Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ethnic Studies Letter

I was forwarded this from the Ethnic Studies Department at Colorado University, Boulder. The letter is followed by a list of hate mail that the department has received since the Ward Churchill "controversy" erupted. If anything, what the terrible hate mail shows, and the lack of support from the university for the Ethnic Studies Department is that Ethnic Studies is very very very necessary in this country.

An Open Letter from the Department of Ethnic Studies,
University of Colorado at Boulder to the Board of Regents,
President Betsy Hoffman and Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano

The University of Colorado¹s official policy on diversity states:

"Diversity among students, faculty, and staff is fundamental to the
University of Colorado as it fulfills its mission to provide a quality education to the
citizens of the state. A vision of the University of Colorado as an
institution that promotes a free flow of ideas and perspectives, values diverse
viewpoints and interactions, and encourages constructive engagement across racial,
gender, sexual orientation and other lines of difference is central to this mission.
Diversity at the University of Colorado includes populations historically
underrepresented and disadvantaged by virtue of race, ethnicity, gender,
gender identity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, disability, nationality,
and religion. To fulfill its mission, CU must develop purposeful recruitment and
retention strategies for a diverse academic community."

We in the Department of Ethnic Studies (DES) feel a particular
responsibility to fulfill this mission. The purpose of Ethnic Studies as a discipline is to
introduce the diverse perspectives of historically underrepresented
communities into the curriculum, and we offer interdisciplinary courses in African
American, American Indian, Asian American, Chicano, Comparative Ethnic, and American
Studies. By definition, we must counter the standard ³canon² of the
humanities and social sciences, and academic freedom is essential to this endeavor.

The Laws of the Regents (Article5, Part D) recognize that we have not
only the right but the responsibility to engage in such critical analysis:
. . . ³academic freedom² is defined as the freedom to inquire, discover,
publish and teach truth as the faculty member sees it . . .
. . .academic freedom requires that members of the faculty must have
complete freedom to study, to learn, to do research, and to communicate the results
of these pursuits to others. . . . [Faculty members] . . . should not be subjected to direct or indirect pressures or interference from within the university, and the university will resist
to the utmost such pressures or interference when exerted from without
(emphasis added).

For more than thirty years the University has expressed concern about its lack
of racial and ethnic diversity. Large sums of money have been spent on
cosmetic efforts and committees have repeatedly been appointed to study the
problem but the recommendations of those committees have consistently been
disregarded. After all these years, only about 15% of the faculty and the
student body are persons of color; and only 1% of the full professors in
Arts & Sciences at CU-Boulder are women of color.

Ethnic Studies is the only department on campus with a truly racially and
ethnically diverse faculty. We offer the only institutionalized alternative
to an overwhelmingly eurocentric curriculum, and have provided a safe haven for
many students in what they perceive to be an otherwise hostile environment.
The Department¹s predecessor unit, the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and
Race in America (CSERA) was formed in the late-1980s and soon attracted a stellar
faculty of national repute, including Manning Marable, Vine Deloria, Jr., Evelyn Hu DeHart, and Ward Churchill. Of these only Ward Churchill remains, and the institution is making every effort to drive him out.

The Department itself came into being in 1995, with an initial core of younger but highly promising faculty members, including Joy James, Jualynne Dodson, Lane Hirabayashi, David Pellow and Lisa Park. All left, largely as a result of the lack of institutional support and resources provided the Department. Having rebuilt the Department for the third time, we are again under siege.

Since late January, the Ethnic Studies Department and individuals within it
have been publicly and personally denigrated. At the height of the media
frenzy, the Department received about 1000 e-mails and dozens of phone calls
each day, many explicitly racist and/or threatening. We have a wonderful,
incredibly dedicated staff. Already overloaded, these individuals,
including our student assistant, have had to cope with this onslaught.

Despite repeated requests, the University has offered no public defense of the
Department, given no support to our already overworked staff, and provided
no additional security in the face of threats to students, staff and faculty.

To give just one small example, campus police were recently sent to pressure
DES staff about taking down a painting created by youth in an anti-gang
program in which ³stop the lynchings² is superimposed on an American flag. Shortly
thereafter, the campus police simply stood by and watched while a local
resident prominently displayed a picket sign which falsely accused Ward
Churchill of advocating that people ³Rape B*tches² and ³Lynch N*ggers.²

Our students have been subjected to racist communications and threats, as have
our faculty. After some incidents targeting students received widespread
media coverage, the Regents and the Administration claimed ³outrage,² yet an
actively hostile environment which encourages such attacks has been fostered by the
institution¹s own conduct..

