs CU trial
DENVER- NMT to the rescue. So far we’ve noticed a strange media dyslexia about the Churchill vs CU trial. When we’ve attended, the proceedings look like a rout for truth and the historical record. When we haven’t made it to Denver and are left to rely on the news coverage, by all accounts Churchill is in trouble. Are the reporters freakin’ blind?

While I’ve been content to revel in the excitement of clackering laptop keyboards all about me in the courtroom, I hadn’t snooped over anyone’s shoulder, until this week. On Monday, the Boulder Daily Camera front row regular, after he’d posted his story before the first morning break, busied himself with emails, then watched a video with the Denver Post correspondent perched over his shoulder. Later another media log lump monopolized the last power outlet to play solitaire.

I’m guessing the DU law student project Race to the Bottom blogger is taking the most notes, competing with a would-be law student, not just for proficiency, but also in who takes the most drearily technical view of the proceedings.

I’ve yet been able to assess the coverage by the weekly visitor from the Silver and Gold Record, CU’s faculty publication. Check out the Wednesday account, and three previous: March 16, 14, 12.

Ward Churchill is expected to take the stand today, so I’ve come up to lend insight to the academic goings on. I’m somewhat alarmed at the angle the media is taking. Ward Churchill is not only the leading authority on Native American history, he’s among only a few outspoken academic voices. More spirited than Zinn, or Chomsky, and as result, perhaps more controversial. But I challenge anyone to name many contemporaries who match more luminary.

Next I will provide color commentary for the lesser luminaries who are dogging Churchill and his desecration of idealized Americana.