Ward Churchill, chapter two

Did anyone ask the officials of Hamilton College to produce the death threats they allegedly received over Ward Churchill's scheduled appearance? Did any journalist check with the local police to see if they had been consulted? Or must we take the death threats on faith, just like Churchill's Native American ancestry?

The second chapter of the Churchill kerfuffle is that, predictably, the mavens of Hamilton College get to pose as champions of free speech, even as they flee from the consequences of it. What a joke.

I suggest they prove their conviction, as their t—shirts proclaim, that 'the mark of an educated mind is that it can entertain an idea without accepting it,' by inviting people they disagree with. Let them invite a creationist to speak at their next 'Limits of Dissent' forum. Let them invite a representative of NAMBLA. Let them invite Phyllis Schafly, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter. Let them invite (chuckle) Rush Limbaugh. Let them invite the President of Harvard to talk about how women's brains differ from men's.

The whole 'Limits to Dissent' thing is a pose, a sham, a chance for the intellectuals to preen and quote Martin Niemoller and pretend that they are all so terribly, terribly brave.

Actually, given the ease with which anyone can send a hateful email, it's entirely probable that someone emailed or phoned and expressed the wish that Churchill would die, or threatened violence if he appeared to give his talk. It is unfortunate if some yahoo with a Yahoo email account made their argument for them, by making an actual death threat. ("See? Dissent is crushed in this country!") Ward Churchill is transformed from a privileged scholar, to a martyr, a victim. Lo, the poor Indian!* But calm down, Hamilton College. It's not like a mullah declared a jihad on you.

There's a difference between an angry illiterate email and a credible death threat. I've received plenty of the former because of my website exposing the lies told by Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter. Free speech, in that respect, isn't free. As Mark Steyn notes, he reads all his letters, but especially enjoys the vicious ones. Any conservative columnist could tell the president of Hamilton College, 'welcome to my world.'

Lost in all the heat and anger is the real issue — is Ward Churchill worth listening to? Forget free speech. Free speech doesn't mean that anyone at all can speak at Hamilton College, at any forum, for any length of time. The question is, should any taxpayer—subsidized institution pay a third—rate scholar to speak, teach and write? Can we count on Professor Churchill to present opposing viewpoints in his classroom? Does he insist that his students read Dinesh D'Souza and Paul Johnson in addition to his own books?
Some of his former students are coming forward and claiming that he censored their free speech and punished them with low marks when they disagreed with him.

CNN has described Churchill as 'a Native—American activist, and Vietnam veteran,' which proves once again that the MSM is not paying attention to the blogosphere. Of course nobody was paying attention, much, when Churchill wrote his inflammatory essay three years ago, least of all his employers, who announce they will now review his writings to see if he deserves to keep his job. How many complaints from angry students have they ignored and why did it take this tempest in a teapot to stir them to action?

Ward Churchill was of interest to me long before his essay came to wider attention. He was interesting because he appeared to be another delicious example of hypocrisy from the academic left.

Churchill is a phony because he represented himself to be something he is not. He is a hypocrite because he is an implacable enemy of western civilization,  but he makes a handsome living off the avails of capitalism. Yes, he spits on us and everything we stand for but he'll pocket the tax money and the tuition fees, thank you. These are not the actions of a man of principle. He could still write his propaganda outside the sanctuary of a tenured professorship. And if the University of Colorado regents fire him, he soon will be.

The next chapter, I hope, is that this story will turn mainstream attention to the wider problem of tenured radicals in our universities.

'Lo! The poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.'
—— Alexander Pope, (a dead white poet)

Lona Manning observes American society from Canada.

Did anyone ask the officials of Hamilton College to produce the death threats they allegedly received over Ward Churchill's scheduled appearance? Did any journalist check with the local police to see if they had been consulted? Or must we take the death threats on faith, just like Churchill's Native American ancestry?

The second chapter of the Churchill kerfuffle is that, predictably, the mavens of Hamilton College get to pose as champions of free speech, even as they flee from the consequences of it. What a joke.

I suggest they prove their conviction, as their t—shirts proclaim, that 'the mark of an educated mind is that it can entertain an idea without accepting it,' by inviting people they disagree with. Let them invite a creationist to speak at their next 'Limits of Dissent' forum. Let them invite a representative of NAMBLA. Let them invite Phyllis Schafly, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter. Let them invite (chuckle) Rush Limbaugh. Let them invite the President of Harvard to talk about how women's brains differ from men's.

The whole 'Limits to Dissent' thing is a pose, a sham, a chance for the intellectuals to preen and quote Martin Niemoller and pretend that they are all so terribly, terribly brave.

Actually, given the ease with which anyone can send a hateful email, it's entirely probable that someone emailed or phoned and expressed the wish that Churchill would die, or threatened violence if he appeared to give his talk. It is unfortunate if some yahoo with a Yahoo email account made their argument for them, by making an actual death threat. ("See? Dissent is crushed in this country!") Ward Churchill is transformed from a privileged scholar, to a martyr, a victim. Lo, the poor Indian!* But calm down, Hamilton College. It's not like a mullah declared a jihad on you.

There's a difference between an angry illiterate email and a credible death threat. I've received plenty of the former because of my website exposing the lies told by Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter. Free speech, in that respect, isn't free. As Mark Steyn notes, he reads all his letters, but especially enjoys the vicious ones. Any conservative columnist could tell the president of Hamilton College, 'welcome to my world.'

Lost in all the heat and anger is the real issue — is Ward Churchill worth listening to? Forget free speech. Free speech doesn't mean that anyone at all can speak at Hamilton College, at any forum, for any length of time. The question is, should any taxpayer—subsidized institution pay a third—rate scholar to speak, teach and write? Can we count on Professor Churchill to present opposing viewpoints in his classroom? Does he insist that his students read Dinesh D'Souza and Paul Johnson in addition to his own books?
Some of his former students are coming forward and claiming that he censored their free speech and punished them with low marks when they disagreed with him.

CNN has described Churchill as 'a Native—American activist, and Vietnam veteran,' which proves once again that the MSM is not paying attention to the blogosphere. Of course nobody was paying attention, much, when Churchill wrote his inflammatory essay three years ago, least of all his employers, who announce they will now review his writings to see if he deserves to keep his job. How many complaints from angry students have they ignored and why did it take this tempest in a teapot to stir them to action?

Ward Churchill was of interest to me long before his essay came to wider attention. He was interesting because he appeared to be another delicious example of hypocrisy from the academic left.

Churchill is a phony because he represented himself to be something he is not. He is a hypocrite because he is an implacable enemy of western civilization,  but he makes a handsome living off the avails of capitalism. Yes, he spits on us and everything we stand for but he'll pocket the tax money and the tuition fees, thank you. These are not the actions of a man of principle. He could still write his propaganda outside the sanctuary of a tenured professorship. And if the University of Colorado regents fire him, he soon will be.

The next chapter, I hope, is that this story will turn mainstream attention to the wider problem of tenured radicals in our universities.

'Lo! The poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.'
—— Alexander Pope, (a dead white poet)

Lona Manning observes American society from Canada.