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Feb 24, 2005 7:47 pm


Some More Notes ...



The Koufax Awards for 2004 are up over at Wampum. Special congratulations to: Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, winner in the Best Blog – Pro Division; and to Juan Cole at Informed Comment, winner for Best Expert Blog for the second year in a row; and winner of the award for Best Post with"If America Were Iraq, What Would It Be Like?" I like to think that it has something to do with the fact that they are both historians.

I'll have to be slower to praise my colleagues' posts at Cliopatria. It seems to make them go all humble on me -- in an aw' shucks sort of way. But over at Little Professor, Miriam Burstein is pruning the lit crit vocabulary. Begone with:"subversive,""anxious,""interrogate,""police,""map," and"inventing"/"imagining." She's struck a responsive chord, as witness the comments there. At Early Modern Notes, Simon tosses"deconstruct" onto the heap; and John Holbo"interrogates" Shakespeare in"It is the wittiest partition that I ever heard discourse, my lord." There, the discussion also casts a suspicious eye on"hermeneutic." A perfectly decent word in the theological circles I move in, it seemed to deteriorate when the folks in literature picked it up. Anyway, if you've got any sense of humor left, or need to recover one, try Tom Tomorrow's"Further Ways to Argue Like a Conservative" and/or Iowahawk's"The Truth is Out There."
Update: Professor Burstein finds additional fame and fortune at MattYglesias and Unfogged.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has reviewed the tape of Ward Churchill's remarks and published a retraction of the claim that he admitted to not being a native American. (scroll down) See also the Denver Post.

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Richard Henry Morgan - 2/24/2005

No, I understand how one can get the original story wrong. I accept that. I just found it "sus" (as they say down here) that when the paper corrected the record, they in part resorted to paraphrase, particularly when it comes to the part of how he doesn't qualify for full membership because he's not at least 1/4 Native American. But the paraphrase, if it sticks rather closely to his words, doesn't actually imply in the strict sense that he is any part Native American -- I too am less than 1/4 Native American, as I don't have any Native American blood at all.

It has been asserted that Bill Clinton was given an "associate membership" in the Keetowah, along with about 300 others, without it being previously asserted that this was a preliminary step towards consideration for full membership. In fact, I've seen it asserted that the Keetowah removed the chief who issued such "associate meberships", and revoked them. Moreover, I've also seen a Cherokee chief assert that he gave Churchill enrolment application papers, and never heard back from him. Just what proves out in the end may be another story altogether.

I've read the materials on the web concerning Churchill's ethnicity. It is asserted that he has claimed a half-dozen different tribes as his own, across the years. He has asserted, variously, 1/16 and 3/16 Native American, but the man he identified as his Native American ancestor would only have made Churchill 1/64 -- were the ancestor Native American (it has been asserted that there is no evidence of such, and that the ancestor was actually an Indian fighter, who took a collateral Native American as a wife).

I think you'll find any number of occasions and forums where he has dropped "associate membership" from his claims vis-a-vis the Keetowah. Here's one example:

http://speakersandartists.org/People/WardChurchill.html

I happen to think it's actuially quite silly for people to insist that they get their "Native American point of view" from a genuine Native American, since I don't think there's any such thing as a "Native American point of view". But seeing as that just happens to be a social fact (that people want that "authenticity") I think his claims are an essential ingredient in his attractiveness as a speaker (to many people).


Ralph E. Luker - 2/24/2005

1) The reporter was standing in the back of a noisy room when he witnessed what he initially reported. 2) The tape was difficult to transcribe (KC, Ralph, and others know something about what that is like). 3) He's _never_ claimed to _be_ 1/4th native American. The reports have varied. Sometimes 1/16th and sometimes 3/16th. So, he's never _claimed_ to qualify for enrollment in the Keetowah as a full member.


Richard Henry Morgan - 2/24/2005

I read the correction in the Honolulu paper regarding what Churchill said at his speech, and Churchill's words reminded me of the Nixonian and Clintonian non-denial denials. According to the paper (they paraphrase -- interesting how they get vague here when they have video and audio tapes), Churchill asserted they he is less than one quarter Indian, and so does not qualify for enrolment in the Keetowah as a full member -- of course, zero is also less than one quarter.


Ralph E. Luker - 2/24/2005

Yes, I cited that or a similar AP article yesterday, as it appeared in the Honolulu newspaper. It seems to me that CU's president is saying exactly what needs to be said to state legislators at this point. I really can see no point served by making Churchill an even more wealthy man with a court order to put him back in his faculty position.


Jonathan Dresner - 2/24/2005

Speaking of the Denver Post, this article confirms that Mr. Morgan is not alone in forseeing the courts playing a significant role in the (all-too long) third act of this drama.


David Lion Salmanson - 2/24/2005

Not map! Of course, when I use map (with a class) it usually means we map something out (an argument for example) on the board. "Let's diagram that" just doesn't have a ring to it.

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