Monday, February 28, 2005

 

Scream therapy

Okay, I need some serious scream therapy. The latest in the Ward Churchill saga is a full-page ad taken out in the Boulder Daily Camera by 200 C.U. faculty members (note that they didn't take it out in a national paper--we wouldn't want any prospective parents of students that live in Iowa to see our true colors, now would we?) in full support of a man who should be behind bars for any number of reasons (let's start with assault on Carol Standing Elk, in whose face he spit and whose wrist was broken by his then-wife, then we can move on to copyright infringment, resume fraud, plagiarism, take your pick...). They're trying to turn this back into a "free speech" issue, when those of us with half a brain fully realize that it's gone way beyond any First Amendment rights.

No, Ward Churchill should not be fired for what he said, but he should be fired, tried and jailed for everything else he's done. Period.

Let's take a small example, since his supporters are now saying that nobody would have looked into him at all if he hadn't written that essay. Let's say a man kills his wife in Chicago in 1989. He then lives his life rather peacefully in San Diego. One night in 2005, he's pulled over for a broken tail-light in San Diego. The police officer runs the man's record, and finds he's wanted for the murder of his wife in Chicago (things like this have actually happened). Now, if you follow the reasoning of Ward Churchill's supporters, the police officer should quietly write the killer a ticket for a broken tail-light and send him on his way. After all, the man's record was only being looked at for a traffic violation, wasn't it?

The University of Colorado at Boulder is in serious, serious trouble. Betsy Hoffman, the president, is now under investigation, going back 5 years. There was a sex-for-recruitment football scandal, there were at least 2 alcohol-related deaths of undergraduates, and now this. The University's regents will eventually be up for re-election, and I personally plan to check the "No" box on each and every one of them when asked to decide whether they should be returned to office. I will do this whether or not they buy out Ward Churchill (estimates are as high as $10,000,000 as of this morning on a possible buy-out offer), whether or not they fire his sorry butt. There needs to be a major change in the school itself. I have no idea how to accomplish this, but I do know, standing here with 2 daughters who could possibly attend this particular school, that something must be done, reforms must be implemented. The entire tenure system must be looked at very, very carefully (Ward Churchill gained tenure in one year, without a doctorate, when it normally takes six to seven years and a doctorate to achieve tenure).

If a student submitted a plagiarized thesis, that student would be thrown out of whichever institution he or she was attending. If a man passed himself off as a legitimate medical doctor, and it was later found that he had never, in fact, received a Ph.D. of any kind whatsoever, that man would be jailed and compensation would be ordered for his victims. If a man or woman claimed African American blood on their job application and were then hired based on Affirmative Action and were later found to be not only white but a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, what do you think would happen to that person? Ward Churchill is a self-proclaimed former member of the Weather Underground, and is on tape teaching a man how to bomb Seattle or Wall Street, and yet he walks free.

If the buy-out happens, I guess we've all learned a very valuable lesson, haven't we? We've learned that crime pays...

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