Monday, February 28, 2005

Are his 15 minutes of fame over?

I guess everyone has heard of Ward Churchill by now. He is the professor of Ethnic Studies at University of Colorado at Boulder. His essay on the 9/11 attacks contained the following gem:

As for those in the World Trade Center, well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly.
And even worse, this tripe:

If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.
With the extensive but recent coverage of his essay it has come to light that his
Indian heritage is a sham, he exploits Indians, he may have broken copyright law, he has been accused of plagiarism and fabricating evidence, he is a Baathist sympathizer, he advocates terrorism, he hates The Simpsons, he drives a Ferrari and he is a Log Cabin Republican (OK, I made up the last three items).

While the
free speech issue is being bandied about, it is really just a red herring. Churchill has no business being a tenured professor in Ethnic Studies. A master’s degree in Communications and teaching the Weather Underground how to build bombs is not good enough. Free speech is not a trump card for plagiarism and lying in scholarly work. I wouldn’t doubt that this guy is a lousy teacher.

I say fire the guy not for what he says but for what he has done. He’s had more than his 15 minutes