Contrary to Daniel Hiester (March 29), there most certainly is a New McCarthyism stalking the land, shouting the shibboleth of "fighting terror." Middle Eastern Studies programs across the country are under federal scrutiny to ensure no unpatriotic — meaning anti-Israel — views are expressed in academia. U.S. colleges have barred thousands of applicants from the Arab world, and Professor Daniel Pipes maintains his "Campus Watch" online dossier, encouraging students to snitch on instructors who refuse to toe the party line: "How much do you love the American empire?" (No, I am not on Daniel's list, but I have made the Anti-Defamation League's roll of honor. Thank you, ADL President Abraham Foxman.)
One masterful fencer, with the help of the courageous student body at the University of Colorado-Boulder, managed to out-maneuver the most powerful nation on Earth. Professor Ward Churchill faces losing tenure under the unusual charge of publishing something unpopular. The real reason the UC Board of Regents (a bunch of old, bored white men) is eager to fire him is his righteous obsession with European and American genocide and terrorism against peoples of color all over the world, from 1492 to 2001. Churchill, in appraising what happened on Sept. 11 that year, calling it a case of "some people push back," merely reiterated what Malcolm X had to say on the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963: "chickens coming home to roost." Incidentally, had JFK's planned genocide against the Cuban people during the missile crisis of 1962 came to fruition, I wouldn't be writing this letter; instead, my ashes would be buried in Havana. No doubt this would please a few professors on campus, but not my beloved Taliban (students) in History of Civilization and Modern Latin America.
Those who claim to be horrified by Churchill's remarks should ponder that more than 500,000 Iraqi children were killed by President William Clinton and his Madame Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who boasted about it on national television. In a moral universe and university, it would not be Ward Churchill being demonized, but the cocaine cowboy, George W. Bush, who has added an extra 100,000 corpses to the pile of brown colored corpses, collected like Indian heads in the Old West.
In an America rapidly descending toward Christian fascism, we need more Ward Churchills.
Dr. Assad Pino
Associate Professor of History