The Churchill case

11 Sep

I totally agree with what the professor Churchill said about the September 11th events, though I definitely regret what happened this day and have deep sadness for the victims and their families.

But actually who cares about my opinion as I express myself here and no one from my friends or my family will read me? Because this issue may well be about what can be said in private or in public.

I still wonder why in the USA everybody is so eager to give his or her opinion without looking objectively for the bottom of things so that others can form their own opinion. I mean it is not because I want something be true that it is. The best way to reach truth is to try to convince with objective, well-reasoned argument, not to persuade with profusion of images which call for feeling. Aren’t journalists and other people working in media, or professors supposed to give objective informations, and tell story the most faithfully possible? Everybody in medias and at school in the united states of America is publicly biased. Every day, every teacher in every school of every state of this country give his or her own, personal opinion about what he or she teaches. In media, journalists cannot stop express their feelings. Once in a political article of some newspaper, I read a “huh!” from the journalist who clearly meant he hated the politician he was writing about. Are we in a huge schoolyard?

So, given this fact, why was Churchill fired from his university since it is so common in this society to express one’s personal feelings on any issues? Does it mean that americans are willing to respect the first amendement only if it does not touch some sacred subjects, like the 9/11 events?

In this case Churchill just did what most of the other professors do when they teach or write a textbook: he gave his opinion. Then should he have expressed himself this way? If you want MY opinion, no he should not have because despite the fact his arguments was probably well thought and he had got many informations on that subject, again he put too much of his feelings in it. When one express himself or herslef it is actually very hard not to be biased BUT the less one can do is to try not revealing his or her own feelings on the subject so that the audience does not get hurt. The first amendment ensure freedom of speech for all but should add we are free to speak until a certain extent, which is not to hurt any of the member of the audience or the readers, or at least to avoid it as much as possible. The problem with Churchill’s essay is not its content but its form in the sense that it could have been a scientific point of view onto a certain issue, but written as he did it just turned once again into a provocative “Personally, me, I think that…”

Should he have been fired for this? No because this is the way most americans see their freedom of speech. It just looks like he was fired because his opinion did not match those of the president of the university of Colorado. Moreover Professors should have the right to explore different ideas, while staying objective (though in this case Churchill was not). If they were bound to only but one thought, like the government one for instance, it would be the beginning of a dictatorship. But we can notice that officialy Churchill was not found guilty for his ideas but for other issues.

To sum up, whether I agree with what Ward Churchill wrote or not does not matter. I disagree with the way he did it. Also I disagree with the fact he was fired since I do think he has not been more provocative than those we can see every day on television or read on newspapers. But objectively speaking, he could have talked about that this way with his wife, a beer in his hand in front of the tv, not in an essay he made public.


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