August 19, 2007

Ward Churchill Acknowledges University Indoctrination

Although indoctrination--teaching students what to think instead of how to think on their own--is something that others do, not Churchill himself:
“I was hired for what I do,” he said, not because of claims of Native ancestry. Likewise, “I’ve been fired for what I was hired to do.”

That, he said, is to provoke people into thinking about and challenging prevailing notions of U.S. history and global politics.

“Nobody is being taught how to think,” he said. Instead, most universities are “teaching people what to think. That’s indoctrination.”
Churchill seems to have a problem with projection. One scholar's provocation is another's indoctrination. At least he recognizes that the problem exists, though he has the roles and the agenda reversed.

He continues:
Churchill says he never expected his views to draw widespread attention, yet he has found that “it’s validating. I always had the expectation of restrictions” on free speech and academic freedom, he said, but “it’s an abstraction until you actually experience it.”

By firing him, the CU regents “gutted academic freedom,” he said. “Academic freedom only has meaning in the face of controversy and outrage.”
Translation: I never expected to be challenged! Academic freedom only has meaning when applied to scholars like me!

Churchill knows that controversy sells, so his claim of astonishment rings hollow.

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