We have recently become aware of an event sponsored by the USC College Republicans on tonight, in which David Horowitz will be brought to our campus to give a speech entitled “The Campus War Against Israel and the Jews” as part of a yearly campaign entitled “Islamo Fascism Awareness Week” that he does at college campuses across the country every fall.
Horowitz has previously asserted:
– African-Americans owe American society a debt for having been enslaved for hundreds of years, and that they should display gratitude to white Americans for the system of institutionalized oppression that completely denied African-Americans any human rights;
– Muslim Student Union groups in the United States are supporters of terrorist activity abroad, “are part of the network founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and funded by Saudi money,” and send money abroad to help “exterminate the Jews;”
– Students should stay away from “women’s studies, black studies, cultural studies, whiteness studies, post-colonial studies, all those studies [sic]” because they are “dangerous” for students’ minds.
These statements demonstrate Horowitz’s racist, offensive, and ignorant views of various communities, and he has used his Islamo Fascism tour to promote these views and make these statements in the past. The fact that these statements are accepted as academic debate or anything more than racist ranting is absurd and truly a stain on the level of debate in American society today.
Despite this, universities across this country continue provide him a forum to speak and dignify his racism by allowing it to echo out from the highest levels of academia. This racism is directly attacking our student population, and his diatribes offend every student who does not consider her or himself a racist. Allowing Horowitz to speak at USC is paramount to the administration’s elevation of his hate speech to academic debate, in effect legitimizing his verbal attacks on students.
SCampus, the document that outlines the university administration’s relationship with the student body, declares in the Principles of Community, “As a scholarly community, we aspire to create an environment in which racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia and homophobia do not go unchallenged,” and further states that, “We [USC] speak out against hatred and bigotry whenever and wherever we find them.”
USC has a responsibility to its students to protect them, as the administration itself acknowledges, and to not allow that the lecterns of our university be used as a forum for people from outside the student body to come and threaten students. In the past, Horowitz has done exactly this — made derogatory remarks towards entire communities of students based on their race and religion.
How exactly is the USC administration protecting students as it allows Horowitz to use the platform USC provides as a pulpit for racist hatred and incitement, unchallenged, as he has in the past?
As students, we ask that the USC administration be conscious of the kind of academic environment it is fostering by promoting racist speakers such as Horowitz, and that it be willing to act in accordance with its own protocols regarding hate speech and the targeting of students.
USC Progressive Alliance, SCALE, USC Students for Justice in Palestine, USC Food Not Bombs, Women’s Creative Collective, Chair Akira Mizute Lippit, Chair John Carlos Rowe, Professor Laura Pulido, Professor David Lloyd, Professor Macarena Gomez Barris, Professor Brent Blair
Tonight College Republicans is hosting David Horowitz, founder of the Freedom Center. Mr. Horowitz is a political conservative and an advocate of pro-Israel policies. For exercising its right as a student organization to host a speaker on campus, College Republicans has faced unfounded attacks by the student organizations Students for Justice in Palestine and Progressive Alliance. SJP and Progressive Alliance are distributing fliers, emails and Facebook messages that accuse Mr. Horowitz of making racist statements and of perpetuating hate against individuals of the Islamic faith. These flyers, emails and Facebook messages are slanderous against Mr. Horowitz and College Republicans, as they are categorically false. College Republicans refuses to allow SJP and Progressive Alliance to slander its members and its speaker Mr. Horowitz with such abhorrent statements. Slander is a serious legal wrong and is legally actionable.
Following is Mr. Horowitz’s response to the accusations that SJP and Progressive Alliance are launching against him:
“I am not a racist and I am not an Islamophobe. I have organized protests on more than 100 college campuses against the oppression of Muslim women. I have published booklets against the oppression of Muslim women, and I have sponsored panels with Muslim speakers against the oppression of Muslim women. There are numerous videos of my campus speeches on the web where I can be seen saying that my efforts are not directed against all Muslims, but are in fact conducted on behalf of most Muslims against the hijacking of their religion by totalitarian radicals who are conducting a campaign of hatred against Jews and gays and other minority groups. In their emails, Facebook messages and flyers, SJP threatens to attack my speech by any means necessary. I hope members of the USC community will appeal to university officials to see that civility and order are maintained around this event, and that Students for Justice in Palestine are put on notice that this kind of anti-intellectual and uncivil behavior is unacceptable.”
College Republicans does not ask the USC community to embrace our speaker’s opinions, but we are enforcing our right to freedom of expression by bringing him to speak at USC. Furthermore, we refuse to allow SJP and Progressive Alliance to slander our organization and our speaker. If College Republicans were to distribute fliers with inflammatory and false statements about SJP or Progressive Alliance, there would be a campus-wide outcry against College Republicans. We refuse to tolerate this double standard, and we reserve the right to take all necessary legal action against student organizations which have slandered and continue to slander our organization’s name and Mr. Horowitz.
USC College Republicans Executive Board