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Freedom of Speech in Action

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It doesn’t happen often, but I disagree with Jeralyn’s previous post on Ward Churchill.

Not with the main point of her post — that Bill Owens’s response to Churchill’s deplorable remarks is grandstanding of the worst sort (the fact that he made his call for Churchill’s firing in a letter to be read at a Republican rally makes that abundantly clear).

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But, unlike Jeralyn, I do think that Churchill’s support for violence crosses an important line, and that he ought to lose his tenured position at the University of Colorado.

Still, the fact that Jeralyn and I disagree only reinforces her broader point — which is that we have Freedom of Speech for a reason. It’s fine to disagree, but we can do so with civility and rationality, virtues that seem in short supply when it comes to the furor over Ward Churchill.

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