October 27, 2007

The protests at Emory University

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 6:33 pm

So now that David Horowitz’s laughable “Islamofascism week” is over (yes it’s true, well documented here), what can we conclude? Same old same old, judging by the event at Emory University in Atlanta. Horowitz had his speech cut short by noisy protesters inside the room. This was quickly followed up by angry wingers spraying accusations that free speech was abrogated (oo, taste that irony!).

Crooks and Liars has the story (so does Emory Wheel).

The sad thing about this is that it will just feed the self-obsession of Horowitz. The real story isn’t that his hatism attracts protests (which can be carried out outside the lecture, even if his own followers planned sit-ins in classes and women’s studies departments) but his own actions such as professor lists and interfering in tenure decisions. Horowitz was hoping for this.

Seems this one though had a little cross-town rivalry between Emory and a protester from Georgia State University:

Justin, a student from Georgia State who declined to give his full name because he said he feared public retaliation from Horowitz, said the pre-scripted question-and-answer format frustrated some of the attendants who hoped to engage Horowitz after his speech. Failing that, he said they resorted to interrupting.

“People wanted to come here and say something to this guy,” he said. “[He’s] here to create an atmosphere where Muslim students are targeted.”

Hmm. There’s video.

Justin then posted an explanation of his behavior in the comments to the story on Emory Wheel:

If the defenders of David Horowitz in Emory Wheel and President Wagner actually did their research on this guy, they might realize his real agenda. He leads campaigns like Students for Academic Freedom and has written books like “The Professors,” where he actually runs down a hit list of professors that in his belief need not only to be fired but jailed in many cases jailed for speaking about the real history of the United States. He has led successful campaigns leading to the firings and removal of tenure from well-known and respected professors such as Ward Churchill and Norman Finkelstein. In Finkelstein’s case, they removed his books from the library, how reminiscent of Nazi book burnings. Horowitz has asked, “Where’s the gratitude” referring to the “great debt” black people owe to white America.

Justin goes on to argue that this is hate speech and that if the KKK were invited we would naturally “drown them out.” No doubt, though Justin was on a losing wicket here as far as the Emory commenters go: “Any Emory student who participated in this anarchy should be called out and punished” wrote one respondent who self identified as an Emory graduate.

It’s better to expose the truth about this in the way that another poster did at Emory Wheel by pointing out that it refused a paid ad from a group criticizing Bush’s threats of war against Iran even while it accepted an ad from Horowitz’ group. Or as the right-wing site Black Five disappointedly noted about a speech earlier in the week the low level of discourse Horowitz used when heckled:

By the end he was saying “Well I guess you just aren’t able to read” and “I don’t know what to do if you can’t add two and two and get four”

And obviously this is just the kind of reaction Horowitz is hoping for. But as the good old Reader’s Digest used to say “laughter is the best medicine”:

On one level, it’s obviously offensive. But the comedic dimensions of the man’s self-pity and fantasies of victimization are far more profound (TPM).

So I leave you with a video from when he was laughed off the set on LarryKing live.

Larry King.


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