Ward Churchill and the Regents at the University of Colorado

by NATSU SAITO

Thanks to all of you for your continuing support and recent e-mails. We are energized and encouraged to see how many people realize that yesterday’s 8-to-1 decision of the University of Colorado Regents to fire Ward Churchill was not about a few footnotes, but instead about suppressing historical truths and dissenting speech. (For a fairly good recap, see www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/25/145254; there will be updates at www.wardchurchill.net.)

Some have said it was a sad day for academic freedom. It is sad when Cindy Carlisle becomes the lone courageous Regent for saying that the faculty review panel’s recommendation shouldn’t have been overridden by CU President Hank Brown. But did anyone really expect an elected body in Colorado to suddenly manifest backbone, when they had been instructed to fire Ward by Governors Owens and Ritter and the state legislature, and were under tremendous pressure from CU’s big donors?

For me, the bad days are when we sit by and let the attorney general intimidate us into a collective silence; when we allow torture, disappearances and arbitrary detentions to become routine; when we insist that this is a democracy, but refuse to accept any responsibility for the actions of the government. The sad days are when our kids are punished or humiliated in school for refusing to celebrate this country’s genocidal history; when we get glimpses of other people’s children being reduced to "collateral damage."

In Ward’s case, any pretense of academic freedom, to say nothing of due process, evaporated when the charade of a "research misconduct" investigation was allowed to proceed, with the apparent sanction of so many "liberal" academics like the National AAUP. It was long gone by last week, when CU refused to investigate the numerous charges of falsification and plagiarism in the very report upon which Ward’s dismissal was based.

Yesterday that charade was consummated and today our amazing attorney David Lane filed suit. We look forward to the day when a jury can decide whether the citizens of Colorado are as willing as the University to sacrifice the First Amendment for the status quo.

Ward and I appreciate your support in this small piece of the struggle to keep critical thinking alive,  and look forward to working with you on this and many other fronts.

Natsu Taylor Saito can be reached at: natsu.saito@gmail.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Masters’ Schedule
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Ron Jacobs
Black Literature and the FB Eye Blues
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender” Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”
July 30, 2015
Bill Blunden
The NSA’s 9/11 Cover-Up: General Hayden Told a Lie, and It’s a Whopper
Richard Ward
Sandra Bland, Rebel
Jeffrey St. Clair
How One Safari Nut, the CIA and Neoliberal Environmentalists Plotted to Destroy Mozambique
Martha Rosenberg
Tracking the Lion Killers Back to the Old Oval Office
Binoy Kampmark
Dead Again: the Latest Demise of Mullah Omar
Kathy Kelly – Buddy Bell
No Warlords Need Apply: a Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
John Grant
The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015
Karl Grossman
The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press
Cesar Chelala
Cultural Treasures Are Also Victims of War
Jeff Taylor
Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon