By Chris Mansel
[Editor's Note: Ward Churchill & The Threshold of Influence is posted on the Albion Monitor. See http://www.albionmonitor.com.]
Of Ward Churchill Jack Random writes, "I would dearly love to say that Ward Churchill is not important, that it is the principle of free speech, the essence of a democratic society, and the foundation of academic excellence, that is at stake here, but I simply do not believe it. Ward Churchill is important. His is a singular and distinct voice in American society and, if it is lost, we are all impoverished. His crime is not that he misspoke or that he spoke out of turn, too loudly and too proudly, but that he dared to say what many thought. Moreover, the sentence he committed to paper on September 12, 2001, would never have garnered any significant attention had not the writer crossed a threshold of influence." How right he is. When a man or woman in this country is afraid to stand up and say what he or she feels, state their opinion then all is lost. Democracy will cease to exist, another form of government will evolve, and many in the opposition will die. If you think that sounds just a bit absurd then read the history of Guatemala, Serbia, Poland, just to name a few.
Ward Churchill may have chosen too strong a representation in using the word, Eichmann, but in all sincerity, he was right to a degree. Many of those who work in the technology and money markets are contributing to acts of terrorism whether they know it or not. They do compete to find brand new ways of inciting terror and launder money. If a bank is discovered to be washing money for a drug cartel they don’t arrest everyone who works for the bank, they arrest the higher ups in the company and hold them accountable. Can you imagine the man who mops and buffs the floor being in on the crime with the president and board of the bank? No, you cannot but you might easily make the case that a few mid-level positions in the bank were either asked or told to look the other way. It is doubtful that their names will appear in the indictments. Are they just as guilty? Yes.
The events of September 11 were horrific and stirred a nation into two separate directions. The first was anger and an insistence to attack those who would attack us but the second was much more disturbing. Few elected officials called for caution and in this tense restraint of panic sweeping changes were made under the nose of those that serve in Washington by bills such as the Patriot Act. To use the events of the worst attack ever on this country to push your agenda is just as bad or worse than the attacks. Politicians for years have rushed to have their photos taken at the scene of a fire, at the slaughter of innocent civilians and the events of September 11. It’s despicable and it reeks of a total uncaring and self-preservation that says everything about the sincerity and dignity of that official. Most of the contents in the Patriot Act sought new restrictions over domestic surveillance. Let the shoplifter keep their prize and punish the employee for letting him get away.
In an essay entitled, True History, Jack Random writes, "The greatness of our country and the greatest hope is that there are those who have broken free from the bindings of our indoctrination and declared themselves free. These individuals have discovered the greater truth that where one falsehood lies it is often accompanied by many others. They have uncovered the lies of manifest destiny and equal opportunity. They uncovered the lies of blind justice and the moral imperative to war. They have uncovered the lies of American sovereignty, American democracy, American superiority, and they have discovered the underlying truth: We are a nation born of great ideals yet we have failed to live up to them." Failure to live up to those ideals can be the conclusion of a great noble idea. To protect the people of the United States should not come at the price of liberty and freedom. If it does then we’re facing the wrong end of the barrel of the gun.
- Chris Mansel