Mudcat Café message #1411159 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #78407   Message #1411159
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
15-Feb-05 - 07:16 PM
Thread Name: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
Subject: RE: BS: Fire Ward Churchill
This is a really slippery slope, once you start evaluating how much of something makes a thing "real." And there are all of the nature vs nurture elements to layer over the top of it. While I have mentioned it several times, I must tell you that debating blood quantum issues is a monster that will come around and bite you in the ass every time. With the Jimake Highwater example, though he continued to claim Indian blood, it was pretty easily demonstrated that he had none, and furthermore, that he vascillated in his claims over the years. Churchill has been consistent, and having watched various mixedblood scholars get the "not Indian enough" treatment (from others who may have more blood but know less about their own cultures, or those who are not Indian at all but are such afficianados that they claim to be able to tell who is who) it's a limb I'm not willing to climb out on and start sawing.

The thoughtfully applied knowledge of any subject is something to be respected. In social debates, if the quality of the "use" of knowledge is going to be seen through a political lens, then there will always be some who disagree with the conclusions. Your best bet in this debate is to look at the facts that can be easily evaluated.

Ward Churchill holds the unpopular opinion that the behavior of those in charge of money and trade and power in the U.S. are responsible for angering the rest of the world enough to make themselves the targets they became on Sept. 11, 2001. A lot of people don't want to hear that. They want to see the U.S. as a victim. Churchill is not alone in thinking that the U.S. has done too many offensive things over the years to allow that popular opinion go without remark. The position that he has done much of his work from is one of an ethnic outsider, as one who can speak from the unique position of having felt the full wrath and deceit that the U.S. (politicans and military) are capable of as nations were crushed and relocated and betrayed during the western expansion (and still today, if you look at the mess of all of the money and resources supposedly held "in trust" for Indian peoples). Ward Churchill can hold that opinion as an Indian or not. So like I said, his fate appears to rest on the credibility of his sources and his ability to give accurate citations.