Lecture Transcript: George Wolfe on ‘New McCarthyism’ · 02 November 2005

Lecture Transcript: George Wolfe on 'New McCarthyism'
October 31, 2005

{Roger Wojtkiewicz}
My name is Roger Wojtkiewicz, I am the Department Chairperson in Sociology, and we're pleased to have our speaker today, who Professor Kraus will introduce. And we will have time for questions at the end. First, let me introduce Professor Rachel Kraus, the coordinator of the colloquium series.

{Rachel Kraus}
Thank you everybody so much for coming. We would appreciate your feedback, also if you would have any suggestions for future presentations, please mark them on the appropriate spot on the pink forms that are on the back table. Also there are plenty of handouts regarding the topic of today's presentation. If for some reason we run out of handouts there's also a piece of paper on the back there. All you need to do is write your e-mail address and we would be happy to make sure we get those handouts to you.

Before we get to today's presentation, I just want to give you a heads up about our next colloquium speaker who will be Professor James D. Davidson from Purdue University. Professor Davidson is known around the country for his work on American Catholicism. When he comes to Ball State he will be speaking primarily about the social significance of religion beyond race, class and gender. The presentation is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 25th at 11:00 AM. And like all of our colloquium series presentations, you will be receiving an e-mail and a flyer about that particular talk.

Well, today we are very pleased to have Professor George Wolfe with us. Professor Wolfe is the Director for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies here at Ball State; he oversees the Interdisciplinary Peace Studies Minor; he advises the Ball State student activist organization titled "Peace Workers;" and he teaches the interdepartmental class Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution.

Today his talk will be primarily focused on the use of Gandhian philosophy to counter David Horowitz and new McCarthyism that some people suggest are showing up in various forms of media. Now just to let everybody know, we are very aware of last year's controversy involving Professor Wolfe. So, I do want to make everybody aware that we will have time at the end for a few questions and comments about the topic of today's presentation. So, it is quite appropriate to hold any questions or comments relevant to today's topic until that time.

So, without further ado please help me welcome Professor George Wolfe.

{Applause}

{George Wolfe}
Thank you very much. I am pleased to have so many people here. I want to start off by wishing everybody a Happy Halloween. It's not been my custom to dress up so much on Halloween, the reason being that, when I was a kid, my Mom always told me that if I kept making those ugly faces the eventually my face would freeze that way. As you can see, she was right.

I have here, a manuscript which is a compilation of probably 90% of the publicity that was generated last year by the controversy. And I say 90% because there were articles running around the country, which I didn't hear of, I'm sure I just happened to overlook some… even locally. But, nevertheless when I presented this, I compiled this and I presented it to Provost Beverly Pitts last spring. And, when I presented it to her, I pointed out that I don't think any other program at Ball State University has generated this much publicity… since our basketball team went to the Sweet Sixteen. The title of the manuscript is "The Attack on Academic Freedom By Political Extremists and the Response By Ball State University Administrators During the 2004-2005 Academic Year." For those of you that are interested, I am going to be placing this on my reserve in Bracken Library and you are free to go examine all of the articles, and I'll be pointing out some in my talk today.

You will see that some of the publicity is rather serious and somewhat frightening, but there is also some humor in the publicity. One I saved for the very end, I don't know if you have ever heard of the Indianapolis Monthly but… the Indianapolis Monthly awarded David Horowitz one of its "air ball" awards. Now, I don't know what an "air ball" award is but it comes from basketball… that's when you shoot at something and totally miss everything… so its rather amusing. They awarded the "air ball" award for accusing the Peace Studies program of supporting terrorism. In the sense that we advocate non-violent solutions, non-violent forms of reconciliation, as opposed to violent forms… and I don't know of any non-violent terrorists… I don't know.

I would like to start by reading the introduction I wrote, or parts of the introductions I wrote to this manuscript:

Academic Freedom is alive and well at Ball State University. Of all the universities across the United States who were subject to the attacks of liberal bias by political extremist David Horowitz. At only one did the administration come to the defense of their faculty and their academic programs, the university was Ball State. Vice President for Academic Affairs Beverly Pitts, President Jo Ann Gora, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Randy Hymen and Joseph Losco, Chair of the Political Science Department are to be commended for their public stance against political extremism and their efforts to refute the false accusations directed toward Peace Studies at Ball State University.

