investigation of the plagiarism charges against ward churchill

tom mayer, a sociologist at the university of colorado boulder, has investigated the plagiarism allegations against ward churchill and found them to be "superannuated, unproven, substantively inconsequential, and either wrongheaded or misdirected."

the conclusion to his report is worth reading for its exposition of the moral cowardice of liberals - at least most of the liberals who prof. mayer has discussed the churchill affair with. those who observe the political scene will not be surprised. nor will they be surprised that the fascists who support the witch hunt deluged mayer with vulgar and inarticulate hate mail. as liberals are cowards, so are fascists idiots. the full text of the conclusion is below.

Procedural fairness in modern jurisprudence requires that accusation, formal charging, decisions about evidence, and imposition of penalties should be clearly separated. This has not happened in the case of Ward Churchill. The CU administration, usually in the person of Provost Philip DiStefano, has functioned as Churchill’s accuser, grand jury, tribunal selector, and sentencing judge. This concatenation of roles makes it easy for political motivations to penetrate the process of adjudication. While a charade of academic due process has been maintained, the treatment of Ward Churchill strongly resembles a political lynching. The plagiarism charges against Professor Churchill are superannuated, unproven, substantively inconsequential, and either wrongheaded or misdirected. His reputation as a scholar has suffered egregiously and unjustifiably as a consequence.

Due to my own involvement in his defense, I have talked to many people about the Ward Churchill affair. Most of these interactions have been disheartening to say the least. Among other things, I have received a considerable number of hate letters and e-mails characterized mainly by inarticulate rage and vulgarity. More discouraging, however, is the response of many purported liberals who claim to support academic freedom and who know something about the history of McCarthyism. Usually these individuals are completely unfamiliar with Churchill’s work and misunderstand the “little Eichmanns” phrase that is reiterated ad nauseam in the media. Knowing that a panel of reputable academics has found him guilty of plagiarism, all concern for academic freedom vanishes and my liberal interlocutors often express contempt for Churchill and support draconian penalties. They fear that the reputation of liberalism might suffer from support of a proven plagiarizer. They recoil from thinking that a panel of reputable academics could be swayed by private animosity or the prevailing political climate. Only with the greatest reluctance do these purported liberals consider contrary arguments or evidence. During these interactions I become painfully aware of how profoundly both Professor Churchill and freedom of critical thought have been wounded by this politically inspired inquisition. A just monetary compensation for Ward Churchill would be very expensive indeed. The damage to freedom of thought may be irreparable in the near future.

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