THE "NEOS" HELPED CAUSE TODAY'S SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH | 2001-03-24
David Horowitz is the leading opponent of slavery reparations. He could not have any debate on American campuses about it, so he decided to put paid ads in campus newspapers. Most student papers banned those, too.
The few campus papers that took Horowitz' ad faced major campus uprisings. At the University of California, the Daily Californian ran a front-page editorial apologizing for having allowed the anti-reparations ad.
At the University of Wisconsin, 100 students confronted the student editor demanding her resignation.
On other campuses, gangs of students openly took the papers from distribution racks and trashed them.
Leon Botstein, president of Bard College in New York, said that Mr. Horowitz was clearly on a campaign of provocation but that colleges were easy prey. Contrary to their image as arenas of intellectual debate, Mr. Botstein said, colleges tolerate dissent poorly.
Botstein said this was particularly true of race, which he called "the central question of life in America."
David Horowitz, like all accepted spokesmen for the right against today's racial excesses, is a neoconservative. This means that he backed the leftist approach to race issues all the way until recently. According to him and his fellow "neos," everything was fine with liberal policy until, suddenly and inexplicably, it went to extremes just recently.
Horowitz was a good leftist until he sent a friend of his to work for the Black Panther Party. She was murdered there, he said, "for asking too many questions." He said the Panthers were a front for criminal and drug activities
It took that kind of shock for him to see what had happened. Until now, according to neoconservatives, the race issue was being handled just fine. Respectable conservatives not only agree, but do not allow anybody but a "neo" to represent the right on racial issues.
But if you take the line that "neos" and respectable conservatives take, the anti-Horowitz protesters are perfectly correct. Horowitz argued, for example, that American blacks don't deserve reparations because the slaves' descendants today earn fifty times as much money per capita as blacks whose ancestors were not slaves.
That's true, but according to the rules agreed to by neos and respectables, you are not allowed to talk about race just because what you say is true. No one is allowed to point to white achievements, and every conservative publication agrees to this. A British court sent a man to prison under the Hate Laws with the flat statement, "The truth is no excuse."
White people are only to be mentioned when something they did was bad. If it's good, "humankind" did it. All through the civil rights battle, liberals made it clear that if you are free to discuss what each race actually did, that leads you straight into white supremacy.
You could not have gotten integration, much less the total suppression of all dissent on campuses, if racial heresy were allowed.