Wednesday, October 31, 2007
6 PM Mountain Time
Ward Churchill is often described as being controversial and confrontational. He’s also often described as accomplished and brilliant. Although his commentaries and speeches are nuanced, historically detailed and requiring sober reflection, audiences not ready for them often react with emotion and even invective.
Churchill is a prolific writer and scholar. He’s been co-director of the American Indian Movement of Colorado, Vice Chairperson of the American Anti-Defamation Council, and a National Spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. Churchill, who is of Creek/Cherokee extraction, describes himself as an American Indian. He was an associate professor of American Indian Studies and Communications at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Until he was recently forced to resign from the position, he had served as Associate Director of the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America at U.C. Boulder. Churchill resigned following a media firestorm led by right-wing stormtroopers such as Bill O’Reilly of the FOX network, after a post-911 essay Churchill had penned returned to light. In that piece, Churchill compared the World Trade Centre-housed technocrats who managed the US imperial economy to Adolph Eichmann. Eichmann was the operations manager whose mastery of logistics sent millions to their deaths in Nazi slave camps.
Hannah Arendt, who interviewed Eichmann, concluded the mass-murderer was in fact not much of an anti-Semite, but rather a diligent worker entirely divorced from human feeling or reflection upon the horror of his actions. Arendt coined the expression “the banality of evil” to discuss such behaviour and mind-set. By referring to American technocrats as little Eichmanns, Ward Churchill drew a connection to modern evil banality which has sent millions to their deaths. Yet Churchill was accused of having slandered all 911 victims—regardless of their work at the World Trade Centre--as being equivalent to Nazis.
Churchill’s supporters have not stopped fighting, and neither has he; he may indeed return to his position at his former university. As well, his student supporters organised in September a lecture series provided for free by Churchill as a type of non-credit course.
Ward Churchill is the author of many books, including:
A Little Matter of Genocide – Holocaust and Denial in the Americas – 1492 to Present
Pacifism as Pathology - Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America,
Islands in Captivity - The Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii by the United States Government,
and with Jim Vander Wall, Agents of Repression - The FBI’s Secret War Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
6 PM Mountain Time
Madaraka Nyerere, son of former Tanzanian president Julius Gadarabe Nyerere, discusses parallels between socialist development in
In the mid-20th century during decolonisation and prior to the ascendancy of neo-colonialism, a number of leaders were at the forefront of classical Pan-Afrikanism. This group included Kwame Nkrumah of
A committed Pan-Afrikanist, Nyerere helped launch the international Anti-Apartheid movement in 1960. Nyerere co-founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), becoming prime minister when
Having forged the union of
We'll also hear a disturbing story on the prevalence of police torture of detainees in Nigerian jails. Police routinely torture prisoners held for as little as one night, according to Damien Ugwu of the Nigerian Civil Liberties Organisation. In the following segment, Ugwu speaks with Sokari Ekine about “endemic police torture in the Nigerian justice system. [The Nigerian Civil Liberties Org
anisation] estimates that five people a day are being extra-judicially killed by the police. Most vulnerable are unemployed youths accused of armed robbery. Damien Ugwu explores the reasons why torture and murder are commonplace and the cultural and political roots of the problem.”
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UPCOMING PUBLIC READING BY MINISTER FAUST
Next Tuesday on the
Cloaked as a self-help book for superheroes, the novel is actually a satire on self-help books, psychoanalysis, the cult of celebrity, the threat of corporate media, and the imperial destructiveness of the Bush White House.
The Humanities Centre is connected to the north-east end of Hub Mall, and I’ll be reading Tuesday, October 16 at 3:30 pm in room 4-29. The event is sponsored by the
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Everyone knows, for instance, that teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births are increasing, that violence is increasing, that poverty is increasing, that post-secondary enrollment is down, that high school completion and grades are down, that literacy is down, the voting is down, and that self-respect is down.
Everybody knows all the above is true. And everybody is wrong.
Sadly, many of the people who believe the above myths are the Black public intellectuals of the United States. Some are conservatives in the service of right wing think tanks. Others define themselves as progressives or even revolutionaries. Still others are popular entertainers who’ve been paid spokesmen for White corporate America.
Thankfully, some academics are using the modest and sensible tools of research to counter reaction. Tonight we’ll hear from sociologist Algernon Austin, director of the Thora Institute and author of the recent book Getting it Wrong: How Black Public Intellectuals Are Failing Black America.
The book is a correcting of the myth of the Black underclass, myths about African Americans and crime, myths of African American educational decline, and the myths of Afrikan American cultural deficiency and self-hatred.
Austin also authored Achieving Blackness, and is editor of the Thora Institute’s Black Directions reports on social issues affecting African Americans. He has taught sociology at DePaul and Wesleyan universities.
On September 16th, Professor Austin spoke with me by telephone from his home in Connecticut. I began by asking him what factors were responsible for the increasing success of African students in the United States.
6 PM Mountain Time