Column: My bad on Ward Churchill controversy
"At long last, I get it.

I was slow on the uptake, I admit, but have finally come around. For much of my life, you see, I labored under a great delusion. I thought public officials had a duty to speak out and rebuke someone in their ranks — or even a prominent constituent — who said something morally repellent.

I stand corrected, thanks to Ward Churchill's attorneys and the media apologists for this week's verdict in favor of the former University of Colorado professor. And I am most grateful for the education.

It turns out that the proper political response to vile statements by a public employee is ... silence — or, at most, a bland and ambivalent expression of discontent.

One should never, for example, dub an outrageous statement "disgraceful" or suggest it brought "dishonor" to an institution. Both of those strong words were employed by CU's regents in response to Churchill's 9/11 essay glorifying terrorism, and we've been instructed that their use was a mistake. Worse than a mistake, actually: These expressions of opinion themselves became, through some strange alchemy that I still strain to understand, an assault on free speech.

A professor is free to say anything; public officials are, too, so long as they don't say much of anything about the professor."

Get the Story:
Vincent Carroll: Mea culpa on Churchill (The Denver Post 4/4)

Other Views:
Larry DeWitt: Ward Churchill: He’s Baaack! (History News Network 4/6)
Thomas Brown: Truthiness v. Scholarship: Ward Churchill’s Day in Court (History News Network 4/6)

Another Story:
Churchill $1 award result of one juror ( (The Denver Post 4/4)

Related Stories:
Ward Churchill wins wrongful termination lawsuit (4/3)
Editorial: Churchill wins $1 more than he deserves (4/3)
Jury deliberates Ward Churchill termination lawsuit (4/2)
Churchill continues testimony over university firing (3/25)
Ward Churchill testifies in trial over university firing (3/24)
Opinion: 'Anything goes' for Ward Churchill (3/18)
Opinion: Ward Churchill too tough one to defend (3/13)
Opinion: Ward Churchill murdered scholarship (3/11)

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