The University is well aware that Ward Churchill and other members of the
Department have been subjected to death threats, threats of violence and
overtly racist attacks. It could have publicly condemned these threats of
violence and expressions of racial hostility. Instead, its stunning silence
has effectively empowered the attackers to continue.

Such overt racism is closely linked to attacks on academic freedom. Ward
Churchill is the most prolific and cited scholar in his field, an enormously
popular teacher, and the recipient of numerous CU teaching and service
awards. Faced with politically motivated assaults on Prof. Churchill¹s speech, there
are many steps that University officials could have taken to diffuse the situation.
The institution could have highlighted its particular responsibility to defend
free speech and to promote diversity of opinion, or noted Prof. Churchill¹s
scholarly achievements and his 25 years of exemplary service to the
institution.

Instead, University officials violated the Regents¹ own laws on academic
freedom, denounced Prof. Churchill¹s constitutionally protected speech,
disparaged his reputation, denied him any sort of due process, and announced
that his racial identity is to be determined by committee.

As you well know, such attacks have not been limited to Ward
Churchill. After working with our Department for more than a decade, Adrienne Anderson¹s
contract was terminated and her courses, which were cross-listed in Ethnic Studies, eliminated as a result of political pressure, without DES ever being consulted. A senior faculty member¹s sabbatical was also denied. The obvious lack of institutional support for the Department has seriously hampered our ability to recruit new faculty, and is raising questions about our ability
to retain the faculty we have.

Last week a sign was pasted on the door to our building, ³warning² the public that the views expressed therein did in any way represent those of the University. Is this true? Are we simply being tolerated until we can be eliminated? We have attached a small sampling of e-mails and letters which we believe illustrate that a strong Ethnic Studies program is needed now more
than ever.

As the Regents and the top administrators of this University, you have tremendous influence over the future of this institution. If you want Ethnic Studies to disappear, intend to chill the speech of all professors, and wish to actively discourage the recruitment of students and faculty of color, you need only continue on your current path. We hope this is not the case and offer
to work with you to proactively change - not ³study² - the climate on campus.

Department of Ethnic Studies *
University of Colorado at Boulder
April 25, 2005

* This letter was approved by consensus at a faculty meeting from which two
members were absent.

WHY WE NEED ETHNIC STUDIES
While we have received expressions of support from tens of thousand of people
around the country, we also think it important to note the racism and intolerance that lies so close below the surface. Following are excerpts from e-mails and letters received by the Department of Ethnic Studies, Ward Churchill and other faculty and staff between January 31 and April 15, 2005. They are not the most hateful, threatening or obscene that we have received, but particularly reflect the racism, sexism, and lack of historical understanding
that we work to counter. Other than the asterisks inserted in bold, the spelling and grammar are from the original correspondence.

*************************

[To the Department of Ethnic Studies:]
Greetings:
Regarding Ward Churchill¹s remarks about 9-11 victims being ³little Eichmanns,²
it seems to me that the debate over free speech rights misses the point. . .
.
So let us suppose that the victims were little Eichmanns, fully deserving of their fates. In the spirit of diversity and inclusion, I would then like to add the following:
(1) Blacks in the UC Boulder Ethnic Studies department are little pickanninnies.
(2) Females in the UC Boulder Ethnic Studies department are little pom- pom
girls.
(3) Hispanics in the UC Boulder Ethnic Studies department are little banditos.
(4) Asians in the UC Boulder Ethnic Studies department are little yellow perils.
. . . . Mind you, I wouldn¹t ordinarily write this, except that Œdiversity and
inclusion² is such a compelling interest, and I feel that it is necessary to achieve ³critical mass.²
With all due respect,
Robert Allgeyer
**************************

From: David Bland
To: Chancellor Phil DiStefano
CC: Ward Churchill
I am writing this letter . . . to voice my distaste and gross disappointment in
your dubious judgment in hiring and retaining such a repugnant and repulsive
human being as Ward Churchill. . . . I suppose for a pathetic American Indian
like himself, he sees this as some sort of payback to the United States for
what he sees as injustices to the American Indian 150 years ago. . . . I
implore you not to be intimidated by this pathetic excuse for a man and a human
being. Fire his sorry *ass! . . . It¹s too bad that he is one Indian that got away!

