From David French and the New York Post.
“It’s said that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” For more than 25 years, con servative writers have been telling anyone who would listen that our higher education system was broken – that indoctrination was trumping education and our kids were throwing away their tuition dollars propping up vicious relics of the ’60s and supporting universities that were increasingly repressive. These words, coming from such luminaries as Allan Bloom, Dinesh D’Souza, Alan Charles Kors and David Horowitz, persuaded much of the conservative chattering class that something was wrong. But mainstream Americans seemed unconcerned, with their own (often fond) college memories drowning out even the most eloquent cries for reform.
Enter Ward Churchill. One could not paint a more perfect picture of a spiteful, out-of-control leftist academic. Certainly his words were shocking – comparing the civilian victims of 9/11 to a Nazi leader was not only shockingly vicious, it was shockingly stupid.
But if the case were a matter of words only, we would’ve already forgotten his name. Who, after all, remembers the Columbia professor who called for a “million Mogadishus?” Or the University of New Mexico professor who said, “Anybody who can blow up the Pentagon gets my vote?” Or the Xavier University professor who called an Air Force Academy cadet a “disgrace” and condemned his “aggressive baby-killing tactics?” For in Churchill’s case, there was much more at stake.
The more we learned about Ward Churchill, the greater the disbelief. It turned out that this academic gadfly wasn’t some low-ranked lecturer but the chairman of a department. And he became chairman of the University of Colorado‘s ethnic-studies department despite merely having a master’s degree in communications. (Most department chairs have doctoral degrees in the field they teach.) He loudly says he is Native American, but his claims were deemed “fraudulent” by the very tribe that he calls his own. Even worse, much of his academic work was found to be fabricated or plagiarized. Instead of a bold but controversial intellectual, America saw a charlatan promoted because of his politics.
True to form, the leftist academic establishment rallied to his side. In all, 199 of his colleagues signed a letter calling for the university to end not only any investigation of his free speech (a proper request) but also any investigation of his academic misconduct. Interestingly enough, these same 199 defenders of academic freedom were nowhere to be found when – months before – an angry campus mob vandalized a conservative affirmative-action protest. To these academics, free speech protects radicals only.”
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