Friday, April 3, 2009

Shitting Bull

Ward Churchill, caucasian and former ethnic studies professor, strode from the Denver County Courthouse yesterday a vindicated man. He had brought suit against his former employer for wrongful termination. Churchill, who enjoyed tenured status in spite of his thin academic credentials, claimed that the university forced him out in response to significant public outcry over an essay he had written making the case that certain victims of the World Trade Center collapse had it coming to them.

The university maintains that Mr. Churchill, who is of decidedly European descent, was fired due to his demonstrated history of fraud and questionable scholarly output. The jury didn't see it that way, and ironies abound how that came to be.

Churchill was granted tenure by the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991, just one year after being instated as an associate professor and a full five years before the end of the typical six-year probationary period. The privilege came at the height of a political correctness mania that has yet to release its stranglehold on academia. So Churchill was granted his position in large part because of his self-identification as some kind of Native American.

I repeat: Ward Churchill is a white man. White.

In 1994, the school refused to act on complaints that Churchill had fabricated his Indian heritage. Race and ethnicity were "self-proving", they said. In other words, if a cynical white man wants to make a career out of further exploiting a protected minority by posing as one of their number, then that is his business. Besides, the university said with a straight face, they don't hire on the basis of ethnicity. For the ethnic studies department. A guy who'd worked as affirmative action officer for a dozen years. On the strength of scholarship propelled by a bogus personal narrative. Well.

It would appear that the only "chickens" that "came home to roost" as a result of Churchill's ugly 2001 screed were the university's, for failing to carry out their due diligence in the first place. By the time administrators had carried out a proper investigation, and reached the appropriate conclusion to fire him, the wily professor had already established that the only reason he faced scrutiny was the unpopularity of his remarks. The jury agreed.

At trial, Churchill insisted that it wasn't about the money. Jurists took him at his word. He was awarded one dollar.

It's not so bad. I hear McDonalds has added more items to their Dollar Menu.


  1. The problem here at least in part is that the university really did respond due to the controversial political views which makes the university investigation and response look questionable. The issue then becomes, given how many serious problems there were with Churchill should the university still have a right to fire him? I would have said yes. Apparently the jury disagreed. I suppose there is still the one remaining hope of getting rid of tenured people: if everyone acts nastily enough to the guy eventually he'll realize he's no longer wanted.

  2. HA! This guy isn't going anywhere. His entire hustle is premised on victimhood. Treat him like scum and it will be like throwing gasoline on the fire.

    Thanks for stopping by, Joshua.