Friday, October 14, 2005

DePaul student's Denver radio interview follow up: A rat is smelled, and does Ward have a Weather Underground link?

Pictured (the picture has somehow been deleted) in the dark jersey is DePaul hoopster Raymon Caplis, playing shortly before Christmas in 1951 under legendary Blue Demon Coach Ray Meyer.

Caplis is fighting for the ball with Kentucky's Clifford Hagan.

Hagan, like Ray Meyer, would later be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

It looks like Caplis got the ball, but Kentucky won that game.

And what does that picture have to do with DePaul and Churchill? On Tuesday, a very well-poised blogger Nick Hahn, a DePaul political science major and Republican, was interviewed by KHOW Denver's Dan Caplis, son of ex-Blue Demon basketball player Raymon Caplis. Yeah, the guy in the picture!

Caplis' co-host, Craig Silverman, also participated in the radio interview.

Just like that 1951 tussle for the ball, there is a struggle going on at DePaul University; this one is about free speech. Students like Nick are strongly objecting to DePaul paying Ward Churchill an undisclosed but likely princely sum to come to DePaul to spew his hate speech. Yes, this is the same Chicago school that suspended Thomas Klocek one year ago for expressing his free speech rights, or at least his attempt to express them on DePaul's campus last fall.

As many others have, Caplis and Silverman took note of the irony of what I call "free speech for some" occurring at DePaul University.

Nick had some intriguing comments. The interview, available via Nick's blog, is here.

For starters, Hahn wants to put up some anti-Ward Churchill posters, with actual Ward quotes on those posters. The school wouldn't let Hahn post them, because the posters have been called "propaganda" by DePaul administrators. Yes, actual Churchill quotes are deemed "propaganda" by DePaul.

Hahn also noted that he and others have been "denied the right to protest (against Churchill) in any public forum."

He confirmed that DePaul "student money and donations" are paying Churchill for his DePaul appearance. Tuition at DePaul, as at all private universities, is not cheap.

Dr. Harvette Grey is the head of DePaul's Cultural Center, and has been, in my words, stonewalling Nick Hahn and the DePaul Republicans in their attempts to be included in some way in the Churchill appearance.

Of course, they'd prefer Churchill have his DePaul invitation rescinded.

Grey--and no one else--according to Nick, invited Ward to speak there.

Hahn asked if his group could participate in a panel with Ward Churchill; he was told that the panel was "only for human-rights organizations."

So, the DePaul Republicans are not a human-rights organization, at least according to Dr. Harvette Grey. Based on what I heard in this interview, I'll make the jump and assume that it's possible she thinks that Republicans oppose human-rights.

Early in the interview, Caplis and Silverman played a tape, where Churchill brags about resisting arrest in Chicago, during which he assaulted a police officer. Ward says he "rammed (the police officer's) head into a concrete post."


As for the "I smell a rat" comment by Caplis (or was it Silverman?), one of them surmises that there is a past tie-in between DePaul's Harvette Grey and Ward Churchill. These weren't the exact words, but why else would she invite Ward to DePaul, considering the nasty baggage that accompanies him? Why damage DePaul's reputation?

Of course, that reputation has been severely damaged in the last six months since the Klocek story escaped the DePaul campus.

Caplis and Silverman didn't play the entire Chicago Ward Churchill tape, but they claim that Churchill was taking part in a rally that put the local sheriff in a wheelchair. That sheriff would be Richard Elrod, then a lawyer for the City of Chicago. Elrod later became Cook County Sheriff.

That Chicago riot was part of the "Days of Rage," organized by the domestic terrorist group The Weather Underground, in October 1969

I'm plan to e-mail this post to Dan Caplis, and ask him to put that entire Ward Churchill "Chicago Tape" online.

Does Ward Churchill have a Weather Underground link? It wouldn't surprise me.

Again, the KHOW segment is on Nick's blog here. It's not a "sound bite" replay, but that makes this posting perfect for the weekend.

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