Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Free Speech isn't Free...

when the public pays your heating bill. This whole Ward Churchill mess has brought to the forefront the problem of tenure in general. We want our educators to be able to speak their mind, but when that speech crosses over into genocidal hate-speech, the taxpayers have a right to demand accountability. Would we even be uttering the words "free" and "speech" together if Churchill had said that the victims of genocide in Rwanda deserved it because they belong to a corrupt society?

In a way, I see this as a possible watershed moment in how the public views not only "progressive teaching" (aka, reconstituted hate-speech) in our schools, but also the views of modern leftism in general. Churchill's views, I am sad to say, are really just the standard-issue bumper-sticker fodder that passes for critical thinking in the left today.

Let's be realistic about this and apply it in real-time. Ask the next faculty member from a public institution that you meet what they think of Howard Zinn's "People's History of America". I, by way of faultless internal polling methodology, believe you have a 90% (+ or - 3%) chance of getting an answer something like this: "I think his work is some of the most important work since Huxley or Marx". Then, do me a favor and read "People's History of America" and tell me how it's all that different from "On Roosting Chickens..."

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