As a result of their efforts, two newspapers in Indiana, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette and the Muncie Star Press, ran editorials criticizing Mr. Horowtiz's propaganda campaign. And if you receive the handouts in the back on the table, one of the handouts has those two editorials printed there. In addition, both papers called for state legislators to ignore requests for an Academic Bill of Rights. University faculty, therefore, should not be intimidated by Mr. Horowitz or by his student organization. Nor should any professor feel a chilling effect that forces them to compromise their freedom to teach as they deem appropriate in the classroom.

The surge in publicity resulting Mr. Horowitz's smear campaign ironically resulted in renewed interest in the Peace Studies program at Ball State. The 18 hour interdisciplinary Peace Studies minor grew from six students enrolled in September of 2004 to 17 students by the end of the fall semester. And now I understand the number is up to 33. The spring semester introductory to Peace Studies class, core class which I teach, doubled in size from 13 in the spring of 2004 to 26 in 2005. And the student activist group Peace Workers has had as many as 20 members. In addition, several people from the Muncie community made significant contributions to the Peace Center Foundation account. They did so without me engaging in any fundraising.

What began in September of 2004 as concern over liberal bias eventually grew, quickly grew into the absurd and shameful accusation by Mr. Horowitz that Peace Studies at Ball State was Anti-American and was supporting terrorism. Armed with this unjust accusation along with his previous false accusations, I was able to discredit Mr. Horowitz in newspaper interviews, successfully calling public attention to his extremist political agenda.

Now, if you ever take a workshop on mediation, or if you take my Peace Studies class, the last four weeks of the class are devoted to an introduction to mediation. And when you study mediation, you will know that when we look at conflict in mediation and in Peace Studies in general, not as something negative but rather as an opportunity, as a positive opportunity… an opportunity to clarify ones purpose and publicize ones program and position. When I was interviewed about a year ago by Seth Slabaugh, who is a report from the Star Press, he asked if he could have a photo for his article. And I decided that would be a good idea because a picture contains a thousand words. And one way to convey what we do in Peace Studies very quickly and easily is through a photograph because a lot of people, you know, in a busy society don't really have time always to read newspaper articles. So a photograph is one way you come across. So, I had my photo taken at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. And you may not be able to see in the photo clearly from where you are but beside me is Alice Paul, from women's suffrage. Next to her is a photograph of Martin Luther King, and then the taller image there is a picture of Mahatma Gandhi. And, in that way I am conveying that at Peace Studies we teach non-violence, when you look at the history and philosophy behind that… particularly in the class that I am assigned to teach.

I included Alice Paul because few people realize, or recognize or remember, that women's suffrage is one of the great non-violent success stories in American history. The people who secured the right for all women in here to vote, was not the result of the military, it was the result of non-violent activists, like Alice Paul, who spent time in prison to bring public attention to the injustice of the fact that women weren't allowed to vote. And that process, that effort put on for many years and rekindled in the 1880's and in the 1990's… 1921 I believe the amendment was finally passed.

We must also remember that there are many other rights that we have which were not obtained by our military. Child labor laws were brought into affect by labor unions, or non-violent activists that work through labor unions. The 40 hour work week, for example. 18-20 year olds can vote now because of non-violent activists in the 60's that brought to public attention the injustice of drafting young men and sending them to Vietnam when they couldn't vote. The civil rights movement… well first the migrant workers in California, the United Farm Workers movement which was led by Cesar Chavez that fought for the rights of miter workers. And, of course, the civil rights movement has our attention today because very recently, of course, Rosa Parks died and her body is now being honored, or she is being honored being in state in the capital. And Rosa Parks sat on the bus and refused to give up her seat, and as a result became an icon for drawing public attention to the injustice that was going on in the south, in terms of discrimination and segregation.

So that was one opportunity I had to bring public attention to what we do in Peace Studies, including Alice Paul here along Martin Luther King to let people know that America has a proud history of non-violent activism… it goes all the way back to colonial times. The very first controversy was called the an Timonium controversy, which was the controversy that dealt with freedom on conscience. And it was something that erupted in the Puritan community and those that were persecuted for having the freedom of conscience eventually went to Rhode Island and became Quakers. But, one of the individuals Mary Dyer was hanged for her belief in freedom of conscience… freedom of conscience meaning, in that context, in context of the Puritan society, one's own inner light and one's own inner conscience should supersede the theological and written law.

