Ward Churchill's successor


The Rocky Mountain News, which has impressed me with its coverage of Ward Churchill, has an interesting editorial about her successor:

The acting chair of the University of Colorado ethnic studies department seems in some respects to be picking up where her predecessor, Ward Churchill, left off. In a slightly disjointed, poorly written essay for Counterpunch, a leftwing Web newsletter, Emma Perez suggests criticism of Churchill is a "neo—con test case for academic purges." In other words, Churchill is under siege from a vast rightwing conspiracy.

Oddities in the column abound, beginning with the author's apparent belief that the alleged villain in the Churchill affair, Gov. Bill Owens, is a neo—conservative. Yet there is nothing "neo" about Owens' conservatism; it's been a consistent feature of his long public life.

Then there is this remarkable assertion: "The general strategy in forcing and then manipulating this 'investigation' of Ward's scholarship shares key tactics with the neo—con sinking of Emory historian Bellesiles in 2001 . . ." In fact, Michael Bellesiles resigned after a panel of scholars from places such as Harvard and Princeton concluded his failure to cite sources for material in his book, Arming America, "does move into the realm of 'falsification.'" Hardly a poster boy for the so—called new McCarthyism.

Ed Lasky  3 02 05