Shouting Fire


Ward Churchill is described as a public intellectual, and he doesn’t censor himself.  On 9-11, he posted what he believed the motive to be for such terroristic attacks, but rather than releasing it the day after as told to, he released it the day of. He gave his reasons, and supported them, fine, okay, nothing wrong with letting people be informed.

One of the first things I noticed about the segment involving Ward Churchill, was his hearing.  He was holding hands with what I assume were beloved students of his and also had students behind him backing his opinion.  He freely spoke over one of the committee members, even though he was told not to, saying “Let the students speak.”  That was just something that caught my attention, the way the students were there to defend their professor and show support.

When it was announced that he was fired from the University, students were in an uproar shouting profanities.  They knew their professor was wrongfully fired. The point that is brought up about the academic misconduct is a very valid point.  It closely resembles what law enforcement does when they have a seasoned killer and they just can’t catch them. Or rather, what happened in the Son of Sam case (or David Berkowitz). They didn’t catch him in the middle of a vicious murder, oh no, they caught him on a parking ticket. This instantly struck me as incredibly similar to what happened to Ward Churchill.

Could they get him on his 9-11 essay? No, like his lawyer said, it would be seen as an attack on freedom of speech, which would only lead to what I assume would be a massive uproar of people.  So they go for something that the public can’t really argue against, academic misconduct including: misrepresentation, fabrication, plagiarism, and failing to comply with established standards of research.  Well, I’m very sure that he is not the only professor in the world to not exactly comply with the rules to “t”, but they had to catch him, they had to show some sort of punishment for what he said. If it involved going into his past, digging up useless petty mistakes, then that’s what they had to do.

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