Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ward Churchill Meets the Weekly Standard

Matt Labash from the Weekly Standard interviewed Ward "Little Eichmanns" Churchill and came away with quite an interesting conversation, to say the least. Ann Althouse excerpts a couple of the funnier parts of their exchange here. I've excerpted a conversation that Labash had with a Native American protesting outside a Churchill speech:
Afterwards, as Churchill disappears with six or seven television cameras pressing hard behind him, I step out into Sproul Plaza, where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech Movement in 1964. I head toward the GAP, which now sits adjacent to it, to check out the spring sales. But on my way I run into a lone Churchill protester, a Bay Area AIM activist named Earl Neconie. He's dressed in a Pendleton vest, a black Stetson with beaded headband, and a 2nd Marine Division pin. Beside him sits a placard that says "Ward Churchill speak with forked tongue."

I ask him if he'd encountered Churchill today. He says no, but he did around a decade ago when Churchill and he were at a tribunal, one of the many bloody battles in which their respective AIM organizations were trying to hash out something or other. He says he distinctly remembers Churchill, because he wasn't wearing any shoes. "Why are you barefoot?" Neconie asked. He shakes his head and laughs, remembering what Churchill said: "It's the Native in me." Neconie says he offered to buy Churchill some moccasins, before Indian-giving the offer with, "Oh wait, you're not an Indian."

I ask Neconie what his Indian name is. "Just Neconie," he responds. "It's an old Kiowa name. I don't have one like Standing Water, or Leaky Faucet, or anything like that." I ask him what he thinks of Churchill's Indian name, which is "Keezjunnahbeh," meaning "kind-hearted man."

Neconie shrugs. He hadn't heard of it. "But Bay Area Indians, we have our own name for him. We just call him Walking Eagle."

"Why?" I ask.

"Because," says Neconie, gathering up his placards, "a Walking Eagle is so full of s--that it can no longer fly."
The entire interview can be found here. It's a very telling look into the man.