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Jewish World Review April 27, 2001/ 5 Iyar, 5761

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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The Horowitz revelations as seen by a college professor -- DAVID HOROWITZ, former leftie and Black Panther, created a ruckus with his "10 reasons reparations for slavery are wrong" ad in college newspapers. Horowitz is a brave man to confront this aggressive generation raised in day care centers where graham cracker lines turned every toddler into a marauding warrior.

But the fearless Mr. Horowitz visits campuses to explain his ad and position. He came to my campus, Arizona State University, last week. His sponsors, College Republicans and the Federalist Society, had their fliers torn down. There was no outrage when this censorship was reported in the campus newspaper. Moreover, because my daughter was quoted in that story about working to replace destroyed fliers, a physics professor called for her punishment for "vandalism" in posting the fliers. Apparently the laws of physics don't apply sanctions uniformly.

The student government withdrew funding for the event. The African-American studies department, along with the critical thinkers of the law school, and other la-la land patrons scheduled a debate on Mr. Horowitz's ideas during his speech. I must try this critical thinking thing for debate without your opponent sounds inviting.

Horowitz still drew a crowd that required expansion into the full ballroom to accommodate 250 more who topped the planned 250 capacity. The turnout was a record for a university event with no funding. There is a hunger for differing views on campus.

As students filed in, you could see and smell political leanings. Women with no mascara - trouble. Men with bandanas on their heads - trouble with a capital "T." Women with Toni Morrison novels and the new Cliff notes for them -- grand Poohbahs of trouble. Greenies are easily detected by odor -- clean is limited to forests and rivers. Conservative students are easy to spot -- they have books.

The spoiled liberal brats were in full tantrum mode. When the College Republicans' president, a son of Syrian immigrants, began the meeting with the pledge of allegiance, mockery reigned. Many remained seated smirking at the flag and country that gave them their Pell grants and free condoms at the health center.

The petulants interrupted Mr. Horowitz countless times with inane shouts of rote demagoguery. These are programmed automatons trained on a campus that knows only one ideology and indoctrinates its mentally frail charges accordingly.

Had conservative students behaved the same at the conflicting, albeit unilateral, Horowitz event, they would be disciplined for hate speech. Civil discourse is now but a soliloquy of one-sided views slathered with emotings. Mr. Horowitz opted for written questions- a process that works because there is something about literacy that hones the thought processes. The Birkenstock crowd would have none of that. Fed a steady diet of Jerry Springer, they opted to stand on chairs and point fingers rap style as they shouted eloquently, "You shut up," and "Liar."

Their thoughts and conduct speak volumes about their training. They lack the ability to listen and analyze. As I lawyer I witnessed the first time questions were non-responsive. Mr. Horowitz wanted them to examine the sources of oppression. They wanted money.

And the more Mr. Horowitz cited facts, the more agitated they became. Facts drive liberals to irrational behavior. Mr. Horowitz suggested that minorities' lack of education and resulting loss in earning power might be attributed to the domination of inner city school boards and councils by blacks and minorities. He pointed to the D.C. schools, the $11,000 per student spending there and the still dismal performance of minority students.

He cited social promotion in LA schools with the resulting release of illiterate minority students into the work force for a doomed future. The shouters asked for his source. He gave it to them - LA Times, Jan. 20, 2000 (the article notes that if social promotions were halted there over 350,000 mostly minority students would be held back). They called him a racist. The shouting increased. Mr. Horowitz left abruptly.

I have long known that college campuses do not promote the exchange of ideas. My colleagues fuel the fires of oppression with fiction and suppress fact. The pent-up frustration of students' resulting inability to reason was palpable in that room. Horowitz stood as the intellectual superior to arrogant brats who don't see the magnitude of their ignorance let alone the role that the free exchange of ideas plays in resolution of issues.

The irony is that the lefties declared victory. As they should. They squelched free speech. They ignored facts. From torn fliers to shouting, they won. Long live tolerant liberals. Long live vacuous reasoning. Long live the memory of the Horowitz event for the injustices those who seek compensation have heaped upon others.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


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© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings