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What if Professor Churchill insulted us?


Dec 17, 2004
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There were numerous problems at the University of Colorado that President Elizabeth Hoffman had to deal with, but the latest concerned the writing of a certain professor who made some inflammatory comments about 9/11.

I as do many on the Left support academic freedom in this case, and desire that more voices be heard concerning our foreign policy and its' possible contribution to the proliferation of hate around the world. Clearly professor Ward L. Churchill should not be fired or disciplined, but instead engaged in debate based on facts. If I understand his arguments correctly, I actually disagree with them both in scope and kind. America is the greatest country ever created, and every fact should be understood in that context. Those scouring his record, looking for a legal justification to punish his politically incorrect speech are dis-honoring the country we profess to love.

The questions for us are:

What if he said something similarly outrageous that offended the sensibilities on the Left? What if his opinion was that 9/11 was justified because we've offended Islamic people due to our tolerateration and promotion of adultetry, homosexuality, and abortions? What if his opinion was that the terrorists correctly struck us because we are promoting the idea that women can dress and act lewd in public, in movies, and don't have to listen to their husbands?

(on other topics)

What if he wrote that regardless of circumstance blacks score less than whites on tests because of inborn traits? or

What if he wrote that the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico has lowered our national IQ and led to many social problems?

I suspect many roles would be reversed, but a similar process of censorship would be underway. That is a problem in our great republic. The standard should be that a scholar seek to improve the body of knowledge in his field of study. They should be making a good-faith effort to inform, educate, and/or convince his colleagues and the public of the value of their work. As long as their goals are positive, we should stand on the side of curious souls desiring enlightenment. There are some tough questions potentially about the ultimate purpose of someone's scholarship.. We are able to judge the motives of an individual only by their whole body of work and their lifestyle. I would agree to work against a researcher whose goal was to re-institute slavery, or to return women to second class status. Though just because certain questions could lead to a misuse of the answers, that doesn't mean we should castigate the writer per se. People who attempt to study or explore sensitive areas rightfully have a burden to display a positive value to us as a society. We should be very liberal in examining that presentation. Any question should be resolved in favor of more debate, not censorship on any level.

If we can agree to reject the used of government and McCarthyism to discredit people and views we disagree with, and instead win through power of ideas, logic, and facts, we will shown the world that freedom actually does work well.

Craig Farmer

making the word "liberal" safe again!
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