No dancing around the point, no jokes about celebrities, no cute little quips today. I am mad and you should be too.
Ward Churchill, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, recently wrote an essay in which he labels the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, as "little Eichmanns." (rockymountainnews.com)
Eichmann was the Nazi leader who made Hitler's dreams of hellish death camps for Jews and others a horrific, unspeakable reality.
Churchill's ludicrous analogy stems from his assertion that the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001, were acting in retaliation for American violence against Iraqi children in 1991, and for the economic sanctions against Iraq that followed.
He even goes so far as to rename the perpetrators of the single worst act of terrorism in America's history as "combat teams," not terrorists.
Churchill defends his statements by writing, "When you kill 500,000 children in order to impose your will on other countries, then you shouldn't be surprised when somebody responds in kind."
I'm not here to argue for or against the Persian Gulf War, and the actions taken by our military at that time. But I would most certainly like to take issue with Professor Churchill's assertion that the victims inside the Twin Towers were guilty and deserving of the attack. Churchill writes, "True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break."
Ward Churchill has the right to say whatever he wants. But frankly, I would like to remind him, and any other person who feels bitter enough to insult the memory of more than 3,000 American civilians, that the people who were attacked that day were not soldiers. They were not major politicians. They were not great movers and shakers out to destroy Iraq and all things Islam.
They were simply Americans.
Good, ordinary people like you and me. They were just starting another day at work, trying to make a living in peace, when a few renegade extremists decided to murder them. What crime did these people commit to deserve the homicidal rage of these terrorists? Only being American, and working on American soil. Being American is the crime that Ward Churchill seems to think these men and women were guilty of.
I have no problem with anyone criticizing our government and the way things are done here in America. By all means, cast a critical eye on our president and our congress and their actions. Even if you want to slander the memory of those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, you have the right to do so.
But I question whether or not the University of Colorado, an institution which does still receive some funding from taxpayers, should continue to employ a man who insists on making ludicrous and offensive statements without any real logic to back it up.
I cannot see how any rationally thinking person could hold those 3,000 citizens of New York in 2001 responsible for the alleged actions of soldiers in Iraq in 1991.
So you see why I'm mad. I'm mad because these statements were made. I'm mad because the families of the victims may hear about this essay. I'm mad because our tax dollars partially support this man. I'm mad because this man is representing a Colorado institution to the rest of our nation, smearing the name of all Coloradoans,
especially CU students and alumni.
Ward Churchill has the right to say whatever he wants. I just hope that the administration at CU is mad enough to make him speak his mind in the unemployment line.
Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His column runs Mondays in the Collegian.