Civil libertarians of convenience are agonizing over the fate of one Ward Churchill, a professor of "ethnic studies" at the University of Colorado, who said that victims of the World Trade Center slaughter had it coming. Charming fellow.
Churchill is typical of the hate-America academic left – a fifth column every bit as much a threat to our survival as Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
But what about free speech? Doesn’t Churchill have a right to express his vile views? Isn’t that what academic inquiry is all about – an intellectual exchange where all viewpoints are aired?
My friends, academic freedom is dead. The Left killed it.
Those who complain the loudest about threats to Churchill’s career, applaud the jackbooted repression that goes on at most campuses on a daily basis – in the name of multiculturalism, sensitivity and inclusiveness.
As I said, Churchill is typical of the mind-set that dominates our college and universities – call it Marxism for morons. It sees America (the greatest liberator in history) as a racist, colonial exploiter – subjugating Third World peoples, committing genocide and spreading misery across the globe.
The furor commenced when an essay that Churchill wrote shortly after September 11, 2001 came to light. Titled "Globalization: ‘Some People Push Back’ On the Justice of Roosting Chickens," it was pure venom.
Churchill called those who died when the Twin Towers collapsed "little Eichmanns" (in reference to the architect of Nazi genocide). He later explained that he was referring to the brokers and traders who were crushed under tons of rubble, not the janitors and children burnt to a crisp.
The former, you see, were part of a "technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire" – and, as such, the moral equivalent of the guards who gassed Jews at Auschwitz, Churchill asserted.
Nor were those who flew the planes into the World Trade Center terrorists but "desperate" men whose "gallant sacrifices" reflected "the courage of their convictions" – the courage to turn defenseless men, women and children into mounds of charred flesh.
"The war in which they were combatants has been waged more-or-less continuously by the ‘Christian West’ – now proudly emblematized by the United States – against the ‘Islamic East’ since the time of the First Crusade, about 1,000 years ago," Churchill explained. "More recently, one could argue that war began when Lyndon Johnson first lent significant support to Israel’s dispossession/displacement of Palestinians during the 1960s, or when George the Elder ordered ‘Desert Shield’ in 1990, or at any of several points in between."
So, the 9/11 victims weren’t just minions of America’s "global financial empire," but Christian crusaders and running dogs of Zionist imperialism to boot. Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, in a recent interview, Churchill called for America’s annihilation. ("I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether.")
To call the ravings of this tenured professor (annual salary, $96,000, courtesy of Colorado taxpayers) demented, is simplistic. Evil isn’t a mental illness.
Commissar Churchill’s little evil is a reflection of the greater evil of the ideological killers of the 20th century. More to the point, it’s a treasonous malignity embraced by much of what’s called the academic community – as well as a significant segment of the media (news and entertainment) and the Democratic Party.
Still, the families of those who died on 9/11 weren’t exactly thrilled. Colorado politicians responded to a tsunami of outrage. The state legislature condemned Churchill’s comments. Colorado Governor Bill Owens demanded his ouster. A February 3rd meeting of the Colorado Board of Regents ordered an investigation to determine if Churchill should be fired (he’s already resigned as chairman of his department), and then they formally apologized for his remarks.
Churchill’s attorney, David Lane, who called the Regents’ meeting "a lot of hand-wringing and tongue clucking," predicted that nothing will come it. "Ward Churchill is entitled, under the First Amendment, to have any opinions about anything – especially matters of public concern," Lane commented.
He’s probably right. The only people who get punished for expressing political views on the college campus are conservatives.
Back to Churchill’s defenders. With a few honorable exceptions, they are hypocrites. Imagine, for a moment, that the professor wrote an essay in which he observed: "We should have used nuclear weapons on Iraq. Muslims are a blight on the planet. The fewer of them, the better."
In such a case, there would be no resolutions, no investigations, no please to let-every-voice-be-heard. Instead, Churchill would have been summarily dismissed – after he was flogged, keelhauled, and tarred-and-feathered.
On most college campuses, opposition to racial quotas – which a majority of Americans reject – is treated as racism.
At a number of schools, College Republicans have held Affirmative Action Bake Sales, an amusing way to highlight the absurdity of preferential treatment. If you’re white or Asian, you are charged one price for cookies, and a lower price if you’re black or Hispanic.
Some schools have tried to ban the protests as offensive or intimidating (all-purpose excuses for curtailing speech) – until threatened with lawsuits. In 2004, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where Ward hangs his armband, the administration allowed a leftist mob to physically assault the Republican kids.
At Cornell and other schools, the sensitivity Gestapo have burned piles of conservative newspapers with, at most, a mild call for civility from the administration.
Like the University of Colorado, most colleges have speech codes that punish students for expressing ideas – based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality – that are deemed offensive. (Bet you didn’t know there was an "offensiveness" exception to the First Amendment, did you?)
Speech codes are ruthlessly employed to suppress dissent. It's safer to burn Old Glory at an American Legion convention than it is to say any of the following on the average college campus: Affirmative action is wrong; slavery was not a uniquely American sin; homosexuality isn’t genetically determined; there are psychological as well as physical differences between men and women, etc.
The censorship of conservative ideas and speech-code fascism are aspects of a more far-reaching problem. Another is the tenure process. Churchill – a squalid fraud spouting ‘60s jargon – has a job for life, or until mandatory retirement.
At a rally on the Boulder campus Tuesday evening, the Indian wannabe (he claims to be 1/16th Cherokee, a claim disputed by Native American spokesmen) told over 1,000 cheering supporters: "I do not work for the taxpayers of the state of Colorado. I do not work for [Colorado governor] Bill Owens. I work for you…."
He’s right. As a tenured professor, he is answerable to no one – unless he offends the prevailing leftist orthodoxy. Like judges who serve for life, he is a power unto himself.
The tenure system, controlled by liberal arts faculties who think like Churchill, weeds out conservatives early on. Usually, junior faculty members who write for conservative journals, express conservative ideas in class, or even make conservative arguments in newspaper columns or letters to the editor, are passed over and end up in the corporate world or teaching adult education classes.
That’s why a recent survey of 1,000 academics showed that there are seven Democrats for every Republican in the humanities and social sciences. Another study of faculty voter-registration disclosed that at Stanford and Berkeley, the ratio is 9-to-1 Democratic. Academics are frantic about achieving diversity, except for the only kind that counts -- intellectual diversity.
Sixties rioters are today’s professors, the equivalent of political commissars attached to the old Red Army. They’ve created universities that mirror their mindset. Women’s Studies, African American Studies, Hispanic Studies, ethnic studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies are excuses for neo-Marxist indoctrination (where race, gender, or sexuality substitute for "class").
Generally, university faculties are as intellectually homogenous as The Nations's subscription list. In terms of open debate and the free exchange of ideas, the campus is the most intolerant place in America. (Harvard President Lawrence Summers discovered this recently, when he speculated on why women are "underrepresented" in science and engineering.)
Should Ward Churchill be fired? The question is almost irrelevant. As the saying goes, Churchill is symptomatic of a raging disease – the academic Left (a redundancy, really) which loathes America, lionizes the killers of Americans, and longs for the demise of our republic.
In a way, Professor Churchill serves an educational purpose for the American people. As the old World War II posters cautioned: Know your enemy.