Monday, March 7, 2005

Catching Up: On Ward Churchill

Ward Churchill is a professor at the University of Colorado, a public school, who has recently come under fire for comparing victims of the 9/11 World Trade Tower victims to Nazis in a 2002 essay. Churchill continues to defend his position. Recently, the University president has resigned under stress.

Some have argued that Prof. Churchill was simply making a statement on the complicity of some fictional "common American" to policies Churchill violently disagrees with. His statements have also been defended as simply "controversial" and a matter of free speech (regardless of whether free speech requires public funding by way of the professor's $96K annual salary).

Those arguments miss a fundamental truth that I haven't seen noted anywhere else. The basic truth is: the professor's statements are simply factually wrong. Try this comparison: if a math professor claimed 1 plus 1 was 5, insisted on teaching his students this lie, and continued to defend the lie when it was brought to light, that professor should be fired.

Similarly, Ward Churchill should be fired.

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