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This Is What I Have to Put Up With: A Brainwash Campaign Sponsored by David Horowitz

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   18 comments

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Tonight, I sat before a group of 50-100 Columbia College Chicago students as well as 10-20 members of the Columbia College Chicago faculty. We all talked about the war and how terrible it is that it has not ended, how awful it is that our media has not reported on it accurately, and how horrific it is that the military-industrial complex continues to suck blood and money out of the people of America to fuel their adventures of shock and awe all over the world (whether the adventures be covert or overt).

I was pleased to learn that many of my peers at Columbia are upset and feel that not enough is being done on campus to try and end the war. I was also pleased with those who made a point of telling people that it is great that students at Columbia College are being pulled into politics by Barack but we must not quit participating and engaging in politics after this election is over in November. And I was so happy that an overwhelming majority were rejecting the corporate media because it gave me a chance to ask them to support alternative news media like OpEdNews.

I came home after a two hour panel discussion that was set up like a town hall meeting where I promoted OpEdNews and told students to submit writing to find out that David Horowitz is planning another brainwashing of college students nationwide with Islamo-Fascism Week The Sequel.

Who is David Horowitz?

At CampusProgress.org, David Horowitz is accurately characterized as a right-wing speaker. Even more accurately, he is described as “a former campus leftist who now gleefully spews angry criticism of academia and the left.” Portions of Campus Progress' bio of David Horowitz follows. If you already know the history of David Horowitz, bypass it and read the meat of this article---the meat which describes David Horowitz's new tour or sorry, invasion of college campuses.

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David Horowitz was once involved in American Maoist Communist political organizations. He went on to receive his Master’s degree at another hotbed of liberalism, the University of California, Berkeley. He did his about-face in 1985 when he launched an assault against his erstwhile leftward compatriots, whom he now calls "violently, fervently committed to their unholy war to tear down American democracy and replace it with their version – an Americanized version – of communism." In his reformed state, Horowitz still describes himself as “a civil rights activist” on his website. His blood, sweat, and tears go into defending that downtrodden demographic, white males. In 2001, Horowitz stirred national controversy when he ran nasty advertisements in college newspapers across the country entitled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea—and Racist Too.” The full-page ads ran in several college papers, causing some to issue retractions and apologies, and others to receive protest from outraged students and accusations of racism. Horowitz capitalized on the latter by declaring an “assault on free speech” by left-leaning students.

Through it all, Horowitz has found a smarmy, backhanded way of misrepresenting himself as a defender of civil rights – he baselessly brands his ideological opponents as "racist" to deflect criticism of his own racially inflammatory remarks.

A contributor to numerous right-wing publications, Horowitz is the president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a think tank financed by conservative funders that serves as an incubator for right-wing radicals. The group’s online journal, Front Page Magazine, began running Ann Coulter’s column after her post-9/11 radical anti-Muslim comments got her fired from The National Review. Horowitz is a regular on TV and radio shows, where he mindlessly attacks the supposedly liberal media and denounces it for its “falsehoods.”

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Horowitz continues his campaign against supposed “liberal bias” on college campuses through his organization Students for Academic Freedom. According to Horowitz, America’s schools are moving towards a “one party academic state” that is governed by a ruthless liberal dictatorship. He regales campuses with tales of liberal outrages, some of which cannot be documented despite diligent efforts by researchers and may never have occurred at all. Horowitz also authored the “Academic Bill of Rights,” a misleading manifesto already introduced in eight state legislaturesand in the U.S. House of Representatives – touting the need for “academic diversity” in university faculty.

The Academic Bill of Rights would prohibit professors at both public and private colleges from introducing “controversial matter” into the classroom. The bill would shift oversight of college course content away from trained professors and administrators and into the hands of state governments and courts. While it has not been formally adopted anywhere yet, it has inspired legislative policies toward “intellectual diversity” in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Inter-University Council of Ohio has reached an agreement with Senate sponsors of the Ohio Academic Bill of Rights to implement key principles of “academic freedom” in Ohio public and private universities.

Despite fierce objections from the American Association of University Professors, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a resolution that required a Select Committee to “examine, study and inform the legislature about the condition of academic freedom in the state’s universities” on July 5th, 2005. Horowitz smugly declared that if the liberal school boards had not refused to adopt his non-legislative Academic Bill, government intervention would be unnecessary. Horowitz and his overwhelmingly right-wing supporters insist that the grievance procedures in the Ohio Academic Bill of Rights and the Pennsylvania resolution protect all students from discrimination based on political/ideological affiliation. After nearly a year and countless hours of testimony, the committee concluded that there were few if any academic freedom violations in Pennsylvania, and that no legislation was necessary. Horowitz has continuously mischaracterized the hearings.

The Academic Bill of Rights is both redundant and misleading. Most colleges already have rules ensuring free expression (political and otherwise), and Horowitz and his supporters have been able to offer scant evidence of campus political bullying.

The Bill of Rights serves as a perfect guise for his true aim: to pressure state-funded colleges and universities to pack their faculties with conservative professors. According to Students for Academic Freedom, the group seeks “to get more than 500,000 signatures—10,000 per state—to present to lawmakers, alumni, regents and administrations across the nation” in support of the bill. Leading the “victimize us no more!” call to arms that has become a trademark of conservative pundits, Horowitz laments the “blacklisting” of conservative students and professors and calls on his followers to keep a close eye on their professors. He urges them to help him keep a record of the supposed political bullying that he says occurs regularly in college classrooms in his Academic Freedom Abuse Center.

The Academic Freedom Abuse Center, housed on the Students for Academic Freedom website, invites students to report having their "rights abused" in class. But it only looks impressive until you start reading the actual claims. Some highlights: One student complains because her professor suggested men and women might see colors differently. Another is offended she was asked to watch an " immoral Seinfeld episode." A recent entry in the database was from an Ohio State student who claims he got a bad grade on an essay because his English professor " hates families and thinks it’s okay to be gay." (Another complaint comes from an Augustana College senior who is upset her school used "funds from Student activity fees to bring in the one-sided speaker David Horowitz.")…

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…In a recent “lesson“ on his new website, Discoverthenetwork.org, Horowitz makes the outlandish claim that most of America’s progressive leaders, Hollywood entertainers and civil rights advocates are closely aligned with radical Islamist terrorists known for killing Americans. He’s not kidding around. Though at first glance (not to mention upon further inspection) it seems like a simple-minded ploy to earn chortles among the right at the expense of the left, he warns, “This database reflects links that are not merely caricatures by political enemies but are legitimate indices of a political reality.” In Horowitz’s political reality, Sen. Barack Obama appears on the same row as terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, appears next to the Center for American Progress’s very own John Podesta…

…Speaking of tasting, Horowitz was one of several conservative speakers who got pelted with food by students during speaking events in April 2005. On April 6, while delivering a speech to Butler University students, someone hurled a cream pie that hit Horowitz smack in the face. Campus Progress in no way endorses such attempts to curb free speech. Horowitz has as much of a right to speak his mind as the rest of us, no matter how weak his arguments or hazy his facts. And we don’t like wasting pie, which is (often) delicious. We do think it’s particularly lame that instead of chuckling it off and trying to save face, Horowitz is pressing criminal charges and is on a mission to get the perp suspended.

On April 29, 2005, while speaking at Columbia University, Horowitz caused quite a stir when he passed out a pamphlet that bore a picture of Noam Chomsky with a turban and beard, under the heading, “The Ayatollah of Anti-American Hate.” At least Horowitz has a sense of irony: He was there to lecture students about the importance of “ideological diversity.” Apparently, this diversity doesn’t apply to lefty American scholars.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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