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Hamilton College & Ward Churchill: the coda

by Roger Kimball

Posted: Feb 01, 2005 06:30 PM

Joan Hinde Stewart, the president of Hamilton College, issued this statement informing the college community that Ward "little Eichmanns" Churchill would not, after all, be coming to the college.

February 1, 2005, 11 AM

Cancellation of Panel Discussion on Limits of Dissent

We have done our best to protect what we hold most dear, the right to speak, think and study freely.

But there is a higher responsibility that this institution carries, and that is the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff and the community in which we live.

Credible threats of violence have been directed at the College and members of the panel. These threats have been turned over to the police.

Based on the information available, I have made the decision to cancel this event in the interest of protecting those at risk.

Joan Hinde Stewart

As a specimen piece of intellectual mendacity, this gets, oh, about 9 out of 10 points: note the specious disjunction between "what we hold most dear, the right to speak, think and study freely" and the "But . . .," as if cancelling Ward Churchill’s appearance were some an infringement of "the right to speak, think and study freely." Note, too, the suggestion, the aroma of victimization that Stewart diffuses, as if the fault here lay with her critics instead of with the Kirkland Project, which invited Churchill, and indeed with Stewart hereself for her quite astonishing lack of leadership. It’s a pathetic end to a rebarbative episode.

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