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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Columns from Renteria &

These 2 columns appeared over the past week. The first is from Rafael Renteria and the other is from H. Mathew Barkhausen.

Look in the Mirror
Ward Churchill and White America

"It is not enough for us to merely dumbly intone that Churchill has a right to write what he does. No. We must do more. We must insist that Churchill is right, and no one, not some rabid talk show parrot, nor a political whore like Governor Bill Owens, has a right to demand what is wrong Churchill is right. From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu Jamal."

It's the frontline of a war. Those of us who have not seen our colleagues or mentors purged from the academy can grasp neither the pain of it nor the stakes. Those who are purged are those who dream, for all of us, of a more natural condition, those who have not partaken in the great forgetting of their humanity that characterizes pre-fascist America.

But those of us who have seen it firsthand know the venal face of what America is becoming. I have often joked that those who have never been to jail have no education, no true sense of the meaning of the violence that permeates this culture, like blood seeps through the bandage covering the wound of an Iraqi child.

I am no one in particular, no one famous whose name you would recognize. But I have been on the frontline of the culture wars, and this is my dispatch. full column

The following was written by H. Mathew Barkhausen

In Defense of Ward Churchill: A Legacy of Scapegoat-Ism
Youth Commentary, H. Mathew Barkhausen III,

Pacific News Service, Mar 02, 2005

Editor's Note: Recent controversy over University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill has focused not only on his controversial post-9/11 essay but also on his Native American bloodline. The debate over whether Churchill is a "real Indian," writes H. Mathew Barkhausen III, is just the latest in a series of efforts use "blood quantum" to discredit and divide Native Americans.

DENVER--A firestorm of controversy has erupted around a Native American ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I had planned to attend graduate school. Because of an essay he wrote immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, Ward Churchill has been accused of glorifying terrorists as heroes and encouraging future attacks on the United States. Now a debate over his right to free speech, and his Native blood, is being waged in Indian Country and beyond.

As an advocate of free speech and future University of Colorado student, I think it is wrong that Churchill's job has been threatened as a penalty for speaking freely. As a Native American who -- like many of us -- is not federally recognized and does not have a tribal enrollment number, I find it ridiculous that the question of whether Churchill is a "real Indian" has resurfaced as part of an effort to silence him and discredit his views. full article


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