Ron Radosh

The Ward Churchil Decision: The Jury Should Have Read David Horowitz First

That a Colorado jury ruled on Thursday that Ward Churchill, the now infamous former tenured professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, was wrongfully fired,  indicates something seriously wrong about leaving academic judgments by one’s peers to a jury. Evidently, Colorado jurors have been so brainwashed by political correctness they actually think that he was dismissed not for plagiarism and other proven charges of academic malfeasance, but because of his political views. As we all know, after 9/11, Churchill had said that the World Trade Center victims were “little Eichmanns,” who had died as a result of the chickens coming home to roost. In his eyes, victims of American imperialism had now suffered in a rebuke to their efforts at imperial conquest. As he explained his remarks most recently, he only meant that “if you make it a practice of killing other people’s babies for personal gain…eventually they’re going to give you a taste of the same thing.” He did not mean, he claimed, to make any statements harmful to the families of 9/11 victims.

As offensive and outrageous as Churchill’s remarks were, this is not why he was dismissed. That is why before they heard the case, jurors should have been given a copy of the new book by David Horowitz and Jacob Laskin, One Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine our Democracy. Had they read their introduction to the chapter “Ward Churchill U,” they would have learned beforehand that not only had Churchill plagiarized the works of other scholars, but that “he had falsified historical evidence, and even invented historical events in the service of his political agenda.” They point out that the faculty panel investigating Churchill, made up of his academic peers at Colorado University, issued a 125 page report that found “repeated instances of his practice of fabricating details or ostensible written evidence to buttress his broader ideological arguments,” and that he had no formal training in his would-be area of expertise. He had only an M.A. in communications from a now defunct experimental college. Nevertheless, Churchill taught at the university for years, and it was only in July 2007, two years after charges against him had first been made, that the Regents voted 8-1 to dismiss him.

Now the Judge that heard the case will rule whether or not the court issues an order that Churchill be reinstated to the academic position from which he had been removed. Should this take place, in effect it means that an incompetent and fraudulent individual can be appointed against the will of both faculty peers and a college administration by a judge, and his teaching will hence be inflicted upon hapless students.

The problem, as Horowitz and Laskin prove in their very important book, is that the situation at the University of Colorado is not an aberration. Indeed, in chapter after chapter using the actual course curriculum for scores of courses at universities throughout our nation, they show,
as Horowitz writes in the book’s conclusion, that “these changes include the subvention of academic goals by political agendas, the abandonment of scientific methods of inquiry, the devaluing of academic expertise, and the replacement of intellectual discourse with programs designed to instill sectarian doctrines.”

The problem, Horowitz writes, is not that points of view a majority may oppose are taught. Rather, it is that indoctrination takes place instead of teaching- and views of a radical minority are taught by professors as established fact. Students who have dissenting views are either forced to accept the professor’s views, or if they persist in holding their own, are given a poor grade. Instead of teaching students how to think, they are taught what to think. What takes place now in our universities is what he rightfully terms “an alarming departure from all past doctrines of academic freedom and academic standards.” When a feminist professor teaches radical feminist ideology as the truth- something that he shows in the text is the case at scores of our institutions of higher education- students are receiving “the antithesis of a liberal education.”

Because of his long and influential campaign for true diversity and academic freedom on our nation’s campuses, David Horowitz has received a bum rap from the progenitors of radical ideologies and advocates of political correctness. Now, he has taken to the pages of this book to show he knows what he is talking about, and to warn future students and their parents about the kind of mis-education they are receiving in many of our so-called finest institutions. There can be no better way to guard oneself before sending your child to college to read this book first, and be forewarned.