Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Speaking Truth to Power

Here's a link to a non-important article about what seems to me a non-important issue generated by a non-important organization. The Modern Language Association (MLA), a group of university professors, I guess, has recently debated all sorts of things at a conference, and it managed to pass some rather non-offensive boilerplate resolutions about Israel, Ward Churchill, and other matters that are crucial to the the study of language.
If you're busy today, feel free not to read the article. The reason I've linked to it is this one sentence that's somewhere in the second half of the report - here's the sentence in context:
Charles Rzepka, a professor of English at Boston University, said during the meeting that he was startled to read some of the pro-Churchill material distributed by supporters of the original resolution, and that he was wondering if the MLA would be seen as backing the wrong side. In an interview after the meeting, he said that the MLA’s reputation would take a hit for any perception that it was backing Churchill. “I support speaking truth to power,” said Rzepka, but that requires truth, he added.
For those of you who have never heard of Ward Churchill, there's no need to apologize. He's not one of the most significant people around. But if you're interested, here's the link to the Wikipedia article that tells his sorry tale. His significance is in the vehemence of his fans, no more.

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