Freedom of Speech in Action

February 3 2005, 9:23 AM
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). 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.