Good First Words

I believe in truth.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Brand of JeSUV

Please read Transcript of Ward Churchill speaking at CSU
Must see When They Came for Ward Churchill

Sometimes you have to use the gifts which grace has given. Sometimes you have to see with your eyes, to hear with your ears, to feel with your heart, to know with your mind. The essential lesson I carry from my Protestant upbringing is this: at any moment it is possible to open our heart and our eyes. Some call it deathbed conversion -- I call it choosing to be human.

Question #5: You seem to come against the technocratic corps. The students here, virtually every one of us, we're not training here we aren't studying here to become food service workers or janitors. So, are we also 'little Eichmanns?'

Ward Churchill: That's your choice.

Question #5: What about the men and women in the towers who were your 'little Eichmanns"? Did they all choose to be these "little Eichmann?'

Ward Churchill: That's your choice.

Question #5: And what out of us, how would we choose not to be a "little Eichmann, what would we be saying?

Ward Churchill: You're not to make a speech, you were to pose a question. You posed it; I'll answer it, OK? When you knowingly accept the collateral effects of business practice as usual, projected by the United States into the rest of the planet, and even if you don't agree with it, contribute your expertise, your technical ability, your proficiency to furthering the process of extermination of masses of children, for your own personal gain and benefit, to fit into the structure, without challenging it, you are, in the Hannah Arendt metaphysical sense of Eichmann, Eichmann.

[loud cheers and applause]

My response to MickeyZ
66. Always coming late to the party…
I believe there to be a miscommunication going on. And to the point that language choice has furthered this breach I lend support. However, I would also like to point out the bridges that exist, questioning the various demands as to who must walk and which.

An organism is more than its individual cells. Behaviour emerges that is greater than the sum of each individual action. Indeed behaviour emerges which is not conceived by any one of the constituent elements. Mickey Z has pointed to the elements, while Ward Churchill insists that actions of the whole must have moral relevance. In so far as the any individual becomes aware of the aggregate consequence of individual action that individual actor bears moral responsibility. Still further, the greater the freedom of action, the heavier the burden. It’s the Spiderman principle, and it’s no great mystery: If I choose to wear sweatshop shoes so that I can winter in the Alps, I bear more responsibility than the store clerk who shoes his children at WalMart.

I hope that some are interested to understand how the Churchill-chosen words have been heard by me. I was touched by the force and power of the statements. So many of us who watch the daily devastation raining upon children weep quietly. To hear a leader speak out loudly in support of the children and of the parents and of the families and of the communities and of the friends of these children—this touched me, because it is not the daily bread our culture feeds us. I perceive great latitude in society for orthodox condemnation; I see the words of Ward Churchill as no more strident.

“We have the right to life.” Even Eichmann has the right to life. And Churchill demands that the lives of Iraqi children carry the same meaning as the lives of NYC working professionals.
The fact is clear to me: Dismissing the words of Ward Churchill cannot assuage the choices we make regarding how we spend our brief time on this planet. What brand of SUV would Jesus of Nazareth purchase with his corporate windfalls? The answer, like the facts, is clear to those who see.
Posted by mickleby on from San Francisco 07/14 at 01:28 PM

1 comment:

johnny73 said...

We must call ourselves out! Eichmann, after Eichmann! I'm a young white male who goes around with this so-called Christian, vegetarian, I love all God's creatures ideas every damn day. And you know what? It has been a lie. Lately, I've been doing some soul searching, and I do feel separate from Iraqi children and their plight. I squawk about how bad things are, and how evil Bush is, but then I go out buy frivolous items, sit on my arse, play poker, and get drunk while the shells shred, and the bombs kill. Was I really raised, and condition to do nothing? I think not, but that's how I've been behaving. Oh, our behaviour mickleby indeed is everything.

To have all my faculties, plenty of food and water, shelter, and support from many friends and family. Still, I do nothing. I'm a little Eichmann who wants to atone, become active, lend a helping hand. I feel paralyzed and guilty. I even fear that of some subconscious level this entry is way to help stave off said guilt, for a little while at least right?
Surely there is a way to atone. To truly connect with all life. To be a thoughtful Christian, vegetarian, I love all God's creatures, not only in theory, but in action. I know words will not get me there, words will not end my feeling of separateness, dare I say superiority. Only actions cut it these days. Only I can make this entry not empty of its sentiment, by sobering up, and set myself in motion.