To almost no one’s surprise, the Boulder Faculty Assembly has come forward with a statement supporting colleague Ward Churchill’s right to free speech. According to the FOX News report, the statement read in part as follows:
The lifeblood of any strong university is its diversity of ideas which allows for the environment necessary to educate and train young learners and advance the boundaries of knowledge. Debate is a fundamental characteristic of a university.
In another unstartling development, Churchill’s colleagues in the Ethnic Studies Department demonstrated why they teach “ethnic studies” and not law, politics, or constitutional history:
Churchill failed to show up at a news conference scheduled Tuesday. Instead, four professors from the university’s ethnic studies department expressed “unconditional support” for Churchill’s “freedom of expression and First Amendment rights.”
We can all applaud to that! Someone may have to explain to them that the issue at hand is Churchill’s continuing employment with the CU faculty and not declarations of or recriminations from the United States Congress. No, it’s okay. Go ahead. Read the First Amendment. It does defend your right to political speech and expression from the infringement of the federal government. It doesn’t guarantee you a well-funded platform (whether by the taxpayers or anyone else) to say whatever you want and have a guaranteed job. That, my friends, is an issue of tenure. And we’ve explored that before.
“Look… look… we have the right to hate America and everything it stands for. You can’t fire us for that! Not for comparing America the Great Satan to Nazi Germany. Not for comparing innocent people to the architect of the Holocaust. We can hate America and everything it stands for and get paid for by Americans to express those views. The American Bill of Rights gives us this guarantee… Oh, hold on. I’m looking up the exact wording…. I know it’s in here somewhere….”