**************************
From: Chuck McGrory
To: Natsu Saito
CC: Ward Churchill
Subject: How squaw bitch . . .
tell um Chief Ward Wigwam: Look like pale face who want um to be um red face is
um disgraced. Why don't you BOTH come on a tour of the east coast when u do your
little stop in NY. We'd love to see both of you crazy mutherf*ckers! We're looking forward to seeing you w/ no reservations. We'll go out and have some fire water. On an unrelated note, Is it possible for "indian givers" to give "indian burns." ?

**********************
From: Dennis McDonald
To: Emma Perez
After viewing your comments last night, it appears that American Indian
³wannabe² Churchill and his wife are not the only *ssholes in the Ethnic
Studies Dept. You are a disgrace to the teaching community and are probably just like
Churchill - a person who never held a real job and spent years as a radical in college and eventually got some half *ss degree from some crumby little school. . . .
. . . . let me give you a few phrases that may help in your next job; ³Would you lie fries with that?², ³Sir, can I supersize that order?²

**********************
From: HuMikhu@aol.com
To: tomdreyer@shaw.ca
CC: Ward Churchill
[tomdreyer@shaw.ca writes:]
I wonder what practical use there would be for a graduating student with a degree in Ethnic Studies, oops Victimology
[response:]
It comes in handy when calculating reparations ­ or settlements in the countless
lawsuits that seem to plague their lives.

****************************

From: Nathan Utt
To: Ethnic Studies
The proper response to . . . ³Chief² Ward Churchill is to shut down the ethnic
studies department entirely. . . . it has no legitimate function, but instead
is merely a forum for disaffected pseudo-intellectuals who use the mask of
ethnicity to disquise their own personal dysfunctionability. . . . How about
getting real jobs instead of leeching off the taxpayers with your pc thuggery?

**************************
From: Rob Ebright
To: Ethnic Studies
Subject: Ward Churchill is a d*ckhead
I must laugh at your so called college department. Tell Ward, my ancestors killed a lot of Indians and I¹m proud of it . . . .
**********************
From: david owens
To: Ethnic Studies
what a collection of f*cking faggots and victocrats. No wonder ³ethnic² studies
is a universal joke. . . .
*******************
From: Chance Chamberlain
To: Ethnic Studies
Subject: Enjoying the exposure?
. . . . This has got to be one of the most useless departments in the CU system.
. . . ³Ethnic Studies² perhaps should be renamed ³The Department for Militant
Liberalism, Hate Speech against all Whites, Doctored Resumes and Anti-Americanism²
Good idea?
*************************
Fax received in Ethnic Studies Office from Westboro Baptist Church
(www.godhatesfags.com):
WBC to picket Univ. Of Colorado Prof. Ward Churchill at the fag-infested
Kirkland Project of Hamilton College . . . . God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers!
Ergo, God hates Hamilton College, the sodomite whorehouse masquerading as
The Kirkland Project. . . and Arminian heretic Ward Churchill . . . .
***************************

From: Dave
To: Ethnic Studies
Dear Ward. . . .
Why don¹t you take a silly-*ss muslim name like Mohammed Mohammed Mohammed
and wear a diaper on your head. . .
***********************

From: TwinDadRay@aol.com
To: Ward Churchill
I¹ll keep this brief, one - too bad you weren¹t in the cockpit of one of
those jets. And two, with a comment like that, I¹m glad the Indians were wiped
out.
That is all.

*************************

From: Don McCurdy
To: Ward.Churchill
. . . . Your people are a lazy bunch of scum! The Native American, without intigrating himself into the modern world, has become a burden on society. . . .
I can prove to you that the Native American is nothing more than a blip on the
radar screen on the over all realm of the world. . . . they are just a mole on the body of the planet.
I am a 52 year old son of the people that have made this miserable patch of
ground called America, the greatest force of good in the world! Your sorry
ancestors could not have created in their wildest dreams a force that which
has such wide spreading ideals. We The People Have given Freedom to all of Europe and Japan, and we are . . trying to bring fredon to the middle East.
THESE ARE THE HISTORIC FACTS. . . . . as a native of Colorado I will force you to become a piece of trash in the dust bin of history with the rest of your ³ancestors.²

************************

From: Ralph Lancaster
To: Ward Churchill
You, sir, are about as much American Indian as my dog. . . .

