Letter from David Horowitz to the Rocky Mountain News · 13 January 2004

Filed under: Press Coverage

Letter from David Horowitz to the Rocky Mountain News

January 14, 2004
To: Editor, Rocky Mountain News

Your "reporter" Peggy Lowe has political agendas which make her an unreliable source for news about the fight for academic freedom in Colorado. In today's paper she falsely links myself and Students for Academic Freedom with a campaign against diversity training in Colorado Universities. We are for intellectual diversity. We have taken no position on racial diversity as her article maliciously implies and in fact our agendas have officially been included as part of the overall diversity program at Brown University. Similarly her claim that Students for Academic Freedom "rails against what Horowitz calls leftist education on the nation's campuses" is false. Nowhere in our literature or in my public statements in connection with this campaign is there any railing against "leftist education." (Readers can confirm this by going to our website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org and reading our mission statements, press releases and literature.) One of our campus sponsors, in fact, is Professor Philip Klinkner, a well known leftist professor of government at Hamilton College. He would not be part of Students for Academic Freedom if we were railing against his point of view. Our campaign is to get politics out of the classroom - and that means all politics, whether left or right. It is sad to see a great paper like the Rocky Mountain News abuse its readers by parading unfounded editorial opinion as news reporting.

David Horowitz

Diversity or Doctrine on Campus?
Resolution defends free-speech rights

By Peggy Lowe--Rocky Mountain News, 01/14/03

Conservatives charged onto Colorado college campuses Tuesday with a plan that condemns mandatory diversity training and seeks protection for "the right to speak disapprovingly against certain sexual behaviors."

Sponsored by a dozen House and two Senate Republicans, House Joint Resolution 1003 calls for the defense of public college students' First Amendment freedoms, including expression "based solely on viewpoint."

Legislative action was expected after GOP leaders met last summer with David Horowitz, a Los Angeles-based author who heads Students for Academic Freedom. The group rails against what Horowitz calls leftist education on the nation's campuses.

Conservative students say they are being taught by liberal professors who lower their grades for expressing their opinions.

"If any place should have free expression of ideas, it's got to be a college campus," said Rep. Greg Brophy, a Wray Republican.

Mandatory diversity training is "brainwashing," Brophy said.

"When I take a look at the courses that become the diversity training, it seems to be an attempt to indoctrinate with liberal ideas," he said. "They seem to be a little coercive in the way they do that."

Rep. Ray Rose, a Montrose Republican who also signed on to the measure, said he sees anti-Christian prejudice at schools. Islamic groups are allowed on campuses, he said.

"But we are absolutely denying the propagation of Christianity on that same campus," he said. "If that's not blatant discrimination, I don't know what is."

Students should also be allowed to express their opinions on political, religious and cultural issues, Brophy said.

"If you speak disapprovingly of homosexual behavior, you will likely lose your student group funding status," he said. "That's what I'm hearing. Can we just have free expression of ideas?"

Democrats and others have vowed to fight the plan. Rep. Andrew Romanoff, the House Democratic leader, said this issue distracts lawmakers from the real work that needs to be done.

"The biggest challenge in our colleges is not whether conservative professors can get in. It's whether enough kids can," Romanoff said, citing recent tuition hikes.

Colorado has one of the nation's highest percentages of low-income students who don't have access to college, Romanoff said.

"That's a real-world problem we ought to tackle. This is not," he said.

The only school mentioned in the resolution was the University of Colorado, complimenting it and saying it has emerged as a national leader in teaching and research. The resolution calls for First Amendment protections at all Colorado publicly funded colleges and universities.

University of Colorado President Betsy Hoffman was traveling, hadn't seen the resolution and couldn't comment, said Bob Nero, CU's spokesman.

Horowitz, who spoke at Metro State and the University of Denver last fall, believes "the most successful and pervasive blacklist in American history is the blacklist of conservatives on American college campuses." He coaches students to record violations of alleged discrimination, research professors' political party registrations and to demand more conservative speakers be brought to campus.