February 20, 2005

I'm Not Exactly Beaming, But...

Yes, I'm a little proud. Not only did Ann Coulter come out with a column on Ward Churchill and his "free speech" which said pretty much the same thing I did, she even used similar examples:

If a math professor's "speech" consisted of insisting that 2 plus 2 equals 5, or an astrophysicist's "speech" was to claim that the moon is made of Swiss cheese, or a history professor's "speech" consisted of rants about the racial inferiority of the n-----s, each one of them could be fired by a state university without running afoul of the constitution.

Just because we don't have bright lines for determining what speech can constitute a firing offense, doesn't mean there are no lines at all. If Churchill hasn't crossed them, we are admitting that almost nothing will debase and disgrace the office of professor (except, you know, suggesting that there might be innate differences in the mathematical abilities of men and women).

and mine:

Is Ward forcing his views upon his students? Is he indoctrinating them in his own radical beliefs? This is what CU should be investigating, the same as if they received word of a math professor teaching that 1+1=11, or a geography professor who continually lectures his students that the world is flat.

Now, I'm a believer in the protection of free speech, even when it's unpopular. However, I also believe that the right of free speech is not absolute. There's always the old example of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, but you could also consider libel/slander laws, or even those court cases in which people were arrested for using profane language in public places. (The "cussin' canoeist" case was overturned on appeal, but people are still being charged under the same law.) We have to balance the right of individual expression with the possible harmful effect(s) it may have on others in the community.

I'd suggest that "great minds think alike," but that's just scary.


  1. Ward Churchill supresses student's own free speech rightsMy own personal experience when I was a student and Ward Churchill was a guest professor on my campus.


  2. I'd suggest she's ripping you off, then sue the hell out of her. Then again, she might kick your ass.

    I could also suggest that you and Ann Coulter are the same person. After all, it's a fact that no one, and I mean NO ONE, has seen the two of you in the same room at the same time. HMmmmmmmm.