Now, this controversy has also provided me an opportunity to expose injustice and extremism. When this started out, as a matter of liberal bias, that was an interesting topic actually. It's probably something that we should have talked about and debated but it eventually became spoiled or poisoned, to use the word that was contained in the Star Press editorial. It became poisoned because of the extremist language that David began to use. So I see this as not, this is not a battle between liberalism and conservatism in higher education. This is a battle between reasoned dialogue and extremism. And there is extremism on both sides.

David Horowitz happens to be a conservative political extremist or one who uses extremist language in that context. There's another individual at the University of Colorado who I think made the mistake of using extremist language from a liberal perspective, and that was Ward Churchill. Ward Churchill referred to the people who worked in the World Trade Center as Nazi Eichmanns. Very offensive, of course, but what he was really trying to do I think, and I'm not totally familiar with all of his writings, but there's a concept in Peace Studies called economic imperialism. And it examines whether or not our economic and trade policies do more harm than good, to what degree they exploit other countries economically… especially those countries that don't have child labor laws and don't have limits on work per week and so forth. That's a legitimate topic. That should be discussed and debated, and it should be talked about more often I think, especially in the halls of Congress. Unfortunately, that issue, which I think is an important issue, was lost in the debate because the focus was drawn to his extremist language… and that's what extremist language does. It takes the attention away from the real issue that we should be examining and debating, and makes the language itself and the person who uttered the language the issue.

What we need in society and what we try to provoke in higher education is not extremist dialogue or extremist language … (inaudible). I think there have always been extremists but they're more in the public eye now because of the internet, you know you become a blogger and you can put something on the internet and it can be read anywhere in the world, so that perhaps made it more visible than it normally would have been.

Now to expose an injustice like this, I had to allow myself to become a public victim of the injustice. And this is what is important, it's the center of Gandhian philosophy. The term for it is Satyagraha. Satyagraha literally means soul force and it refers to sacrifice, allowing yourself to be a sacrificial victim of the injustice so that you can call public attention to it, and you have to do it in a public way.

This is Gandhi's interpretation basically, of the turn the other cheek philosophy. "Turn the other cheek" philosophy of course coming from Jesus. But he interpreted as a doctrine of submission, he interpreted it not as a doctrine of submission but rather of a doctrine of non-violent resistance. You don't attack, you don't strike back but you don't run either… you continue in your exposure of the injustice and you may have to take several blows either physically or psychologically. And if you endure that, if you restrain your anger, conserve your anger then you anger will create a energy that can be rechanneled in a positive direction. And when it rechannels in a positive direction, it will come out in a for more constructive and powerful way than it would have if you would have responded negatively. The word for that conservation of energy in Gandhian philosophy is tapasya.

What you have to look for though, when you are engaged in this kind of struggle is an uncompromisable injustice, it is what I call an uncompromisable injustice. Now to give an example of an uncompromisable injustice, I'll go back to Rosa Parks… not being allowed to sit anywhere you want on a bus is an uncomprimisable injustice. Why? Well, it would have been ridiculous for Martin Luther King to have gone to the Montgomery authorities and to have said, "Okay, let's compromise on this… we know you white folks want to sit at the front of the bus, we'll let you sit at the front of the bus during rush hour, say from 3-5… but maybe us black folks can sit at the front of the bus, say from 1-3," or something like that. Now it would be ridiculous to try to make a compromise like that. Not being able to sit anywhere you want on a bus is an uncomprisable injustice. Not letting people be served in a restaurant is an uncompromisable injustice.

When you have an issue like that, then you can seize the higher moral ground and almost be guaranteed of gaining …… of public support. And the incompromisable injustice came my way when I was accused of supporting terrorism because you can't say, "okay I'm supporting terrorism 40% of the time, how about if I cut back to 20%." You can't say that, of course… it's an uncompromisable injustice. And when that became public in the press and in Seth Slabaugh's article, shortly after Thanksgiving of last year, and I found myself gaining a great deal of public support.

The result was, eventually President Gora wrote a letter in support of the Peace program and calling attention to the policies that are already in place, which people weren't aware of. Beverly Pitts, of course, had published that earlier but it did not get in the paper, she had written it to the organization and to the legislators in Indianapolis.

The way I started with this though, is I first, this is back in September, I made a list of false accusations that had been made about my class, and they're contained in this book. If you are interested in reading those, there is a list of seven false accusations that were made and the documentation, I was able to provide documentation to support that. The documentation I provided, for example, was questions that I had asked on my mid-term exam which asks a student to argue both sides of issues. And questions that I had handed out in class for discussion. One, for example, on free-trade was the pros and cons of free-trade an so forth. How does it make us vulnerable, how does it help us to engage in peace building? Those were the types of documentations I had and placed the administration in a position where they were able to support me very easily.

