SAF: Color Cleaves UC Campus · 27 August 2003

By Mickey Thomas

Last spring as the semester was winding to a close, the University of Missouri College Republicans hosted New York Times' best-selling author David Horowitz. His appearance spurred controversy on campus. Professor Miriam Golomb accused Mr. Horowitz of being a racist. Students alleged that she offered to give additional bonus points to protest Horowitz's speech.

When uproar over the alleged extra points for protesting occurred, professors came to her rescue. Instead of questioning her actions in a "Genetics and Society" class on accusing Horowitz of being a racist, people like Charles N. Davis, Chairman of the School of Journalism at MU, questioned the students.

Davis implied in his article that the conservative students who have hosted Horowitz were racists, too, and suggested facetiously that the students invite former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to campus. Not content to ridicule MU students, Davis insulted other conservative speakers, calling Ann Coulter the "world-renowned bigot and Islamaphobe" and Reagan biographer Dinesh D'Souza a "white victomologist." Journalism professor Davis showed a poor example to would-be reporters by making several fact errors in his diatribe and failing to offer any argument other than personal attack.

Davis stated that Coulter had been fired from the "pretty-darned conservative New Republic." Wrong. First, the New Republic is not conservative; and, second, she had been fired from National Review. One also wonders why Dinesh D'Souza would be a "white victomologist" when he is of Indian decent. Not only this, but he hasn't spoken at MU within the last year. It seems odd that a university that wouldn't let anchors at the university television station wear American flags because it didn't want to appear as partial to a political persuasion, yet here is a journalism professor blithely implying that conservative students are racists.

Why were the conservative students at the University of Missouri not ever defended by a professor on campus? It is either because there are few conservative professors at MU or the ones who are conservatives have been intimidated to not voicing their opinion. The only thing that conservative students can do anymore to have their side of the debate heard is to turn to national conservative organizations like Young America's Foundation.

Unfortunately, last spring's episode was just one of a series of examples of bashing against conservatives and their ideals on the MU campus. Between canceling exams in lieu of protests or faculty organizing "teach-ins," the bias against conservatives is the real struggle on campus today. However, MU isn't alone in its flood of liberal propaganda to indoctrinate the next army of young socialists.

Ohio University threatened to dismiss students from the university after painting "offensive" language on the communal wall where student organizations paint announcements for upcoming events. The "offensive" comments were only in response to a graphic display of the female anatomy to announce the upcoming "Vagina Monologues." All of this occurred during sibling weekend where the mostly younger brothers and sisters of current students visited the campus.

A personal friend of mine is currently in a battle with Cal Poly University over his free speech rights. Steve Hinkle, president of the Cal Poly College Republicans, is currently dealing with a pending case of "disruption" when he was denied posting a flier in the public lounge of the Multi-Cultural Center. The students refused to let him post the flier because they viewed it as "offensive" and proceeded to call the police on him. He willingly left the lounge, yet was still charged with disruption even though the police report states nothing about disruption. It only states that "a suspicious white male was posting material of an offensive racial nature."

Students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are fighting back. They've organized a group to question the university and its policies like requiring freshman to read Nickled and Dimed, a book about low-wage earners. The university conducted a study on the persecution of the gay student population, and now the conservatives are demanding a similar study be conducted for the conservative students.

This is the kind of action that needs to be taken by students. Conservative students across the country shouldn't roll over and say, "Well, this is just how it is in academia." There needs to be a fight. Conservatives are fighting the good fight. All we are asking for from liberal administrators and professors is for the university to be a marketplace of ideas, and to stop censoring and intimidating conservative students.

Conservatives are by no means asking to censor professors and usurp their free speech rights; however, conservatives deserve equal representation. America's college campuses need equal representation in the true sense - in diversity of thoughts and ideas. Conservatives professors are the real minority on college campuses.

The bottom line becomes this. In a state where the Republicans control the House and Senate, why are Missourians' children being taught ideas that directly contradict what they've been taught at home? If there is going to be a plethora of liberal professors who share their opinions in class, there should be an equal amount of conservative professors willing to do the same.

It is one thing to represent both sides of a debate and let students decide for themselves, but professors are accusing conservatives of being racist--an unacceptable state of affairs. This is precisely what is wrong with academia today and it is up to the students and parents to push for a change and for real equal representation in our nation's universities.

Mickey Thomas is a member of the Mizzou College Republicans.