Horowitz’s hate speech at USC

November 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES--Activists at the University of Southern California (USC) protested David Horowitz by turning their backs on the arch-conservative as he spoke on November 4.

Horowitz is the author of the book 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, in which he denounces left-wing, liberal and Arab professors for, in his view, sympathizing with terrorism and hating democracy. He was also behind the racist "Islamo-Facism Awareness Week," which was held on several campuses in the fall of 2007.

About 10 people from the USC Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the International Socialist Organization stood up and turned their backs during his College Republican-sponsored talk, "Campus War on Jews and Israel." More people would have taken part if activists who were registered for the event weren't turned away at the door for their known left-wing political affiliation and/or Arab-sounding names.

As they were escorted away by campus police, Horowitz mocked the demonstrators and called them anti-free speech. But the only speech that they were protesting was Horowitz's hate and fear-mongering.

Within the first 15 minutes of his speech, Horowitz denounced SJP and progressives at USC as fascist thugs and claimed that the eight officers were there to protect him and the audience from campus terrorism. He claimed that the university coddled Muslim groups and that they were given more funding and religious freedom than other groups, while they supposedly funded terrorist organizations in the Middle East. All the while, said Horowitz, Christian, Jewish and pro-Israel groups are silenced.

After being kicked out of the event, demonstrators joined other students who were protesting the talk outside. All the while, members of the College Republicans harassed protesters and tried to intimidate them by video recording the demonstration. But that just make our protest louder. Demonstrators held signs that read, "Does my last name pose a security threat?" and "Stand With Us Against Racism"--a play on the words "Stand With Us," which is the name of a pro-Israel public relations organization.

As USC SJP President Alex Shams said, "What's going on here is more than the spreading of ideas. It's not just something out there; these ideas have real consequences that cause physical and emotional violence on our community. The university is not upholding its responsibility to protect us from violence when it allows violence to be brought to our campus."

If the purpose of free speech is to promote liberty, than there is nothing related to "free speech" about the spreading of ideas that incite violence on any people based on their identity.

Horowitz claims he is leading the fight to expose the "reverse racism, sexism and heterosexism" propagated by Ethnic/Post-Colonial Studies, Women's Studies and LGBT Studies, which supposedly threaten the role of the academy to teach "American" values. But Horowitz's talk on November 4 exposed his crusade for exactly what it is--a campaign to silence the teaching of people's histories in higher education.

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