Sunday, March 15, 2009

Churchill, Holocaust deniers: what's the diff?

Still weird to say this: Vince Carroll in the Post:
Both Ward Churchill and the University of Colorado seem to agree that the First Amendment protects a professor who makes inflammatory remarks outside the
classroom. Their dispute in Denver District Court is about whether the university fired Churchill for his speech anyway under the pretext of academic misconduct.

Yet does anyone seriously believe that tenure and the First Amendment would provide a comprehensive shield for any offensive speech — or that they should? Would they protect a tenured historian who showed up one day at a conference to announce his belief that the Holocaust was a hoax or that blacks were intellectually inferior?
Well, according to a self-satisfied Evelyn Hu-DeHart in her testimony at Churchill's trial: Yes, as long as they offer "evidence" (scroll down a little).

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