*****************************

From: Davsch@aol.com
To: Ward Churchill
You¹re finished Cigar Store. . . . ..
I¹ll be marching in the coming Columbus Day Parade as an honourary Italian
for a day.

****************************

From: Gerald McCawley
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . It is a sad day in American education when a ³man² with your views
can head anything more than a janitorial crew. Of course that is why so many of
our kids come out of college with useless degrees in Native Studies, Diversity, or the like instead of useful, productive ones in science or mathematics. They are hard to earn while all you had to do is make a career of whining and complaining and contributing nothing to society. . . .

***************************
From: Katy Roberts
To: Ward Churchill
I am working on article about you and want to verify that your Indian name is ³Colostomy Bag That Walks.²

*************************
From: Irv Yaffa<>
To: Ward Churchill
. . . .put a feather on your head and leave this wonderful country that I fought for. . . .

*************************
From: goldmineman@hotmail.com
To: Ward Churchill
Hey Chief - the ³7th Cavalry² is coming after your worthless *ss. . . .

**********************
From: Greg Fountain
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . Move away from the United States. It¹s people like you that always seem
to forget what it cost our forefathers to give you a place to be free to be such an *ss. . . .

***************************
From: sassy
To: Ward. Churchill@Colorado.EDU
. . . . What I would like to know is why you liberal commi scumbags in this
country hate it here so much . . . WHY THE F*CK ARE YOU HERE. . . .
WE ARE SICK OF YOU LIBERALS RUINING THIS COUNTRY. We have our problems,
mostly due to liberal mental disease, but there is no where else I¹d rather live. . .
. YOU¹RE A SICK MF AND HOPE YOU FRIGIN GET ANAL CANCER FROM YOUR HOMO
STUDENTS.

**************************

From: Tay Weinstein
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . I feel like I am owed a personal explanation by whoever wrote this
bullsh*t, i.e. fake injun, aka Ward Churchill. . . . I wouldn¹t expect a
f*cking squaw pussy like you to understand . . . Move to Canada, they¹d love
you there, and for all you know, thats where your ancestors are from. F*ck you, goto hell.

**************************

From: stelbt28
To: Ward Churchill
Subject: Info regarding class...
Hey buckwheat. . . . I despise you and your redskin tactics. . . . go find your
reservation and sit on welfare, you worthless scoundrel.

************************

From: JOHNBEA882@cs.com
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . according to the Bell Curve you are a prime candidate for having a
low IQ and I do not doubt that one bit, kid. I can¹t believe you get paid to do
anything. You should be on a reserve harvesting corn and huffing fire
water!

***********************

From: Scott.Langer@colorado.edu
To: Ward Churchill
Subject: PLEASE READ
Dear Squanto/Crazy Horse
. . . . IF AMERICA IS SO EVIL WHY DON¹T YOU GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE? . . . .
YOU CANNOT SAY WHATEVER YOU WANT THEN JUST SAY FREEEE SPEECH ITS FREEEEEE NOTHINGGGGG HAS CONSEQUENCESSS IM NATIVE AMERICAN LOOK AT ME I¹M NOT GOING TO LET ITALIAN AMERICANS EXPRESS THEIR FREEDOM ON COLUMBUS DAY! I SUGGEST YOU LEAVE THIS CAMPUS, LEAVE THIS COUNTRY AND GO PREACH YOUR BULLSH*T IN SAUDI ARABIA OR WHERE ELSE THERE ARE ³SAND N*GGERS² BECAUSE YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH. . .AND MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE HAPPY.

**************************
From: Nnewyork91101@aol.com
To: Ward Churchill
You are an absoulute moron. You have a stick up your *ss about the whole thing of the whites kicking you out of your ³land². Get over it. . . . You show this country how you and your people are. . . .
************************

From: Harold Liles
To: Ward Churchill
I don¹t giva e F^$#, ME AND YOU, MY MAN, LETS GET IT ON. THERE WILL BE NO
HATCHETT BURYING, F$*# THE SPELLING, CHEROKEE WANT A BE, ³YOU CAN COUNT ON SEEING ME, IN YOUR DREAMS, IN THE SMOKE, IN YOUR SPEACHES YOU WILL HOPE, THE SNATCHER DOES NOT STOKE THE FLAMES OF A RED MANS FEARS² . (LOOK IT UP B*TCH)
WHITE MAN COMETH . . . . IT WILL BE JUST LIKE OLD TIMES WATCHING YOU SKUIRM LIKE THE LITTLE BROWN f*6$@ FROM PANAMA. . . . . . . . ISNT IT GREAT HOW YOU BRING OUT THE K IN US. L ER RED MAN ME AND U M/F. JUNGLE KNOTS COMMING YOUR WAY, SWEETIE PIE. 40 CAL, 9 MIL, AK47, 50CAL, H TO H, HOW U WANT IT, IT WILL BE SHOVED UP YOUR RED *SS THE WORLD TO SEE.

