Separation of Churchill and State

The free-speech chickens come home to roost at CU.

Tarnished by a party-school, rather than a war-party, reputation? Oh, those were the days.

"I don't know, except that people, grown-ups and kids, seem to want to hurt each other -- and it's worse when they're in a group."-- Bless Me, Ultima

When free speech is stifled, it explodes elsewhere. Last week, CU's Department of Environmental Studies voted to end classes taught by longtime instructor Adrienne Anderson at the end of the semester, citing budget cuts as the reason.

Anderson doesn't buy it. "While CU President Elizabeth Hoffman has touted the 'University Without Walls' concept," she argues, "and service learning programs are promoted as a viable means for involving students in community-based service as an important component of their educational experience, one must wonder why walls go up when certain practices and policies have been revealed, especially when some of CU's major donors' practices and pollution records are at issue, along with failed oversight by the Governor and his agencies."

No, Anderson doesn't buy the budget-cut explanation -- and thanks to CU's boneheaded behavior, she doesn't have to.

It was like a tomb, without the kids the schoolhouse was a giant, quiet tomb with the moaning wind crying around its edges. It was strange how everything had been so full of life and funny and in a way sad, and now everything was quiet. Our footsteps echoed in the hall.-- Bless Me, Ultima

Ward Churchill's latest book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which contains the offensive essay of the same name, recently won an honorable mention in the Gustavus Myers Human Rights Award. "The bottom line of my argument," Churchill says in a statement posted last week on the website of CU's Department of Ethnic Studies, the department he'd headed until three days earlier, "is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9/11-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the ŒGood Germans' of the 1930s and '40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else."

He should have won the award for revisionist history.

Still, when the chickens come home to roost, CU's response remains chickenshit.

"I will tell you as I see it. I think most of the things we call evil are not evil at all; it is just that we don't understand those things and so we call them evil. And we fear evil only because we do not understand it."-- Bless Me, Ultima

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