Baronger's Scribblings

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Ward Churchill

I stand by the first amendment in that he does have a right to say what he wants. However, he does not have a right to insist that others pay him to say it. He is being paid by the tax-payers of Colorado to say what he says. By firing him the tax payers would exercise their right of free speech.

So I say that he can say what he wants to say, but he has to pay for it himself. I'm pretty sure he has enough of a podium now that he can actually fund raise and go on a speaking tour. Just so long as people who don't want to give him money aren't forced to pay for him I say let him speak his peace.

He is doing more harm to his cause every time he speaks. Freedom of speech means that you can say anything you want to in any medium. It doesn't mean that the medium has to be supplied to you. You can stand on the soapbox and shout your views, but you have to supply the soapbox. You have no right to force others who disagree with you to build the soapbox for you.

His soapbox right now is his tenure. There is evidence that he got this tenure by fraudulent means. Some are saying that he is not using his tenure properly and meeting it's obligations. His tenure is his soapbox, that was built and maintained by the taxpayers of Colorado. The giving of the soapbox is an act of "free speech". The taxpayers of Colorado have the right to take back the soapbox and give it to someone else.

The only way to really deal with him is to shun him. Until he advocates the violent overthrow of the government in time of war there is nothing to be done with him. The way to deal with him is more free speech. However I am also concerned about the free speech of students are under the charge of an ideologue.

Let the professor go off and build his own soapbox is what I say. That's what Michael Moore did. Michael Moore doesn't receive money from taxpayers, he has built his own soapbox (which is very heavily reinforced). What will probably happen is he will just go off and become Michael Moore Light. Look for him on the local speaking circuit. Just make sure that he is paid funds from ticket sales only and special fund raisers.

A newspaper has no obligation to print your views. A television station has no obligation to give you free air time. Both organizations are businesses which have operating expenses and their own rights to free speech. Same with a university funded by the state. The question is where does your right to free speech stop and my right to free speech begin. The providing of funds for speech has long been found to be speech itself. By buying a ticket to a Ward Churchill speech you are engaging in speech yourself. But forcing someone to buy a ticket means that you are taking away someone's free speech.

Tenure reform is a post for another article. Tenure has the same pros and cons as does lifetime appointments for judges. It's complicated and there are pros and cons to it. My main point is that both take away accountability. A position that is supposed to serve the people must be held accountable to the people. Absolute power tends toward absolute corruption.

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