So my recommendation is to faculty, and also to graduate students who are teaching here, is that you simply… you don't have to change your teaching… simply document what you teach so that you can't be misrepresented or the student cannot lie about your class.

I should show now also, some idea of the degree of extremism that we have here. First of all, there is also an addition to the Star Press there's also an article in USA Today. Again, I use my picture as an example, by having my picture taken in front of an Earth flag, with the image of the Earth flag behind me. I found out though, that people who read USA Today are the people who travel and so I didn't have to wear sunglasses around or anything. But that's the image that was in USA Today.

This is the image that was on the front of a booklet that was printed by Students for Academic Freedom, I'll let you look at this. And of course, here I am playing the saxophone… it's quite an unusual position… I don't think I really hold it that way but… in fact I think they have the arms in the wrong position, they're… I think they're the other way around but… there I am behind the World Trade Center, in flames, and this is an editorial in the paper which is… the particular poster insensitive. And, finally I'm very proud of the Muslim Student Association, they wrote a very intelligent letter for the Star Press which was run in the guest spot, refuting false claims that may be made toward that student group.

Now, I referred to this as a new McCarthyism and I would like to explain why I do that. Back in the 1950's there was the fear that the Soviet strategy during the Cold War for taking over the United States was not only a military strategy but also included efforts to train people in Marxist ideology who would infiltrate the United States. It was also illegal under the Smith Act to profess membership in organizations advocating the violent or forceful overthrow of the United State government. It was feared that, over time, individuals embracing Communist doctrine would work to corrupt and indoctrinate the youth of the United States, and over several generations the U.S. would move politically to embrace the Soviet economic and political system. Senator Joseph McCarthy took advantage of this fear and the Smith Act's membership provision, to intimidate people in sensitive government positions and eventually harass private U.S. citizens who descended against U.S. policy or called into question American social values.

Arthur Miller's famous play, I don't know if… there are a few theater major here, Arther Miller's famous play "The Crucible" was written to call public attention to the McCarthy "witch hunt." Now there is a striking parallel between Senator McCarthy's intimidating tactics in the 1950's and the extremist political climate that has evolved in the United States since 9/11. The fear now is not subversive Communist infiltrators, but would-be terrorists and also people who may privately embrace extremist Islamic views. Rather than the Smith Act it is now the controversial Patriot Act. David Horowitz, in using extremist language and excusing peace studies professors such as myself and by falsely accusing the Ball State Muslim Student Association of having ties to terrorist groups, is clearly evoking the Patriot Act in an attempt to intimidate Americans who believe it was a mistake to invade Iraq or who are members of the Islamic religion.

According to my colleague, Political Science Professor Joseph Losco, Horowitz's tactics are reminiscent of, "something that would take place in the McCarthy era or the period of the John Burke Society in the 50's and 60's." That was a quote from a Star Press article, September 27th, 2004.

Now when I was… a few weeks ago… there were some candidates here interviewing for the position of Provost at Ball State University and at one of the sessions I asked the question, what their position was on academic freedom… and to what degree would they support academic freedom. And he gave a fair answer that seems quite reasonable, he says, "there must be balance, there must be balance in every program." And that is something very easy to agree with. However, if you look at that more deeply I think there is a problem with the balance argument, to the extent that you have to take it. For example, when I teach a portion of my class, I devote it to models of human rights. And there are three models which we cover, the conservative model, liberal model and the collectivist model, which really comes from Marxist philosophy. A lot of times when we discuss it, students will ask a lot of questions about the collectivist model since it is the one they are least familiar with and sometimes I see very productive discussion proceeding from that which might go on, maybe for 40 minutes. I'm sure this is a very common experience with many teachers. But the end result might be that I spent 40 minutes talking about the collectivist model, and I spent maybe 10 minutes talking about the liberal and conservative models. Does that mean I am guilty of imbalance? I think most teachers need to have the freedom and the right to allow, and use their insight, to allow the discussion in class to proceed in ways it is most productive for learning and not be inhibited by watching the clock to see to it that you are giving equal time to everything that you do.

