This past Friday, Nathaniel Haas, an opinion columnist for the Daily Trojan, attacked the USC College Republicans for being “blatantly hypocritical,” and even called on some members to resign due to a photo posted on social media. Ultimately, we made the decision to remove the photo because of numerous comments attacking African American members of our club. We felt that these comments were distracting from our official statement expressing our displeasure with Davis’s presence on campus and the fact that the student body was forced to foot the bill for her speech.
It is also important to note that at no point did our club attempt to censor Angela Davis’ speech nor do we tolerate the act of prohibiting the right to free speech in any form. Mr. Haas presumably failed to read our original statement sent to all social media outlets on the night of Davis’s speech. The following lines from our response to Davis’ speech prove that Haas selectively read the statement and made a false claim based on faulty predictions:
“Let it be known that the USC College Republicans in stark contrast with Angela Davis, Black Panther sympathizers and communists, believe that all people regardless of race, socioeconomic class, gender or sexuality, should be free to exercise their economic agency, create businesses and employ their capital in free markets without unnecessary and burdensome government intervention. We support and advocate on behalf of those Americans who wish to be productive citizens as opposed to bitter subjects to a tired ideology that encourages dependence and exacerbates poverty. Freedom and prosperity are the keys to a bright future.”
Mr. Haas then called a past event held by the USC College Republicans featuring Ann Coulter into question. We would like to point out that this event was paid for in full by our organization, through generous donations, and from grants. At no point did we ask University Student Government, Program Board or any of the numerous student assemblies on campus—all of which are funded by university tuition dollars— to pay for our event. This is in stark contrast to the Angela Davis event, in which the entire student body was forced into paying for her speaking fees.
Simply put, we felt it was absolutely necessary to dispel the false narratives that Davis perpetuates, bring light to the questionable events in her past, and call attention to her deeply concerning ties with radical organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party. We believe that it is the right of every student group to bring diverse speakers with differing opinions to the USC campus, and it is our right to criticize those with whom we disagree.
We stand by all of our decisions, and call Mr. Haas’ journalistic integrity into question. We see Mr. Haas’ unreasonable request as nothing more than an attempt to shut down opposition and intellectual diversity on campus. This call to silence dissenting opinion is nothing more than a witch-hunt meant to attack those whom ideologically oppose Mr. Haas.
USC College Republicans