Continuing from the last post…
Not to worry, when Ward Churchill comes to join us at Concordia University on April 15, like magic we will turn that $1 award into many times that amount. In the meantime, the University of Colorado (CU) is obligated to pay Churchill’s legal fees, which at the moment are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, Churchill is now entitled to back pay, and in 30 days Judge Naves will rule on whether Churchill should be reinstated in his former position. I would expect CU will go deep into its pockets to try to buy Churchill out of his position, not to have its administrators and a number of their faculty have to eat humble pie on a daily basis. Apparently, the $1 award was, according to one juror, the result of one of the six jurors refusing to award any amount at all — failing to reach unanimity, the other jurors even asked the judge if they could replace the lone holdout. Perhaps unintended, their decision also minimizes the motivation by CU to seek an appeal, on whatever grounds it might imagine.
Needless to say, the vindictive and now sulking right wing as always chooses to personalize and demonize, so that now both the CU attorney and the jurors are being targeted for condemnation. (It would not be surprising to see sullen smear-blogs, launched by the usual anonymous hacks to probe into every detail of the life of each juror.) One can expect the radio shock jocks and various histrionic Malkins and Coulters to produce more of their perversely melodramatic denunciations of dissent, thereby further reinforcing Churchill’s central argument in this case. Hopefully it will be a long time before another North American university allows itself to become so degraded and so servile to dominant political interests of a given time that it produces such a farce.
Much more important than financial sums, however, as a testament to the discredit of CU and its politically motivated firing, is what the videos below tell us of the jury’s historic verdict today. It is not at all a situation where a lawyer lost the case for CU: all of the Big Eichmanns who ran the university, and the Little Eichmanns who served on the faculty committees, paraded through the court, are the ones who lost the case for CU, because it never had more than a political case to begin with. Their statements were weak, contradictory, often mendacious, and most importantly, validations of Churchill’s case. Their so-called investigation into Churchill’s research misconduct often amounted to little more than a laughable series of jejune and inchoate assessments that were frequently self-contradicting (I covered these here and here). As the news reports below said:
- Were Ward Churchill’s freedom of speech rights violated and did the University act inappropriately? YES.
- Was Ward Churchill wrongfully fired? YES.
- Did the University have enough reason [i.e., "research misconduct"] to fire Churchill otherwise? NO.
What Ward Churchill has done for all of us is to send a powerful message to each and every university: You are not entitled to determine what is acceptable expression on the part of faculty, thereby curtailing their rights as public citizens who are free to engage in dissent and opposition. Ward Churchill, thanks to his relentless pursuit of what is right and just, thanks to his sheer stamina and courage, has smashed a gigantic hole in the Wall of Silence, that national security wall of the militarized state, where power is abused in order to enforce the orthodox doctrines of the Western “master race.”
Churchill’s resistance was successful and efficacious resistance. He forced his many persecutors to face their own lies, their violations of the truth, their own fraud in misappropriating academic values in order to further sinister, extremist political goals. The result is that CU is rendered, in public, and as a matter of judicial fact, a fraud: an academic fraud that will prostitute the academy for the sake of the pet political projects of bankrupt neo-conservatives, and a political fraud whose actions speak volumes of the real nature of freedom in a so-called “liberal democracy.” Churchill has fought the neo-fascist, fear-based political order, and recuperated his dignity and integrity, and not just in his name. And so we are left to tally the ruins of the system that he, along with many others, has challenged so tenaciously:
- A failed ideology of neo-conservativism and of the New American Century (which lasted for less than a decade);
- Failed imperial wars of conquest;
- A broken-down and failed capitalist economic system.
In the meantime, the celebrations continue…
NEWS VIDEOS FOR 02 APRIL 2009:
CBS 4 DENVER
CBS 4 DENVER
7 NEWS (ABC) DENVER: Record of live coverage in the courtroom as the verdict came in