Churchill Affair: A Matter of Hypocrisy

February 15, 2005

As the sordid controversy of University of Colorado (UC) professor Ward Churchill plays itself out, what is perhaps the most damaging aspect of it has largely escaped notice: campuses' double standard in First Amendment matters.

Churchill, as widely reported, compared the World Trade Center victims on 9/11 to Nazis and praised their murderers as "gallant…combat teams." In the ensuing national uproar, Hamilton College in New York, which had invited Churchill to speak, decided to cancel the event, stating it had received threats of violence against Churchill and college officers. The college's president, Joan Hinde Stewart, covered her back with bogus free speech proponents by declaring: "We have done our best to protect what we hold most dear, the right to speak, think and study freely." UC initially responded to the scandal by evoking the First Amendment, although the system's Board of Regents later, to its credit, issued an apology "to all Americans" for the professor's comments, acknowledging that they had "brought dishonor" to the university...

Schools: University of Colorado at Boulder Cases: University of Colorado at Boulder: Investigation of Professor for Controversial Essay