Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Churchill: Ward Churchill admits he is not a Native American.

"Churchill did address the issue of his ethnicity, admitting that he is not Native American. "Is he an Indian? Do we really care?" he said, quoting those he called his "white Republican" critics. "Let's cut to the chase; I am not," he said. His pedigree is "not important," Churchill said: "The issue is the substance of what is said."

If CU needed a reason to fire him, this would be it. But, he is such a good poster child for the right, I kinda hope CU keeps him.


Ace of Spades: "Without that admission-- that (ahem) scalp -- we'd still be arguing about this. We've gotten our first bit of scalp from Ward Churchill; we'll see about collecting up the rest of it."

Fearless Critic: "In fact, it seems a little too easy. Perhaps he's offering the university a reason to fire him. The move would cement his role as a leftist martyr. He'd be a hit on the talk circuit for years if he was dismissed while excercising "free speech." That his dismissal was because of lying, not for political speech, will be quickly forgotten."

Update#2: Star Bulletin writes a correction to Churchill's comment.

"....But a review of video and audio tapes of the speech shows that Churchill actually said: "Is he an Indian? We really care. We're trying to protect the rights of Indians to divine for themselves, say this circle of flies in the form of white reporters circling a manure pile like it's of all consequential importance. Cut to the chase on that." Churchill went on to say that he is an associate member of the Keetoowah tribe and that associates are enrolled in the band after their genealogy has been vetted by the enrollment office. He said that he is less than one-quarter Indian, so he does not qualify to be a full member."

Problem with this is the Keetoowah tribe said he couldn't prove anything.

Tahlequah Press: "According to UKB historian and former tribal secretary Ernestine Berry, Churchill was granted associate membership status in the tribe in the early 1990s, but is no longer listed as such. "After he got his associate membership, we never saw him again," said Berry. "He got that card and he was gone, gone, gone." Berry said that from the mid-'80s until about 1990, the UKB granted associate membership to tribal members' children who didn't have enough certified Indian blood to be members. The UKB requires voting members to be at least one-fourth Cherokee. Berry said associate members have no voting rights, and receive no benefits from the tribe. About 100 such memberships were granted, according to Berry. She said Churchill's associate membership was granted to him around 1993 by then-chief John Ross. "[Churchill] claimed to be part Cherokee, but he couldn't prove it; when I first met him, I didn't like him, and I didn't trust him," said Berry. "I told the chief, 'Don't do this, John; it will damage the integrity of the [tribal] roll,' but they went ahead and made him an associate member. He has since used that to promote his own purposes, and he has not helped the United Keetoowah Band at all." Berry said associate membership is no longer granted, and "the reason it's not is Ward Churchill."

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