Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

You at Columbia U., Remember the Concept of Free Speech and Mind Your Manners

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   6 comments
Message Sandy Sand

Free Speech.  The freedom to be able to say what you believe without the threat of retaliation from those with whom you disagree.

Good Manners:  The ability to listen to those with whom you disagree and give them the opportunity to state their case without interruption.  They in turn, allow you the same courtesy.  It's called a discussion, and those of you who need a lesson in this nicety of polite society, you watched too much "Crossfire."

If we think airport security is tough, the security at Monday's appearance by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University better be tighter than that of Fort Knox.

"Nudity Required" should be the price of a ticket to hear Iran's president speak, because from past behavior, Columbia's students don't know how to comport themselves when the university hosts a guest they don't approve of or intensely disagree with.

Columbia students' record of hostility toward invited guest speakers was best demonstrated on Oct. 5, 2006, when Jim Gilchrist appeared at the invitation of the Columbia University College Republicans.

Gilchrist, founder of The Minuteman Project who, unarmed, patrols mostly the southern border looking for illegal immigrants who are breaking into the country, and reports them to ICE, was attacked by an angry crowd of students who rushed the stage before he had a chance to utter a word.

Gilchrist and fellow Minuteman Marvin Stewart were quickly escorted to safety from the onslaught of out-of-control students, who were armed with placards and banners.

It's possible that the attack on Gilchrist might have been planned in advance, since students had been protesting for a week prior to his appearance.

If the price of admission for Ahmadinejad's speech/discussion is nudity, it might be well worth it.  Totally naked audience members who have undergone cavity searches can't be armed with rotten tomato missiles, anti-Ahmadinejad banners and signs. 

Even better, any of them who are inclined to craziness won't have any pockets in which to hide a grenade they've livened up after purchasing it at an army/navy surplus store, a stick of dynamite stolen from a construction site, or some explosive device cooked up in the chem lab, even if it's of the stinky smoke bomb kind.

If you think about it, an audience full of naked men and WORSE naked women, all by itself might be enough get Ahmadinejad to cancel his appearance, even though he can be clothed.

You know how priggish those Muslims can be, keeping their women all swathed in voluminous garments that hide the fact that they are women.  On the other side of the burka, Ahmadinejad might come to get a voyeuristic thrill.  The only way he can ogle at home is to look at his wife, if that's allowed, or do it in some secret dark, dank place...just like Republicans.

Disagree. Fine. Attack.  Not so fine.

It is an extremely high-minded, high-flown, commendable idea to encourage a free and open discussion on the highly volatile situation in Iran and the even more volatile Ahmadinejad.

Columbia officials are either extremely stupid or incredibly naive if they think Ahmadinejad can appear at their institution of higher learning without incident, when some of its students haven't even learned to control themselves.

Any attack by Columbia students would be shameful.  No matter how much they disagree or how much disdain they have for Ahmadinejad, they must save it for another time. 

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Sandy Sand Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

There are Only Three Qualifications to be President, Technically

Mystery: The Case of the Lost Schlossberg and the Found Clinton

Opinion: Distinguishing the Difference Between a News Story and an Editorial

Who's On First and Vin Scully Got to Call It

Omigawd! Barack Obama Sparkled on "60 Minutes" Interview

A Call to Arms Against the Mormon Church. End Its Tax-exempt Status Now!

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend