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On Ward Churchill and Free Speech
BrianWise.com ^ | February 18, 2005 | Brian S. Wise

Posted on 02/18/2005 5:18:57 AM PST by TGOMedia

Free speech is as tender a subject as it is irritating. Tender because it’s one of the few parts of the Constitution people still take seriously, as it goes to the heart of a freedom we take very seriously; irritating because no one invokes the right unless they’re caught advancing the civilized world’s dumbest ideas, theories, or “art.”

Ward Churchill comes to mind. Churchill is a tenured professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder (home of Division 1A’s most rape-happy football team) who, not long after the Tragedies, wrote an essay referring to those who died at the World Trade Center as “little Eichmans” and suggested the attacks were a reasonable response to American policy. (Or something like that. It’s hard to know exactly what he’s saying for sure; the piece reads like it was written during the third hour of a PCP bender.) The thesis, “Some People Push Back,” was later expanded into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens.

Fast forward two-and-a-half years. Churchill’s “little Eichmanns” blast was pulled from obscurity – first by journalists at Hamilton College (who were alerted to “Some People Push Back” by a professor doing background research on Churchill), then by the New Media in its entirety. Churchill’s speech at Hamilton was canceled due to security concerns brought about by death threats. During a rant on campus at Boulder, Churchill said he takes full responsibility for his words, he will not back away from them, he’s not sorry. Which is fine with me, believe it or not. There are few things more annoying than someone who honestly speaks their mind and then denies having ever done so (e.g., Eason Jordan). Ward Churchill is an intellectual barbarian, but at least he doesn’t deny his barbarity.

There were students in Boulder screaming their approval of Churchill at the tops of their lungs. Sadly, the throng is emblematic of the student body, which gives pause, and they weren’t screaming because they were so enamored with free speech. They were screaming because they agreed with his basic premises – that the world would be better off if the United States didn’t exist (insofar as to suggest it should be obliterated tomorrow), that America deserves many more Tragedies, that those who supported the Persian Gulf War were the equivalent of “Good Germans” during Hitler’s world conquest campaign, et cetera. Afterward, in the corridor with television cameras in their faces, many said their support for Churchill was more about free speech than it was stark anti-Americanism.

But how was Churchill’s right to speak freely actually impeded, as to justify this wave of Leftist support? Yes, speaking engagements were canceled after some nutcases made death threats, but you’d be hard pressed to prove that those threats seriously his impeded his freedom to utter nonsense. And to prove it, he gave the speech at Boulder, despite what must have been several similar threats.

One should be struck by the circles in which free speech is forced to travel these days. Though it has since been proven untrue, Churchill spent years selling himself as an Indian. So let’s say I was invited to speak at the University of Colorado, and at that speech I said these things: 1) It’s not modern America’s fault the Indians vanquished by pale faces didn’t have adequate military intelligence, and there’s no point in caring about them, anyway. They were only savages. 2) Small pox infected blankets were an acceptable means toward the end of American expansionism. 3) The federal government should give some thought to suing Indiana tribes – in particular those with casinos – as a means of recouping money spent through Medicare to treat cancer patients, because it was Indians who introduced tobacco to the white man. Would anyone scream about my right to free speech? Not likely. In fact, I would need overwhelming security just to get off the campus, and justifiably so; there are fewer strings of thought one could find more pointless or thoughtless.

But with all things being equal, what’s the difference between saying Indians had it coming and saying Cantor Fitzgerald’s employees had it coming? Intent. Each argument paints America as genocidal, but only the Churchill argument justifies targeting thousands of innocents when your beef is with a government you can’t touch. Free speech counts, even for the very dumb. However, it does us well to understand the difference between a legitimate free speech concern and unique nonsense that cannot be defended by anything other than your supporters yelling, “Free speech!”



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; churchill; plasticindian; wardchurchill

1 posted on 02/18/2005 5:18:57 AM PST by TGOMedia
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To: TGOMedia
Ward Churchill falsified his resume - that is a felony, a crime and should get him kicked out of his cushy, tenured place at University of Colorado at Boulder. That Churchill is a phony in many ways and uses his pulpit for the venom he spews, it is the lies he has operated under, all felonies, that should make prison a possibility. Activist teachers across the land – take note.
2 posted on 02/18/2005 5:33:17 AM PST by yoe
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To: TGOMedia

Had the Fraud substituted the term queers where he said Eichmans he would have been fire don the spot. He declared the Regents should be allowed to do their job- well they haven't done their job since they recieve dhis resume in 1980.they have denied students and others their forum for
free speech while protecting this fraud. He is a Dr. ,Lied about his military service and decorations, Lied about his purported Indian heritage. Yet the Univeristy has
protected him? Makes one wonder what the 60s commie agitator has on 'em other than their negligence ?


3 posted on 02/18/2005 5:34:07 AM PST by StonyBurk
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: TGOMedia
Free Speech huh?

The Libs want to fire the President of Harvard and stroke Churchill.....Stoopid libs.

5 posted on 02/18/2005 5:36:34 AM PST by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: TGOMedia
The right to free speech was first intended as political speech. Nevertheless, the right really only means anything if it applies to unpopular speech.

People don't have the right to employment from a particular employer. Most of us serve to a great extent at the whim of our managers.

People say that Churchill is tenured and, therefore, immune to the irritation of those that pay for his rantings. If that is so, the whole idea of tenure needs to be reviewed, because those that pay his way include the taxpayers. If taxpayers are forced to pay for someone to insult them, then government entities no longer exist at the consent of the governed.

Here's a bit of common sense. Colleges and universities that employ either stupid teachers or teachers who are con artists can't have much self respect.

6 posted on 02/18/2005 5:39:08 AM PST by stevem
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To: TGOMedia

What's really irritating to me is the way the left is being allowed to frame this discussion. This is not a free speech issue. Nobody is saying that this idiot Ward Churchill should not be allowed to spew his hate and stupidity all over the world if he wants to. This should be strictly a debate of taxpayer funding of hate speech.

Nobody would argue that our colleges and universities should not pay to have KKK spokesmen come to our young skulls of mush and scream about the evil explosion of evil Jews, Catholics, and Blacks. Then why should be allow taxpayer funding of the type of dribble and evil speech coming from Churchill? Allowing him to speak on a college campus is one thing. There should always be areas on college campuses where anybody with any kind of idea can set up shop and preach. But the universities should not pay or reward these people in any way for their horrible and often stupid opinion.


7 posted on 02/18/2005 5:47:00 AM PST by lnbchip
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To: StonyBurk

"He is a Dr."

I didn't see anything about him having a doctorate. At UC's website he is listed as having a MA while everyone else in his division is a PHD.


8 posted on 02/18/2005 5:52:38 AM PST by Lee Heggy ("In Missouri we don't call them "Guerrillas")
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To: Lee Heggy

"He is a Dr."

I didn't see anything about him having a doctorate. At UC's website he is listed as having a MA while everyone else in his division is a PHD.

He probably conferred the doctorate degree on himself, why not, he declared himself an Indian and he isn't. UC Boulder lets this asshole do whatever he wants. Next he'll decide he's the Dean of Students, or perhaps he'll put himself on the Board of Trustees. Give Ward whatever he wants, that's the U of C way.


9 posted on 02/18/2005 6:18:38 AM PST by Big Digger (I)
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To: stevem
Any system that assumes the virtue of one party over the other, e.g. "tenure", is going to be corrupted. IOW, what do you do when the oppressed (professor) becomes the oppressor?

Indeed, tenure needs to be re-examined.

10 posted on 02/18/2005 6:42:24 AM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: yoe

Not sure if you have herd the latest on Churchill.

The State of Colorado, like most other states, requires that professors sign an oath to support the Constitution of the US and Colorado before any person can teach or serve as a professor. Turns out that Churchill apparently has never signed such an oath. It also turns out that the courts have found it legal to fire any professor who refuses to sign the oath- without any hearing or due process.

This could be the needed justification for the spineless Regents and the University president Betsy Hoffman to get rid of Churchill. If they allow him to teach a single class without signing the oath, they are breaking the law!


11 posted on 02/18/2005 6:43:09 AM PST by Laserman
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To: Lee Heggy

I heard on O'R last night that he doesn't even have a Master's degree. The guy is a fraud, plain and simple.


12 posted on 02/18/2005 6:43:27 AM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: TGOMedia; yoe
Can anyone explain to me how Ward Churchill got full to be a department head or tenure without a PhD?

Is this not a minimal requirement for being a full professor, which is a prerequisite for the other two?

Anyone know how UC got around the basics? Even if he got hired through AA as a pseudo Indian, he shouldn't have been able to be any more than an Associate Prof...

