Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ward Churchill Lecture, Shoreline Community College


Ward Churchill's lecture On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Arts Lecture at Shoreline Community College last night was reminiscent of a counterculture, anti-war, anti-establishment lecture right out of the 1960s.

Outside the gymnasium a lone vendor was hawking Revolution, Voice of the revolutionary communist party , ( the newspaper formerly known as the Revolutionary Worker.) Guess this type of event attracts its share of weirdos. However, the newspaper hawker was outside the event and did not appear to sell any papers inside.

Inside a table was set up hawking, Churchill's book, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" for a bargain price of about $13.00. There were several individuals there from that bygone era. They announced, through their choice of tee shirts or buttons, that President Bush was a terrorist or promoted other anti-government agendas.

The crowd was rather light, an estimated 200 souls were on board for the event. At about 7:00 pm, Jim, a excellent folk guitarist from the Seattle area, played several folk songs. Jim did his Bush Bashing and anti-war renditions and then introduced Ward Churchill. The most positive thing was that the lecture illustrated that our Freedom of Speech shined through regardless of the message.

Churchill started out by joking about the controversy regarding his holding gun picture and the edited picture that appeared in the Shoreline Community College promotions. After the joking and small talk, Churchill started his lecture talking about where he was on the morning of September 11, 2001. Churchill indicated that he was at his computer, typing, when he received a phone call from Kathleen Cleaver. Churchill emphasized that Cleaver had been a member of the Black Panther Party and appeared to be proud of his affiliation with her. Apparently, Cleaver was the first to tell Churchill to turn on his TV because a plane had hit the World Trade center. After mentioning that he kept switching between three news channels and noted that the news coming from the three appeared to be the same mysteriously scripted account of the events of that morning, Churchill transitioned to a Malcolm X famous quote about the roosting chickens and returning ghosts. Churchill posed a question to the audience on who those ghosts might be.

Churchill discussed genocide in the Americas, racism, and his interpretation of conquest and colonization of America and the world at the hands of the white Americans. Churchill also discussed his interpretation of the destruction of Indian lands, government repression of various political and social movements, and other counterculture ideology. During a rather long dissertation he linked or attempted to link various atrocities in the history of the world as he sees it to roosting chickens and returning ghosts:

Churchill talked about the genocide of Iraqi children through United States imposed sanctions. Churchill discussed the Palestinian intifada and how the United States supported causes against the Palestinians. Churchill tied in the deaths of citizens of Guatemala, Nicaragua, and other countries to the United States foreign policies. Churchill brushed on the nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, and how we (United States) wanted to punish the citizens and send a clear message to Joe Stalin of Russia. Churchill eluded that the Japanese were going to surrender and that the United States wrongfully used nuclear weapons against a civilian population.

Churchill transitioned to the Indian wars, Wounded Knee and other exploitations at the hands of the white settlers of the New World. Churchill talked about Wappinger Indians, who supposedly sold the Dutch the island of Manhattan for beads and trinkets, "but didn't." Churchill talked about the history behind Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange coming from a wall built by the Dutch in the 1600s around Manhattan Island to keep out Wappinger Indians. According to Churchill, after the Dutch "rented" land, the Dutch then made a land grab by claiming that they bought the land from the Wappingers. They (the Dutch) then committed Indian genocide against the Wappinger during a Dutch sponsored Indian eradication program. Churchill tied up the loose ends by saying that perhaps the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster was payback for bad karma; the chickens and ghosts came home to roost. Churchill appears to believe that the foundations of the WTC site were in very close proximity to the same places were the Dutch committed atrocities against the Wappinger Indians. During the lecture a message that kept coming back to me that he (Churchill) summed it up; people who were oppressed by the Anglos and United States were pushing back against the (evil) powers and nations that had inflicted pain on them. Payback time!

Several people bailed out of the lecture between 8:30 and 9:00 pm and this reporter bid adieu about 9:00 pm under the watchful eyes of five campus security personnel diligently standing watch outside the gymnasium. There were no news media trucks or reporters with microphones in hand, only two photographers, one movie camera, about 200 spectators attended along with several campus staff and the campus security personnel to guard against who knows what.

Later, a MSN search, located a canned Churchill lecture on the internet, "Some People Push Back" On the Justice of Roosting Chickens By Ward Churchill. One could have saved $12 by reading Churchill's canned internet speech instead of going to Shoreline Community College. However, the spectators to the event were able to soak up $12 worth of rare atmosphere of the radical left wing agenda for a couple of hours and have a chance to see Churchill the man in person.


Yes, Virginia, the Constitution of the United States does protect our Freedom of Speech. Any harebrained individual can say just about anything for or against our great country and get away with it. However, let the buyer beware when one goes to a lecture at Shoreline Community College. Academic freedom for a lunatic to spout BS at a community college, yes! However, a lecture of substance with common sense and reality is very questionable.

Remember the slightly off color outhouse poem, "Here I sit broke hearted, paid a nickel and only farted." After thinking about the experience last one could say, "Hear I sit dumb founded, paid $12 for the experience of seeing a slightly egotistical and controversial guy who sees the history of the world as he wants to see it and could have gotten it free on the internet." Save your money and dignity by not going to a Ward Churchill lecture.

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Cross-posted:
The Bosun Locker

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that his design in settling here?
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12/25/2006 4:07 AM  

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