Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Ahmadinejad-mania Part II?

No, our good old friend Mahmoud is not invited back to campus to speak (thankfully). Instead the College Republicans here at Columbia thought it would be a good idea to bring another extremist to campus, only four days after an attempt to tout their diversity. David Horowitz, Columbia College 1959, will be on campus this October 26th as part of his campaign to generate attention for his "Islamo-Facism Awareness Week." Of course, you could just have a Fascism Awareness Week, because I'm sure that Muslims are not the only group of people who have fascists among them, but that would take the racist tones out of it, I suppose. Of course, this is not Mr. Horowitz's first brush with racism. First, let's look at a piece written by Horowitz on January 25, 2005 to the History News Network entitled "Why I am Not Celebrating John Hope Franklin's Birthday." In it, Horowitz restates that he believes "free" blacks and the "free" descendants of slaves (the quotes are mine, because how "free" were blacks in America during the late 19th century?) actually benefited from slavery. Nothing like hundreds of years of bondage and slave labor to really improve the social status of a class of people in the United States. He also goes so far as to suggest that Hope, an established academic, should be thankful for slavery because the namesake of his professorship, James B. Duke earned his money in tobacco, "one of the chief crops of the very system that had brought Franklin’s ancestors to this continent in chains" and Hope's failure to "appreciate these ironies" was sad. Of course, I would suggest reading the article yourself for the full context of these words, but having read the whole article, this is how I take Horowitz's words in the article.

The types of people who support Horowitz and who Horowitz supports reads like a who's-who of sub-par Americans. Karl Rove called one of Horowitz's books The Art of Political War a "must read." Not exactly the man that I would want praising me. Horowitz also seems to be an ardent supporter of Ann Coulter, who writes a column for his FrontPage Magazine. Coulter, of course, is no stranger to controversy, having said that the widows of 9/11 were enjoying the deaths of their husbands, has said we should invade Muslim countries and convert them all to Christianity, has called presidential John Edwards a faggot, and has said that her "only regret" regarding Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was that he did not target the New York Times building. I suppose the killing 168 people (19 children) in a terrorist act (something that she hates wholeheartedly, or purports to) is not enough for Ann Coulter to regret happening. Coulter is also on the Islamo-Fasicsm that Horowitz seems to be spearheading. Another person on that roster is Rick Santorum, who has not only blamed Hurricane Katrina victims for what happened to them, but also said that we should punish them. Of course he's also had brushes with comparing homosexuality to bestiality, but there's just not enough time to go over all of this stuff. So, it seems that David Horowitz, while himself a controversial figure with some iffy logic concerning some issues, is further discredited by those that he surrounds himself with.

So am I saying do not invite David Horowitz to Columbia? No, because I was in support of Ahmadinejad coming here it would be highly hypocritical for me to say that Horowitz does not have the same right as Ahmadinejad. But the problem lies here: Ahmadinejad was invited to campus under the assumption (that proved correct) that he was not all right in the head and had views that were just ridiculous. Horowitz is being invited to campus (I believe by the College Republicans but the Spectator, in all its glorious fashion, did not exactly make that clear) as a legitimate speaker and, to my knowledge, will not be challenged by those who invited him. Essentially, it seems that the College Republicans have invited him because they - in essence - agree with his viewpoints. That's fine, people are entitled to their opinion. All I am saying is that I don't agree with him and the College Republicans are just legitimizing his rhetoric by inviting him and supporting his appearance rather than inviting him and challenging him on some of his more controversial stances. Maybe the College Republicans will surprise us, pull a Bollinger, and let Horowitz have it. I doubt it. Peace.

Oh yeah, and Sean Hannity's coming to campus, but no one really cares about him.

Photos - Top: David Horowitz (michigandaily.com), Bottom: A former slave with scars from enslavement, something that Horowitz seems to think helped the black race (www.time.com)

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