13 posted on 02/18/2005 6:51:10 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: TGOMedia
IMO, the thinking error many make WRT to this issue is confusing "free speech" with subsidized speech.

Just because an employer decides they're not obligated to pay you while you do your speechifying, it doesn't follow that you're not free to speechify on your own dime.

Rent the hall, buy the ads, drum up willing sponsors, and go for it.

14 posted on 02/18/2005 6:51:30 AM PST by savedbygrace ("No Monday morning quarterback has never led a team to victory" GW Bush)
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To: randog; Lee Heggy; Big Digger
Not even a Masters???

SO has anyone heard any explanation as to how he got the promotions without the education? Did someone from UC explain it anywhere, because it's against all academic standards everywhere.

15 posted on 02/18/2005 6:53:54 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: TGOMedia
Of course Churchill has the legal right to speak his mind.

The question really is: "What constructive purpose does he serve?" The easy answer is, None.

16 posted on 02/18/2005 6:58:59 AM PST by GVnana (If I had a Buckhead moment would I know it?)
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To: TGOMedia


Gosh - I must have missed something!
Is congress attempting to pass a law to make Churchill shut up????

17 posted on 02/18/2005 7:05:20 AM PST by Zacs Mom (Proud wife of a Marine! ... and purveyor of "rampant, unedited dialogue")
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To: TGOMedia
3) The federal government should give some thought to suing Indiana tribes – in particular those with casinos – as a means of recouping money spent through Medicare to treat cancer patients, because it was Indians who introduced tobacco to the white man.

Actually, I can think of one or two litigations or potential litigations today which use the exact same reasoning behind this sentence.

18 posted on 02/18/2005 7:15:05 AM PST by CaptRon (Pedecaris alive or Raisuli dead)
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To: ohioWfan

did hear he was studying up to become a Master Baiter.
(Old joke I know but fits that old and foul smelling wind
Ward Churchill)


19 posted on 02/18/2005 7:23:44 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: Zacs Mom

I musta missed it two-- all I keep heairng from the
"already captured press" is how folk are trying to shut
him up-yet my contention all along has been he has every right to speak--but NO right to defraud the people and foment violent overthrow of our goverment while being paid
from the public trust.


20 posted on 02/18/2005 7:26:49 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: Zacs Mom
He's free to say whatever he wants on the street corner.

I believe the point in question is that he is not free to perpetrate fraud on the students at UC, and the taxpayers of Colorado who are funding this phony.

They have to be VERY careful to make that clear.

21 posted on 02/18/2005 7:34:56 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: StonyBurk

Precisely. It is the fraud that is the problem, and the taxpayers who are funding it.


22 posted on 02/18/2005 7:36:20 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: GVgirl
The question really is: "What constructive purpose does he serve?" The easy answer is, None.

Depends on your perspective. Ward has a position in the "Ethnic Studies" department at CU, and like any _____________ Studies departments at CU and universities across the land, the CU Ethnic Studies department exists solely as a political wing of the university. They're there simply to push the left-wing agenda prevalent at college campuses everywhere. Their main activities include political activism, indoctrination and promulgation of left-wing propaganda.

23 posted on 02/18/2005 7:44:21 AM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: ohioWfan; StonyBurk
The First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


Although I didn't make it is clear as I should have (sorry) my point is simply that unless and until Congress attempts to make a law abridging freedom of speech arguments of " infringement upon or violation of" free speech are nonsense and we should never buy into anyone's misuse of the 1st Amendment as a defense.

24 posted on 02/18/2005 8:18:22 AM PST by Zacs Mom (Proud wife of a Marine! ... and purveyor of "rampant, unedited dialogue")
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To: randog
Depends on your perspective.

I agree, but mostly disagree. I had an Ethnic Studies professor who could have passed for Churchill's clone. When you take Churchill's activities in balance he's on a destructive course, not one that contributes to the greater good.

25 posted on 02/18/2005 8:20:48 AM PST by GVnana (If I had a Buckhead moment would I know it?)
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To: ohioWfan

UC website Dept of Ethnic Studies has him listed as BA, MA, Sangaman State University. Take a look at Sangaman. He must have been there before it was absorbed by U of Illinois. Don't have a clue as to what his major was since Sangaman didn't have a catalog of classes or even departments or Deans. A real academic hippie heaven for budding commies.


