Friday, July 27, 2007

Better late than never

Justice was finally served this week as the execrable Ward Churchill, aka Chief Lies-a-Lot, was fired from the University of Colorado-Boulder on an 8-1 vote by the Board of Regents. What is disturbing is that he was there in the first place, and how many more just like him still infest our campuses.

Churchill’s entire career at Colorado was based on a lie. He misrepresented himself as an American Indian to gain a racial preference (aka affirmative action) position for which he would never have qualified as a white man. It’s not merely that he would have been “rejected for applying while white” (a close relative of “arrested for driving while black”). It’s that he was grossly unqualified for a tenure-track position at a major university. How many tenured history/[insert PC term here] studies professors do you know that have a MA in communications? This is a guy who should have been covering a couple of night classes at the local community college if he was involved in academia at all.

That alone would have been ample reason to fire him, but he was just warming up. What followed was an embarrassing body of “scholarship” that included generous helpings of plagiarism and outright fabrication. How did he survive so long with such a prolific record of dishonesty? Simple – political correctness.

One of his infamous lies is that the US Army carried out a genocide by deliberately infecting Indians with small-pox. Anybody who follows the preferred narrative that American history is one of evil white men trampling upon poor, righteous men of color can say pretty much anything he wants without being challenged. As long as it further advances the story that our universities want told, an outdated notion like truth is unimportant. And our historical record is increasingly tainted because of it.

How endemic is this kind of racist worldview? Have a gander at some of the rants on far left and/or academic blogs this week. They actually believe that he was wrongly fired, indeed that he was only removed for engaging in his hobby of contemporary anti-American hate speech (have to throw “contemporary” in there to differentiate from the historical anti-American hate speech that is his work), in particular his likening the victims of 9/11 to a Nazi who facilitated the Holocaust. That is undeniably deranged and disturbing, but if we start firing college professors for over-the-top hate speech there won’t be many of them left. Sorry folks, Churchill was fired for serial academic fraud, nothing more and nothing less.

Chief Lies-a-Lot’s demise was a very good thing for American education, but he’s only one of thousands pitching distorted and dishonest worldviews of hate to mostly young and impressionable minds. Removing one cell of a cancerous tumor can’t hurt, but the patient is still critical.

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