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O'Hara Factor
Monday, February 21, 2005

Dr. Gibbs misconstrues student concerns (mine, anyhow)

In the wake of the controversy over University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill (over whom Winston must be rolling in his grave), today's Wildcat contains an interesting article about professor David N. Gibbs (whom I have previously mentioned many times over the time I've been writing the Factor).

While I have been very critical of him (as he was critical of me on Democracy Now!), I don't wish to question his integrity. Moreover, I don't think he should be silent about his personal views, as leftist as they might be. Wow, I sound like a liberal.

But seriously, I don't mind. All I wish for is a class in which the professor will show both sides of the issue, and this is what Dr. Gibbs failed to do when I took his Spring 2004 INDV 103 "What is Politics?" class (the class in which one of the students accused him of being a communist). The next semester, I took POL 201 (American National Government). My TA told us that he was a socialist on the complete opposite side of the political spectrum as myself, and I didn't mind at all. He ran the class in an outstanding fashion, despite that I owned all the debates (hee). While he made frequent mention of his own political views, he didn't treat them as holy writ, make us write essays about how he was right, and also presented the case of the other side.

In fact, it's probably better that he did make mention of his own political views. That way, I knew while his class would have a bias, I knew where that bias lay.

So Dr. Gibbs, keep teaching. Cherish academic freedom. Tell us what you really think. Just remember that academic freedom, like all freedom, comes with responsibility, in this case of which is to show all sides of the given issue. If one of those sides happens to be your own, that's perfectly okay.

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