We have balance in our curriculum but we have courses that are devoted to a particular topic or to a particular area and it is beyond the scope of those courses to go into other areas. For example, in my class we learn about the history and philosophy of non-violence… we talk about mediation… we talk about problems with domestic violence. But you won't if you take my… and Gandhian philosophy and Taoist philosophy by the way, I don't know if you are familiar with Taoist philosophy but that is the philosophy out of which martial arts came. That's the philosophy that looks at self-defense as well as… you could say it is a pacifist view… but it also looks at the philosophy behind self-defense. But if you take my class you're not going to learn about General Patton's military campaigns. If you want to learn about General Patton's military campaigns, there is another class in our curriculum which is called U.S. Military History of the 20th Century and is taught by Phyllis Zimmerman. Doctor Phyllis Zimmerman happens to be the past Director for the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. So if you want to learn about General Patton's military… successful military campaigns and the philosophy behind that… it's Phyllis Zimmerman's class which goes into depth on that topic. If you want to learn about Gandhian philosophy take my class. You will be disappointed if you expect to learn about Gandhian philosophy in Doctor Zimmerman's class, it won't happen. Similarly, when you take a biology class you're going to be learning paradigms based on the model of evolution. If you take a world religions class you'll be learning about ancient views of creation as found in the … or the Bible. We shouldn't expect world religion teachers to teach or include biological evolution and we shouldn't expect biology teachers to include ancient views of creation such as found in… or the Bible. We have balance in our curriculum and we need to preserve that balance… and not try to mix up confusing course content.

The other question is… who besides the balance? Who decides the question of balance? Is it the Provost? Is it the Dean? Is it the Department Chair? Is it the Professor? Is it the student? It obviously is the professor who has structured the class, knows the most about the material, and has the most insight into what creates the best learning environment for the students and it is the professor that should determine what is balance. If you have one student out of 20 that complains about the class, does that one student provide reason for changing the course content, we have student evaluations and we obviously know how the majority of the students are feeling about the teacher.

Some research is not mature enough to be included all of the time. So it may be necessary not to teach something simply because more time needs to be needed before the research matures. And there is also a value of what I call "shock value" teaching. That is when a teacher purposely takes a provocative stance in order to jolt students out of places. All those kinds of freedoms are to be included in the definition of academic freedom.

Now, I would like to comment on two examples of how the use of language can cause confusion with regards to the subject of academic freedom. It is important that we do not confuse the concept of academic freedom with student rights. Academic freedom has a long tradition and is designed to protect faculty who may be teaching controversial subjects or conducting controversial research. It also prevents administrators and government officials and yes, even students from dictating what can or cannot be taught in class or what strategies teachers may be using to present educational material. Professors therefore are free to profess, to teach in their own way, to assemble and present course content according to their informed, educated, judgments regarding the research of subject matter in their respective field. This does not mean, of course, that students have no rights. But we shouldn't confuse students' rights with faculty academic freedom. Students, for example, have the right to non-discriminatory treatment. They have the right to express their concerns or disapproval of a teacher to a Department Chair or administrator, or other administrator according to university policy. They have the right to be graded fairly, to evaluate teachers anonymously at the conclusion of a semester, to drop a class during the first half of the semester, to register for a class taught by a different teacher, if they prefer, if multiple sections are available. These are all students' rights. And the vast majority of public and private universities have policies designed to protect them. I think in the past, the awareness of student's rights has become forgotten and one good thing that has come out of this I guess is that the awareness has been rekindled. However, to confuse it or to mix it up with the terminology of academic freedom I think muddies the waters and impedes legitimate discussion on students rights within the academy.

Now, I'd like to play an example of an artistic composition which has been created by an Australian Composer named Martin Wesley Smith and you may have received a handout or program note that I had written. One problem with peace activists, as well as with "hawks" I guess you could say, is that peace activists tend to respond to propaganda with their own propaganda. And it becomes counter-productive when one propagandizes a message in an effort to counter propaganda from another perspective. And if you look at the program notes here… I begin "speak truth to power" in the discipline of peace and conflict studies this is perhaps the first and foremost axiom to be followed by advocates of non-violence. Unfortunately, when non-violent activists pursue this strategy they often exceed its boundaries and become guilty of engaging in propagandized rhetoric, similar to what they have been speaking out against. And whenever you engage in a behavior, that you are speaking out and whenever you engage in that yourself… you lose what we call, part of the higher moral ground. You have to be seizing the higher moral ground, means you do not engage in the same type of behavior that your objectors do.

