The Right Coast

March 02, 2005
 
Churchill's Spirit Marching On
By Maimon Schwarzschild

No one who knows American higher education today will be surprised that Ward Churchill's successor as "chair" of the University of Colorado's Ethnic Studies Department sounds more or less like Ward Churchill:
The acting chair of the University of Colorado ethnic studies department seems in some respects to be picking up where her predecessor, Ward Churchill, left off. In a slightly disjointed, poorly written essay for Counterpunch, a leftwing Web newsletter, Emma Perez suggests criticism of Churchill is a "neo-con test case for academic purges." In other words, Churchill is under siege from a vast rightwing conspiracy.
Nor that Churchill himself was an invited speaker this week at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Nor yet that Churchill is being paid $4,000 for his gracious appearance: "[t]he school is paying $1,400 of Churchill's honorarium through student fees, the balance through private donations", according to the indispensable Rocky Mountain News. Students pay "student fees" compulsorily, of course. These fees are used on many campuses to fund politically tendentious events. No prizes for identifying what the political tendency always is. Meantime, at the University of Wisconsin,
just prior to Churchill's address, a student rally celebrating free speech - and Churchill's appearance - will take place on campus, sponsored by the College Democrats, the campus Green Party and the Whitewater United for Peace Party.
No prizes, either, for guessing whether the College Democrats "rally for free speech" when, or if, there is ever a speaker at the University of Wisconsin whose views are not so much to the liking of the College Democrats, the campus Green Party, and the Whitewater United for Peace Party.