David Horowitz carried his crusade against “left-wing fanaticism” into Uris Auditorium yesterday evening, denouncing campus activism in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“He is one of our most agile and political and intellectual minds,” said Ryan Horn ’02, chair of the College Republicans.
Horn said the College Republicans invited Horowitz because of his past experience as a left-wing activist, making his knowledge of the left different from that of other conservatives.
“David Horowitz offers perspectives independent of what you learn on campus,” said Steve Ference ’02, co-founder of the Ithaca College Republicans.
Horowitz occupied the center of controversy last spring when he placed an advertisement condemning slave reparations in many college newspapers. Though some newspapers did run the advertisement, The Sun and other newspapers chose not to.
Horowitz claimed that the criticism he faced in response to the advertisement contributed to “a nationwide hate campaign directed against [him].”
“Even though my ad was read with ignorance and hatred, I still have hope,” Horowitz asserted.
The slave reparation movement would be destructive to the African-American community as well as other minority communities, according to Horowitz’s analysis. “The reparation movement will say to the Mexican-American who has been here for ten years and is poor and struggling, that you are a racist and you are responsible for slavery, so give [African-Americans] money.”
As an American Jew whose ancestors endured the Holocaust, Horowitz claimed he would not accept monetary compensation for their suffering should it be offered to him.
“I am for reparations for slaves and former slaves,” Horowitz said. “Unfortunately, they are all dead.”
Horowitz said that he believes his advertisement faced criticism, because “the left’s drive on universities has been relentless.”
“You have a deficient education at this institution,” he said. “You can’t have a sufficient education if you only get one-half of the story. It is a crime that this University does not have a dozen or two dozen [conservative] professors who would enlighten you.”
Horowitz claimed that Cornell was a university with typical left-wing dominance.
“At Cornell, everyone knows the name of the conservative professor. Others keep their views to themselves because they do not want to be targeted as a racist or a homophobe.”
Horowitz plans to implement a campaign to overcome the left-wing dominance of higher education after the war, Horn said.
Leftist anti-war protesters, particularly at universities, should rethink their position on the war, especially since “Islamic fundamentalist cuckoos are influenced by postmodern leftists,” according to Horowitz.
“We’ve been attacked. Every single one of you is a target,” he said. “The anti-war movement will divide the homefront and stab the country in the back.”
Alexandra Sanchez ’03, president of the Cornell Democrats, said she disagreed with Horowitz’s characterization of leftist anti-war protesters.
“The link between anti-war protesters as friends of Osama bin Laden is unfair to people who are just using their freedom of speech to criticize the government,” she said.
Horowitz discussed his observation that, although Americans have protected the American-Muslim community following the Sept. 11 attacks, all of the Islamic leaders in the United States have not publicly condemned Osama bin Laden’s actions and beliefs.
“If a bunch of Jews carrying the Torah blew up a building, every Rabbi in this country would condemn it, but Islamic leaders are not doing the same,” he said.
The war has brought Americans together, Horowitz said.
“I hope people can appreciate what they have, because they can lose it so quickly,” he said. “We have lost a lot of our freedoms already, [but] this will remain the land of the free so long as it’s the home of the brave.”
Horn said he was pleased with Horowitz’s speech and the audience’s reaction to it.
“The best compliment paid to me was by David Horowitz, who said Cornell was the most civil audience [he has confronted],” Horn said.
Sanchez said she was not impressed by Horowitz’s speech.
“He did not provide an organized, factual speech. He exaggerated a lot, lied, and twisted the truth on a lot of issues,” she said. “He was just trying to get a response from people and rile people up.”
Archived article by Stephanie Hankin