But I have to return to the Churchill subject for a brief moment. Paul Campos, a CU professor of law, writing in the Rocky Mountain News, raises an interesting point with regard to Churchill's status at CU.
Truth be known, college campuses today are chock full of "intellectuals" who can't put a sentence together. Who are illiterate. Unread. Unable.
But while the question of whether a brilliant scholar with a fascist streak ought to be considered for a place on a university faculty retains at least some academic interest, it has nothing to do with Churchill, whose writings and speeches feature an incoherent farrago of boundless paranoia, wildly implausible theories, obscene celebrations of murder, and atrocious prose.
The question of whether a serious research university ought to hire someone like Churchill is laughable on its face. What's not so funny is the question of exactly how
someone like him got hired in the first place, and then tenured and named the head of a department.
That, in the end, is a more important question than what will or ought to happen to Churchill now. Churchill is a pathetic buffoon, but the University of Colorado is far from alone in having allowed itself to toss intellectual integrity and human decency overboard in the pursuit of worthy goals.
Speaking truth to power, giving a voice to those who have been silenced, pursuing controversial and unpopular ideas in an intellectually rigorous way - these are all things that the university in general, and this university in particular, has done and continues to do.
That through whatever combination of negligence, cowardice and complicity we have allowed Ward Churchill to besmirch those ideals by invoking them in the defense of his contemptible rantings is now our burden and our shame. (link)
How can this be, you ask? A university striving for excellence wouldn't tolerate mediocrity in its midst, you say? Wrong. Hatred and ethnicity (as well as sexual incongruities), especially in combination, will get one a chairpersonship at most any accredited university today. The fact that that person is completely inarticulate - or even insane - is of secondary importance. As long as they spew their venom in the appropriate direction - towards the rest of us.