Why do we remember Ward Churchill’s name when we can’t quite place some of the other academic charlatans who’ve spoken their “minds” recently:
“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.
“…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.”