Passions are rapidly escalating in the Ward Churchill controversy, with the professor reporting vandals spray-painting swastikas on his truck as it was parked in his driveway overnight. The Colorado House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution Feb. 2 condemning him, calling his remarks an "evil and infalmmatory blow to the healing process." The state senate voted up the statement the following day. The U. of Colorado regents met later that day to issue a formal apology to "all Americans", but the session was disrupted by several student activists with signs reading "WITCH HUNT" and "Protect Freedom of Expression." (The usual public commentary period at the session was barred.) (Rocky Mountain News, Newsday, Feb. 3)
The conservative news commentator Bill O’Reilly, who repeatedly urged viewers to send e-mail protesting Churchill’s planned appearance at New York’s Hamilton College (thereby sparking the media flare-up), currently has a poll on his web site, "Should Prof. Ward Churchill be fired from the University of Colorado?" Although he apparently called the vandalism and death threats an "unfortune plight" on the Feb. 2 "O’Reilly Factor," there is nothing on the web site expressing contrition.
Churchill insists he will sue if he is fired. His critics say he is entitled to his freedom of speech, but that Colorado taxpayers have no responsibility to subsidize it.
What do you think?
See our last post on the Churchill affair.