Sunday, January 14, 2007

Surprise! Benjamin Whitmer Uncritically Accepts Ward Churchill's Word that Rhonda Kelly Is a "Loony"!


Photo of the Kelly family; Rhonda is standing on right
Picture credit and Rocky Mountain News Article (6-8-05)

"Hell, [Canadian Indian Rhonda Kelly] might’ve said it, but that doesn’t mean anything. She’s a loony..."----Professor Benjamin Whitmer, University of Colorado, Boulder

Commenter Grant Crowell, who researches CU Boulder's disgraced professor Ward Churchill, alleged on the pro-Churchill blog Tryworks that Professor Ward Churchill tried to push two former wives out of a moving car on separate occasions:

"Rhonda Kelly...mentioned that Ward Churchill tried to push her sister and Ward’s deceased wife, Leah Kelly, from a moving car. Rhonda also claimed that Ward did this to his first wife as well." ["Grant Crowell" 1-10-07 comment to "Stepping off the Deep End"]

Tryworks moderator and Ward Churchill apologist, Benjamin Whitmer, responded to "Grant Crowell's" accusation dismissively:

"Hell, [Rhonda Kelly] might’ve said it, but that doesn’t mean anything. She’s a loony in-law who hates Churchill.....there’s no corroboration, just her word?" ["Stepping off the Deep End," 1-8-07].

Mr. Whitmer says there is no corroboration except Rhonda Kelly's word, but he uncritically accepts Professor Churchill's uncorroborated word that Rhonda is "loony." That is called bias, not scholarship.

Mr. Whitmer might be skeptical if the testimony of Churchill's "loony" Indian relatives were indeed uncorroborated, but an honest, unbiased scholar who wanted to uncover the truth could ask Churchill's first wife, Dora Lee Larson, if he tried to push her out of a moving car, and he could see if there is a court record. When she divorced Churchill, Larson asked that her address be secret because of "violence and threats" from Churchill.

And then there there is the best corroboration of all: the written, published evidence from Churchill himself admitting that he assaulted his wife, Leah: "I broke and slammed [my wife] back against our bedroom wall, telling her that if she kept it up, she’d be apt to land in a hospital." [Churchill claims she was attacking him.]

Leah Kelly died on May 31, 2000, when she was run over by a car near her home. Leah Kelly had a blood-alcohol content of 0.35 percent when the driver ran over her. According to the Denver Post, "the driver said she was lying in the road and he had no time to stop." [A fuller discussion of Leah's life and death can be found here.]

In his published writing, Churchill has also "jokingly" advocated inter-familial violence as a means of saving the earth.

If Mr. Whitmer were a real scholar of Ethnic Studies who tried to make sure Indian voices were heard instead of a despicable apologist for a white con-man who exploits, threatens, and muzzles Indians, he would not falsely disparage Rhonda Kelly's testimony as "uncorroborated."

Mr. Whitmer has Internet access to Churchill's creepy published testimony about how he "broke" and threw his wife into a wall.

The thuggish Professor Churchill once even made a sick "joke" in I Am Indigenist: Notes on the Ideology of the Fourth World about "snuffing" American children and their yuppie mothers:

"Every yuppie born counts as much as another seventy Chinese...Lay that one on the next soccer mom who approaches you with a baby stroller and an outraged look, demanding that you to put your cigarette out, eh? It is plainly absurd for any American to complain about smoking when you consider the context of the damage done by overall U.S. consumption patterns. Tell ’em you’ll put the butt out when they snuff the kid and not a moment before. Better yet, tell ’em they should snuff themselves, as well as the kid, and do the planet a real favor. Just “kidding” (heh-heh)."

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