Churchill: Academic or Fool?
whoooaaaa whoaaaaaaa and whoa there big fella...
First, I want to start out by saying, this isn't about Churchill...this is about academic freedom and the point of higher education.
No one has the right to teach at a large, public institution...you have to get hired...which isn't easy at a large, public institution
Let's remember that this isn't grade school...these aren't children absorbing whatever comes out of an authority figure's mouth. These are adults (albeit young, silly, irresponsible adults) to whom these institutions are suppose to teach critical thinking. There's a reason why they're called professors and not teachers.
In a university setting...what's the difference between a professor that says "racial purity is essential to the nation" versus one who says "is racial purity essential to the nation?" I would argue that its not much of a difference at all but I have a feeling you would allow for the latter question but not the first.
The Yellow Line’s Response:
Is there ever a limit to what an academic can say and still be considered an academic? My problem with Churchill is that he's absolutely NOT teaching critical thinking. He's teaching a radical ideology grounded on hyperbole and pseudo intellectualism.
Certainly the man has a right to speak his mind, but how can you classify his disjointed thoughts as academic? I don’t really think he’s “dangerous” in the sense that he’s warping the minds of his students. I just think he’s an idiot that has no business masquerading as a professor.
This isn’t about academic freedom. It’s about academic integrity. And Ward Churchill’s ideas have no integrity.
I am very wary of condemning any professor on the basis of his or her beliefs. But why can’t a professor be removed if they’ve continually exhibited a complete lack of concern for the standards of academia? Churchill isn’t a social scientist who gathered evidence and came to the shocking and painful fact-based realization that America is the root cause of all the world’s problems. Churchill is a crackpot who, for whatever reason, vehemently hates America and contorts facts and analysis to justify his hatred.
This is not the appropriate man on whom to attach a crusade in favor of academic freedom. It’s an intellectual trap to think that by defending Churchill you’re defending anything more than shoddy academia.
If you want a real case of academic persecution, look no further than Larry Summers, the President of Harvard.