Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ward Churchill and Dick Cheney

That Dr. Ward Churchill is suddenly of great interest to the rightwing is predictable; his ill-conceived notions are a wellspring for those who spark and fan the witchhunts for which the neocons are famous. Between the Vice-President's wife, Lynne, and David Horowitz, we can count on them to crawl along until they sniff out something egregious.

The truly pathetic portion of the entire debacle is that the young anarchists are so influenced by Churchill's infantilism. Many aren't even aware that he is an architect of their most dysfunctional attributes and an author of none of their most inspirational qualities.

I will make a personal note here that in my now-ancient book, Meek Ain't Weak: Nonviolent Power and People of Color, I take on Churchill from the standpoint of his critique of nonviolence in his screed, Pacifism as Pathology. He's a brilliant man who is fast and loose with the facts and strong on inflammatory rhetoric. His muscularly strident calls to action appeal to the wonderful high-commitment, high-risk activist youth culture, but what he tells them to do is bereft of the analysis necessary to build--rather than destroy--movements. His post-9.11 comments were simply an enraged man's shriek for an audience. He has no compunction about wrecking a movement that is actually achieving things--such as he helped do with the global justice movement--and I trust that he will continue to offer his shallow bombast. Our task is to not allow anyone to smear his inadequacies across the broader movement.