Ward Churchill Controversy

Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, September 11 attacks, World Trade Center Pages: 2 (443 words) Published: April 20, 2008
September 11, 2001 was a day that impacted the entire nation. Every individual American has a different opinion on how they feel about the events that took place. After the attacks on the World Trade Center everyone was feeling very distraught and emotional; some more than others. The government was under scrutiny.

During this time the entire nation just wanted to get along and be with their families. Everyone wanted to feel a sense of comfort. There were thousands of people who suffered a loss of a family member and just wanted to hear positive and reassuring statements.

Ward Churchill is an American writer and political activist. He was a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1990 to 2007. In January 2005, Churchill's work attracted publicity, with the widespread circulation of a 2001 essay, “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.” In the essay, he claimed that people killed in the World Trade Center attacks were involved in provoking the attack. In March 2005 the University of Colorado began investigating allegations that Churchill had engaged in research misconduct. Churchill was then fired on July 24, 2007.

The essay was written in September of 2001. That is the same month and year of the attacks. One thing he argued in the essay was “that people who were wounded and killed in the World Trade Center were not innocent civilians, comparing their role in "ongoing genocidal American imperialism" to the role played by Adolf Eichmann in organizing the Holocaust” (Wikipedia). In 2005, this essay was widely publicized when Hamilton College invited Churchill to speak. This led to both condemnations of Churchill and counter-accusations of McCarthyism by Churchill and supporters. Following the controversy, the University of Colorado interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano stated, "While Professor Churchill has the constitutional right to express his political views, his essay on 9/11 has outraged and appalled us...
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