Friday, April 3, 2009

The Ward Churchill Verdict

In case you missed it, a jury concluded that former CU Ethnic Studies prof Ward Churchill was fired in part for his comments about 9/11 victims. They awarded him $1 in compensation, but it was a victory for him nonetheless.

This case affirmed the obvious:
1) Churchill became a victim of a witch hunt by conservative, led by former CO gov Bill Owens and the crazy right wing media after Churchill's comments became public.

2) Churchill had no business being a tenured faculty member of a major university. His credentials to begin with are sketchy (no Ph.D., only a masters from some school no one ever heard of), and his academic morals were non-existent.

So, what we have here is 2 groups behaving badly. First, CU hires an unqualified Prof, and keep promoting him, because he is a minority and they are committed to diversity. It didn't seem to matter that he was unqualified, and tended to plagiarize. He was a Native American (although, much evidence shows his Indian status is a fraud, and folks who work at CU have told me it's been a joke on campus long before this hit the fan) and that is all that mattered. I believe they even created the Ethnic Studies department in order to keep him from leaving.

Then, the Crazy Right decided they need to get him fired for saying something most of America didn't want to hear. These are, by the way, the same guys who become big defenders of free speech when it comes to campaign spending. Owens led the charge, pretty much threatening to cut off CU's funding if the didn't fire him, violating all the rules of academic freedom.

There are a bunch of lessons to be learned here, and let's hope both sides learn them. Meanwhile, the big winners are, as always, the lawyers, who made big bucks to try this case and prove the obvious.

1 comment:

Budd Bailey said...

And what happened to your ads, anyway?