Leftist members of academia are kind of like the gift that keeps on giving. They’re the professors who, no matter what the course is about, manage to slip in their liberal political opinions. One minute, they’re teaching how to conjugate the Spanish verb enseÃ±ar, and the next thing you know, they’re complaining about the Iraq war.
While most of them have understandable opinions, every now and then some liberal academic gets caught saying something that can only be called clinically insane.
The latest incident of this is an essay written by University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill. In the essay, Churchill described the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as “little Eichmanns,” referring to Adolf Eichmann, who was instrumental in organizing the Nazi extermination of Jews. The actions of the terrorists were characterized as “gallant sacrifices” in the essay. Displaying the typical anti-American mantra that often pervades the extreme left, Churchill also wrote, “The most that can honestly be said of those involved on Sept. 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to people as a matter of course.”
Such written nonsense wouldn’t be newsworthy if Churchill had not been asked to speak at Hamilton College in New York.
After word got out, relatives of the Sept. 11 victims called for the college to cancel the professor’s visit. Justifiably, the families were outraged that a supposed academic could actually write such irresponsible, ignorant and insensitive words.
CU’s interim chancellor responded by saying, “While I personally find his views offensive, I also must support his right as an American citizen to hold and express his views, no matter how repugnant, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.”
Oddly enough, I agree. Churchill should be able to speak, if for nothing else, to showcase his flawed reasoning. Also, unlike some leftists who often want to ban conservative speakers whom they deem offensive, I believe in freedom of speech and Churchill’s right to his opinion.
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Hamilton will likely increase the number of speakers to ensure what their spokeswoman referred to as the audience’s “sensitivity to hearing other voices.” And that’s the way it should be in instances like this: a panel of persons with diverse opinions. Schools get into murky water when they only give a forum to one side of any issue, especially if the school is taxpayer funded.
Liberals often argue that professors are more left-oriented because they are people who seek to accumulate more knowledge. Degradingly, they argue that right-wingers are more likely to hold jobs in big business because all they care about is money and power, not broadening their knowledge and understanding of the world.
The late libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick, himself a noted academic, once wrote an essay explaining why he thought professors tend to be liberal. In Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? Nozick’s basic theory was that those students who often do well in school and are praised by their teachers for excelling in book knowledge, find the private marketplace to be less rewarding of their academic skills. He wrote that those intellectuals who “expect to be the most highly valued people in a society,” in turn become resentful of the business world and gravitate toward jobs in institutions of higher learning where their skills are appreciated.
There may be something to Nozick’s theory on intellectuals despising capitalism. In his essay, Churchill wrote that the World Trade Center victims worked for the “mighty engine of profit, to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved.”
Whatever the reason, the sad part of all of this is, according to the Associated Press, Churchill’s wife said her husband is popular with students. Whether we like it or not, such extremist professors have a captive audience in many of their students.
Adam Fowler is a senior majoring in political science firstname.lastname@example.org