*************************

From: American
To: Ward Churchill
Subject: I am a concerned Native American
. . . My parents are of European descent, but having been born here, they are Natives. I was born here, and I am therefore also a Native American. However, I suffer along with hundreds of millions of other American who are discriminated against because of simple chronology. . . . [I]t vexes me every time I hear the term Native American used to describe a tiny fraction of the American population. . . .

[From the same source:]
You are nothing but an Asian-American. . . . [Y]ou never mention the fact that before the Europeans ever went ³abroad,² pseudo-indigenous peoples around the world behaved no differently than Europeans. . . . There is as much barbaric behavior among the Indians and other Œnatives² around the world to equal any heinous acts, real and alleged, perpetrated by Europeans.

[And again:]
I do not doubt your Indian heritage. I can see it in your face and ears. . . . Just because Indians were on the losing side, it does not absolve them of their own sins. . . .

*************************

From: Dennis Tedder
To: Ward Churchill
Subject: Commie-pinko bed-wetting left-wing long-haired faggot
. . . . I say f*ck the press. Given my way, you¹d be throw into a dark cell for ten years, then execute you after that, you homo. . . . . PS: You may be interested in knowing that my god son has killed over 30 ragheads, destroyed 15 tanks and 10 Toyota pickup trucks from his F-18.

[From the same source:]
. . . . I¹ve had enough of buck-teeth, genetically inbred, backwood cretins from de souf. You may also be interested in knowing that in Œ83 I was personably
responsible for the death of over 80 Syrians. . . . Like Hitler, were I in charge it is
the pseudo-intellectuals like you who I¹d put in a camp first.
Muslims and Arabs. Where is A. Hitler now that we need him? Even gas wouldn¹t handle this many vermin.

******************************

From: Michael Groves
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . I had a brother who . . . was a professor, and he once said there are very ignorent people teaching in the campuses around the country. People who
shouldn¹t be allowed near a person so there garbage garbage dosn¹t rub off on people. Your one of the people he was talking about. I²m not a man of violence, but I can see things that might happen. . . .. Opinons are like *ss holes, everyone has one, some just stink more then others, then I think some will wipe yours clean. You Creep. I¹d like to see someone punch you right
in the big fat loaud moth. You ignorent white man. Your not Native American, you¹re a wanna be.

********************

From: John F Marrinan
To: Ward Churchill
. . . . I only have a BA, MBA, JD . . . I make $650,000 a year. . . . Maybe you should go back to school and obtain a PhD in world history and you might understand that we fried the Japsbecause they bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. . . . I served two tours in Viet Nam . . . and I just love the good old USA. . . . .

*********************

From: Arnold Giannetta
To: Ward Churchill
ward, you such big buffalo d*ck, you c*cksuker ingine motherf*cker

***************************

From: NavyHomer@aol.com
To: Thom1s@aol.com, . . . .
CC: . . . . Ward.Churchill
[Thom1s writes:]
Personally I¹d like to see a resurrection of the House UnAmerican Activities
Committee and a new set of alien and sedition laws aimed at the domestic pro-terrorist enemies in our midst. . . .
[Response:]
Hallelujah!! I agree with you 100%! . . . . I¹m sending your above recommendation for the ³resurrection² of an oversight committee to thwart further expansion of the mind destroying ³Churchill-Kent¹isms² to my two Senators. . . . . NEGOCRATS, Robert C. BYRD and John ROCKEFELLER!!!!! . . . . I encourage you and Salena to persevere and continue your ³fight for
the ³right² as I and others undertake a serious effort to get rid of the
nasty/smelly dropppings left on the floor of the Senate by a pathetic,
strutting, cocky, BYRD! We are working to rid the national scene of our state¹s embarrassment on
Capitol hill, the decrepit BYRD in 2006 and the carpet bagging ROCKEFELLER in 2008!
Jim Wright
Huntington, WV
****************************

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