This is the case with Martin Wesley Smith's Weapons of Mass Distortion, written in 2003 as a reaction to the U.S. led invasion of Iraq and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction said to be hidden by Saddam Hussein. While I agree with the overall message of this video acoustic electronic composition, the work goes against certain principles important to peace studies. These include: 1) using sarcastic humor to address serious military concepts such as collateral damage (there's a section in that you'll see if we get that far); 2) including issues not directly connected to the policy being criticized, as illustrated in the reference to Hiroshima and the CIA attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro; and 3) attacking the person and the intelligence of political leaders rather than focusing solely on their strategies and policies. Martin Wesley Smith currently resides in Australia, as his composition correctly points out propaganda is not true. But responding to propaganda with a propagandized message of your own does not contribute to reasoned dialogue. It does however make for a compelling and highly effective art-work that will undoubtedly have a memorable impact one everyone who experiences it. I am going to play a little bit of this now, we may not have time to get through the whole thing but…

{Rachel Kraus}
While Professor Wolfe is setting up could you please turn off any sort of recording device at this time…

{George Wolfe}
This is a copyrighted piece, I haven't yet received permission from…

Music - Video

{George Wolfe}
So a piece like that obviously generates a lot of discussion, a lot of reaction but it contains the same problem the same countering propaganda with counter propaganda. And doesn't, unless you examine it and take it apart, really delve into it. Just as an art work doesn't lend itself to reasoned dialogue.

Just let me summarize by, or conclude by saying that we've really had a violation of the principle of intellectual honesty I think in David Horowitz's approach in trying to have an impact on higher education. Propaganda techniques are similar to those that were found in the Soviet Union. There is an article in this particular manuscript in which I respond to some of David Horowitz's criticisms. Some are blatantly inaccurate as saying the Toda Institute, for which I am a member of its advisory board, Institute of Peace and Global Research is in Hawaii, whereas David Horowitz thinks it's a Buddhist cult in Japan. And there are many other examples like that. But his intellectual dishonesty is really a bad example for students and it runs counter to true American values in the academic pursuit of truth. Therefore for it is important, I think, that faculty and students take a different approach and separate academic freedom from student rights. Let's not confuse those issues and let's move on a path where we can both rechannel our anger and channel it into a positive direction where we can both benefit from dialogue.

Thank you.

{applause}

{Rachel Kraus}
We'd like to leave time for just a few questions, of course given the time if you do need to leave please do not forget to take handouts and fill out an evaluation form, on the back table please do place them in the box. Any questions… for Professor Wolfe?

{Brett Mock}
I was wondering…

{George Wolfe}
How are you doing Brett… {laugh}

{BM}
I'm doing great. I was wondering, which of the accusations, I believe you said there were seven…

{GW}
Right…

{BM}
Do you know what those are?

{GW}
Well they are listed in this particular book uh…. Well I guess I suggest that everybody just simply read these… a lot of them are, first of all, you mentioned that there was a reading list for the book report which I handed out in class… but there was no reading list. You were given the opportunity to read whatever book you wanted to read as long as it pertained to the subject matter of the class. You chose a book on your own, I approved it… and I even reimbursed you for the book. So it wasn't that you were forced to read that, that's just the one you chose.

{BM}
Okay thank you, but to respond to that because you are basically saying that I lied, is it not true that I asked you if I could read a book that didn't necessarily talk about peaceful activism or a countering view point and you said "no it has to be about peace movements or peace activism or…

{GW}
Well as I recall, I… my… assignment is that you have to do something that pertains to the subject matter of the class. I don't recall being more specific than that. I have a great deal of open-mindedness about what book people report on so I'm sorry there's that misunderstanding there but there was really no reason for that to happen. That's why in the future whenever I handout assignments now I write the bounds so that they cannot be misconstrued…. Yes

{Kyle Ellis}
Why are you waiting almost a year later from the controversy to have a lecture like this to respond?

{GW}
Well, Beverly Pitts recommended last year that the administration, her office handle the communication from the university and so I was just going along with that, especially since she, the Provost's office really is the one funds the peace program so I simply went along with that. But I did respond of course I was interviewed by reporters from the Muncie Star and the Journal Tribune in Bloomington and Fort Wayne and so forth and Associated Press reporters. So I did respond, but I did so allowing the Provost's office really deal with the problems in the legislature.

{Audience Member 1}
I'm curious about your reaction directly to Horowitz's academic bill of rights.

