Tuesday, February 08, 2005

9-11 Professor Sues Over Canceled Speech

Thanks to PowerPundit for his link to this article. I thought all the brouhaha about Ward Churchill had died out for at least another day or two; guess I was wrong.

“On Monday, CU administrators announced they had canceled Churchill's planned speech because of security concerns, reported the Denver Post. Earlier this month, Hamilton College in upstate New York canceled a speech by Churchill because of death threats against the professor and its administrators.”

David Lane, an ( ACLU ) attorney for a pro-Churchill student group, told Denver station KDVR-TV: "The university ... is obligated to provide security for Ward Churchill. They simply can't put a gag in his mouth by telling him, 'Well, there are these violent wackos out there that want kill you so we're not going to let you give your speech.'"

(This is the same David Lane who is serving as co-counsel on the case in which the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging the constitutionality of a new law that requires teachers and students to recite the
Pledge of Allegiance every day in all Colorado public schools.)

The most important reason given for canceling the speech was a concern for the safety and well being of Professor Churchill; whose life had been threatened, along with those who might be in close proximity of him. The American Civil Liberties Union has defended Churchill, calling on regents, legislators and the governor "to stop threatening Mr. Churchill's job because of the content of his opinions." In other words they are attempting to link all of Churchill’s woes to the First Amendment and his right to free speech. Either that or they suspect that the regents, the legislators and the governor are the primary suspects in the threats on Churchill’s life. (They might have to get in line)

Unfortunately for us all; Mr. Churchill's speech isn’t free. He’s a paid representative of the University of Colorado and when he is on loan to other “establishments of higher learning” he is paid a fee on top of his teaching salary. I see nothing “Free” about it.

Maybe a refresher course in First Amendment is in order:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Look at what it says, “Congress shall make no laws…”, it says nothing about the private sector being able to regulate its own affairs, nothing. This has been abused for so long that kids think they can talk back to their parents, that they can talk back to teachers, that employees can say whatever they want and so on until there is no accountability for ones actions. This was never the intent of the First Amendment.

Take a giant leap forward into the litigation industry; what kind of damage lawsuits would be filed if the university had permitted the speech to go on? Even had additional security measures been taken, even had the university done everything humanly possible; if anyone were injured or killed there would be no way to defend themselves. The only way to avoid that particular lawsuit was to wash their hands of the gathering altogether.

The next step for the University of Colorado is to terminate Churchill’s employment altogether. The same security risks will continue for anyone who is about him when he teaches. If only one student were to be injured as a result of some “wacko’s” attempt to silence Churchill it could bankrupt the university due to their negligence to take proper precautions.

“It’s not personal, its only business.”, as they say.

*** Here is an interesting PS: You will have to read my very next blog to believe it.***

No comments: