The New Campus Fascism · 30 November 2007

By David Horowitz - FrontPageMagazine.com

The big news during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was the disruption of my speech at Emory University by leftists who, it so happens, weren’t actually students. They were members of the Coalition United for Peace and Justice, one of the leading groups in the movement to save the Islamo-Fascist regime in Iraq from being overthrown by American forces. Shutting down peaceful campus lectures is a fascist tactic, but in a country as committed to the principles of fairness and free speech as this one it is not the most insidious. This distinction must be reserved for the massive witch-hunt which attended our events — the pursuit of alleged “racists,” “bigots” and “Islamo-phobes” who, once labeled, can then be discredited and even silenced if university administrators are willing.

The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, whose founder James Abourezk is a Hizbollah supporter, sent letters to 100 university presidents claiming that Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week was a “hate” campaign against all Muslims and asking them to shut us down. Since the main agenda of the Week was to defend Muslim women, this was a self-evident falsehood. Nonetheless, several university presidents responded by attempting to impose restrictions on the event. They backed down only after receiving letters from our lawyers reminding them that the First Amendment is still around.

Far more sinister was the massive hate campaign conducted over the Internet and in student newspapers to defame our students and speakers as anti-Muslim xenophobes. The one way to shut down speech in America is to call it “hate speech” and insinuate that employing it constitutes a “hate crime.” Fox News Channel host Alan Colmes, generally a reasonable leftist, spoke for the radicals when he told guest Steven Emerson “the term Islamo-Fascism is hate speech.” Colmes thereby embraced the ideological campaign to suppress our event.

But Colmes did not follow the statement by calling Emerson a “racist,” the standard attack of the left itself. Because such attacks were the essence of the campaign against our events, it is worth dissecting one that appeared in the UC Irvine student paper New University. The article was titled “Horowitz Disguises Racism As ‘Awareness.’”

UC Irvine is a campus at which the Muslim Students Association two years ago held an “Israel Awareness Week” at which speakers denounced Jewish control of American politics and policy. Some years earlier, a Muslim Students Association speaker on the same campus explained that Jews were possessed by a “psychosis” that caused them to be “unable to coexist equally and brotherly with other human beings.” The speaker, Muhammad al-Asi, imam of the Islamic Center in Washington DC, went on to say “You can take a Jew out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the Jew.”

The New University attack was written by a third year international studies major named Nathan Tumazi, and began: “Last week marked the beginning of a social and political wave of hatred and racist xenophobia emanating from the violent rhetoric of conservative students, politicians and academics everywhere. The perpetrator responsible for what was called ‘Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week’ is David Horowitz.” Tumazi then proceeded not to describe actual events or speeches associated with Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, but with ad hominem attacks on myself and other speakers such as Ann Coulter.

These attacks were not original, but were drawn from the lies the collective left has manufactured out of past statements attributed to its targets. I will deal with those that are specific to me, because I am familiar with them, and because they amply illustrate the methods used by Tumazi and others. These people do not want to join an argument, but to end one.

One of two citations from my writing that appeared on every campus I visited during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, was an article I wrote for Salon magazine. The citation was selected to prove that I was an anti-black racist, which was implausible on its face, since Salon is a left-wing magazine that would not publish an anti-black racist tract. I was, in fact, a regular columnist for Salon at the time I wrote it.

The article was called “Guns Don’t Kill Black People, Other Black People Do.” It was about an NAACP plan to sue gun manufacturers and hold them responsible for the fact that homicides were the number one cause of death among young black males. I pointed out the obvious – that many communities, including many poor communities have gun owners who do not kill each other with such regularity; that children without fathers, rampant drug epidemics, uncontrolled street gangs, too few police and other factors were the real cause of this tragic violence and not white gun manufacturers. I urged the NAACP to focus on the real causes of these tragic homicide rates among young black males, and not just grandstand it with the race card, blaming it all on capitalism and whites.

Tumazi only quotes the title of the piece, and presents it thus: “[Horowitz’s] Aug. 16, 1999 column for Salon.com entitled ‘Guns Don’t Kill Black People, Other Blacks Do,’ is only a sample of his call to arms for all conservatives, angry or not, to return American universities to their religious and white supremacist origins.” So from being concerned about the failure of NAACP leaders to pursue a policy that would help inner city black youths, I am portrayed as someone who wants to make universities religious and white supremacist. And this, in a university paper, written by a third year international studies major at a top university!

The second ubiquitous quote that has been inserted into my dossier by the campus left is the claim that I said blacks “benefited from slavery.” Here is Tumazi’s version: “Horowitz was again called out for his xenophobia and blatant discriminatory rhetoric for a Jan. 26, 2005 posting on the History News Network web site about ‘Why I Am Not Celebrating’ the 90th birthday of esteemed African-American historian John Hope Franklin.…In the article, Horowitz launched into an attack on Franklin and then proceeded to claim that ‘free blacks and the free descendants of blacks … benefited from slavery.’ Horowitz’s anger and bitterness against blacks is only outdone by his relentless hatred of Muslims, anyone who doesn’t have a penis, non-heterosexuals and the working and poor classes.”

Prior to the article Tumazi refers to, John Hope Franklin had written a vicious attack on me during my campaign against reparations — a plan to force Hispanic immigrants, who had no part in American slavery to pay their “debt” to multi-millionaire blacks such as Jesse Jackson and Snoop Doggy Dog, who had never been slaves. I regarded such an absurd, divisive and racist campaign (the payments were to be made on the basis of skin color) as destructive to the interests of the black community and said so in the ad I ran in campus papers and to which Franklin responded. According to Franklin, anyone who opposed this plan was “pro-slavery” – that was the word he actually used. What was particularly appalling was Franklin’s distortion of the historical regard, since he himself was an eminent historian. To justify reparations against whites (even those whose ancestors had fought against slavery, even those whose ancestors had arrived in America after slavery was abolished) Franklin concocted several false claims. Among them was the statement that during slavery “all blacks had no rights that they could claim as their own.” As I pointed out in my response to his attack, even the African slaves from the slave ship Amistad, who were not American citizens, had rights that were recognized by the United States Supreme Court, which (with a slaveholding majority presiding) voted to free them.

The widely repeated quote attributed to me about the alleged benefits of slavery was also willfully misrepresented by Franklin. What I had said in my original article from which the ad was taken was that supporters of reparations were claiming (without evidence) that all of America’s wealth was based on slavery, a fact that justified reparations from whites alive today to blacks alive today. My response was that if all of America’s wealth was based on slavery then everyone alive today, blacks as well as whites were beneficiaries. I, personally, never claimed that slavery was the source of all American wealth, nor do I believe it.

In his attack on me, John Hope Franklin changed the terms of the argument in order to refute it. He wrote: “all whites and no slaves benefited from American slavery.” (Emphasis added.) My response to this, as it appeared verbatim on the History News Network site is as follows: “Neither I, nor the ad ever claimed that any slaves benefited from slavery. The first question my ad raised was that if all whites benefited economically from slavery (and a responsible historian would certainly want to keep an open mind on this question) could one also maintain that free blacks did not? More importantly, the question was: if all whites alive today were beneficiaries of the wealth that slavery produced, how could one say that blacks alive today were not?” This quote, in the hands of leftists such as Tumazi, becomes “free blacks and the free descendants of blacks … benefited from slavery.”

Like many other leftists our speakers and students encountered last week, Nathan Tumazi is a hater. But he is more than that. He wants to put his hatred into action and to silence those with whom he disagrees: “For those of us still committed to defending peace, truth, justice and equality there is much uniting to be done. We need to come together and demand that the racist hate of last week’s campaign be forced off our campus.” This is the new campus fascism, and it is ugly indeed.

David Horowitz is the author of numerous books including an autobiography, Radical Son, which has been described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.” It chronicles his odyssey from radical activism in the ‘60s to his current position as the head of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and who one journalist has called “the left’s most articulate nemesis.” His book, The Art of Political War was described by White House political strategist Karl Rove as “The perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield.” Left Illusions is an anthology of 40 years of his writings. His latest books are The Professors, which documents the debasement of the academic curriculum by tenured leftists, The Shadow Party, which describes the radical left’s control of the Democratic Party’s electoral machine and Indoctrination U., which is an in-depth look at how indoctrination has taken the place of education in today’s college classrooms.