{GW}
Well, I think I covered that in saying that there's this confusion being brought into the debate between academic freedom and student rights. I believe in student rights, there are student rights which we all need to be concerned about and discuss them in the Student Senate, bring them to the faculty senate and so forth. That would be an important dialogue to have. However, I think mixing it with academic freedom and with the tradition that academic freedom has with faculty actually is a mistake and actually impedes the progress. I think the students would get much further in looking at the issues if they…

{AM 1}
So you think the current draft of the Academic Bill of Rights is essentially flawed then because of his mixing…

{GW}
Because the language… I believe that the language confuses things and is especially confusing in the eyes of the general public.

{BM}
I was just wondering actually, if sometime in the future you would be willing to have a public debate or discussion…

{GW}
Well I would but there are certain things which I think Students for Academic Freedom needs to apologize for, I think there needs to be a public written apology in the media for the poster that was put around campus of Abel Alves, I think that needs to be done. I think there needs to be….

{BM}
Students for Academic Freedom didn't put that poster up…

{GW}
Well… whoever did that needs to be giving a public apology… someone put it up and I think there… certain things were not included in the… when my class was being addressed… for example, you never stated that you were given credit to go to hear Dick Cheney speak for a field assignment, that needs to be addressed and apologized for.

{BM}
I will admit it right now… sure.

{GW}
Well good… and uh… those are similar issues there but we can talk about that later. I am certainly willing to address that… and I think there needs to be discussion with faculty and students together to clear that air and get back on good terms {laugh} then we could have constructive dialogue

{Rachel Kraus}
We would like to allow time specifically for questions about the topic of today's talk, academic freedom as opposed to particular circumstances, so any other questions about generally academic freedom before we close?

{Audience Member 2}
Well… I have as much an observation as anything. I engaged Doctor Horowitz in the Chronicle last year where I was suggested to be a radical pragmatic, he wasn't really wanting to engage me at that time anyway but… my concern is that it's dehumanizing to suggest that I need to promote a particular agenda when I'm really… that's not who I am… in that I can talk in some details about who I am and whatever I believe in… I don't ever suggest to my students that this is what you must believe. I am always trying to provoke the idea of critical inquiry and am continually interested in getting students to come to the realization that my arguments need not be bad for yours to be good.

{GW}
Well I agree with part of that… I think sometimes professors make the mistake of maybe not clearly convincing the class when they're expressing their own opinion and when they're representing some other view. And maybe that is a part of the confusion too… I think I'm probably guilty of that… but I agree entirely with what you are saying. I think we need to hold students to opposing viewpoints and have constructive dialogue on that. Sometimes though the particular focus of a class and the way it is described in the syllabus and the intent of the class the sides of issues, if you try to bring them in, you treat them only superficially. You need a whole course to look at, for example, military options… you would need a whole course to do that… and we have one… and I hate to discuss things superficially, I think every professor would feel the same way.

{KE}
You had eluded to a New McCarthyism in the media, would you say that there are any specific outlets that are representative of that?

{GW}
Well I think umm… like I mentioned before… the blogger phenomenon has had a pretty big impact… I think views are becoming easily accessible throughout the entire country and the entire world… I think that's maybe… and for awhile maybe the main stream media was paying attention to the bloggers, I think they probably still are but I think they realized that the old adage in computer science is still true and that adage is "garbage in and garbage out…"

{KE}
Are there any specific blogs or media that you would say are indicative of this though?

{GW}
Umm… well I would have to think about that before I answered because I can't… I can't think of any off hand that I would want to necessarily… I don't read a lot of blogs… I mean… some of them are little more than cyber tabloids… I don't read National Enquirer and I don't read some of the blogs... {laugh} there are some good ones

{Rachel Kraus}
Could you tell me a little bit how you found the piece and brought your part together with it and what you hope audiences take away from watching that?

{GW}
Well this particular piece… well I'm using it… I used it in my recital… and I performed it the other day for composition students. I'm using it as a way to bring discussion to basically what I have written in the program… of course when I speak to student composers we are talking about more the technical aspects of how the piece was written/constructed. But, I think it is an excellent example of how you have propaganda coming from both sides and to ask the question is it counter-productive to do that… but also raised a question that one purpose of artworks… one purpose of art… is to provoke and to have a lasting impact. And… can you do that and still stay within the lines of reason and still avoid, I guess, the propagandizing of the message. That's a question which itself I've issued for discussion and I like to present.

Thank you everyone for coming.