The Other Charlotte and I have been blogging relentlessly about Ward Churchill, the self-described American Indian who’s somehow a tenured full professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder despite his lack of a doctoral degree and who gained notoriety for calling the victims of the 9/11 massacre “Little Eichmanns.” (See our posts here, here, here, and here.)
The authorities at Churchill’s taxpayer-funded employer are considering whether to fire him–but I myself agree with the New Criterion’s Roger Kimball, who says the real culprit isn’t Churchill, who’s entitled as a U.S. citizen to say whatever disgusting thing he wants outside his classroom, but outfits like the Kirkland Center for the Study of Gender, Culture, and Society, which have a stated mission to bring left-wing politics into college classrooms and so invited Churchill to speak at New York’s Hamilton College, where the Kirkland Center is housed. (The link to the Kirkland Center’s homepage is curiously non-operative right now, but here’s a cached version of it.)
But InkWell reader W.W. disagrees:
“With all the mewling about freedom of speech and academic freedom, I can think of at least a dozen things I might say that would get me fired without complaint from any campus. Like ‘Math is too hard for broads’ and other gems. Churchill went way beyond decency. Out with him.”
I still disagree–largely because the shoe could slide easily to the other political foot. I do agree, however, that a statement such as “Math is too hard for broads”–or Harvard president Lawrence Summers’s extraordinarily mild reference to studies showing that fewer women than men earn top scores on standardized math tests–may not get you fired if you’ve got academic tenure, but it sure will inspire the feminist ideologues essentially to call for your firing.
Update: “Raskolnikov” of All and Sundry tips us off that Ward Churchill is actually Gloria Steinem!