26 posted on 02/18/2005 8:26:49 AM PST by Lee Heggy ("In Missouri we don't call them "Guerrillas")
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To: GVgirl

Read the rest of my post--we're on common ground.


27 posted on 02/18/2005 8:27:47 AM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Lee Heggy; randog
But he doesn't actually have an MA, right?

I'm a prof with an MA......an adjunct only. In some colleges I could be an Associate, but in NONE could I be a full professor, which is required to be a department head.

Even if the Masters is legit, the department headship cannot be, nor can the tenure.........at least as far as I know.

(Sangaman State, eh? One of your more prominant places of higher learning......)

28 posted on 02/18/2005 8:40:01 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: ohioWfan
prominEnt

Arrghh!! I HATE when I do that!

29 posted on 02/18/2005 8:42:08 AM PST by ohioWfan (George W. Bush........AVENGER of the BONES!!)
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To: Zacs Mom

Most certainly do agree. Our Courts need be reminded that there are laws/Constitutional Quotes (Constitution.org)
and there is that precedent discovered by the Judiciary
committees of the Senate Jan.19,1853;and House-March 27,1854
that discuss the Establishment clause-and these can be
reconciled to what Joseph Story and other significant Jurists and politicians had to say about that Amendment.
Their minds are become feeble with too much education and
too many distractions I fear -So I reckon it's up to We the
people to remind them they serve under the Constitution and
the laws pursuant to it -Nothing other than that will suffice.


30 posted on 02/18/2005 10:00:18 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: yoe

You are correct.

He claimed to be an American Indian - but 2 tribes have refused to authenticate him. He was hired under affirmative action because of his claim - and I believe that allowed him to claim that because American Indians are a "sovereign nation", Churchill might not have been required to sign a statement declaring to uphold the Constitution.

Churchill also claimed he "served" in Vietnam - but he only worked there - but he allowed people to assume he was in the military.

Being a LIAR - makes his whole application a lie - and he should be fired for those lies - and not because he's a nut case spewing junk about 9/11.


31 posted on 02/18/2005 10:20:48 AM PST by CyberAnt (Pres. Bush: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.")
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To: TGOMedia

Free speech is cool. Free from consequences or responsbilities of one's speech is not.


32 posted on 02/18/2005 10:21:38 AM PST by shellshocked
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To: CyberAnt

"Churchill also claimed he "served" in Vietnam - but he only worked there - but he allowed people to assume he was in the military. "

It seems he was in the military, but not the combat grunt he claimed to be. He was a Jeep driver and a project operator.


33 posted on 02/18/2005 10:23:59 AM PST by shellshocked
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To: TGOMedia

It's a bit silly, really. Churchill's right to free speech is not impeded one bit. In fact, he'll land more speaking gigs and sell more copies of his rancid little book off this than he would have had it never come up.


34 posted on 02/18/2005 10:36:19 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: shellshocked

Hmmmm? Interesting!


35 posted on 02/18/2005 11:16:24 AM PST by CyberAnt (Pres. Bush: "Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.")
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To: ohioWfan
But he doesn't actually have an MA, right?

According to a guest on O'Reilly last night, Ward does not even have a Master's Degree.

36 posted on 02/18/2005 1:18:28 PM PST by randog (What the....?!)
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To: StonyBurk

In the “Headlines We Would Like to See” category: Huge blast completely destroys CU campus. Coloradoans celebrate millions in improvements. Liquor industry laments. The only casualty appears to be the remains of 13/16ths of an old wore out hippy clutching a copy of the first amendment and half a pack of Pall Malls.


37 posted on 02/18/2005 2:02:27 PM PST by flyingx
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To: Zacs Mom

Gosh - I must have missed something!
Is congress attempting to pass a law to make Churchill shut up????

You didn't get the memo? :-)

(Seriously)
I want this....person(?) to have a primetime special on all the major networks. I want the entire country to hear what he has to say.


38 posted on 02/18/2005 10:36:00 PM PST by Valin (DARE to be average!)
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To: flyingx

You overlooked the scorched and faded photo of the hippie
in hapier times embracing Che Guevarra under a Commie flag.


39 posted on 02/19/2005 4:09:19 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: TGOMedia

FREE SPEECH is only truly FREE if that speech can be freely rebutted, refuted, contradicted, and countered. Otherwise, it is the dictatorial speech of a tyrant.


40 posted on 02/19/2005 12:05:23 PM PST by purpleland (The price of freedom is vigilance.)
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