Horowitz and Advocate: One on One · 15 September 2004

Filed under: Press Coverage

By Ivan Moreno
The University of Colorado-Denver Advocate, 09/16/04

One of the most prominent activists of the New Left in the 1960s and 1970s, David Horowitz has become a staunch critic of liberal ideals. After Horowitz visited Auraria last year, Republican law makers pushed to adapt Horowitz' Academic Bill of Rights (ABOR) into the Colorado legislature, reaching a consensus with higher-ed presidents to address what lawmakers are calling a politically biased atmosphere on campuses.

Horowitz responded to the following questions via e-mail.

Advocate: For a long time you were a radical liberal, now you are one of the most vocal critics of the left. Why the change?

Horowitz: I was a New Leftist and a Marxist. My views changed when 1) the Black Panthers, a group presented as heroes and victims by the Left murdered my friend and the Left covered up the murders and 2) when the anti-war movement forced America's withdrawal from Cambodia and Vietnam and the result was that the Communists were able to slaughter nearly three million innocent people, more than had been killed in all thirteen years of war.

Advocate: In your essay, "The Era of Progressive Witch-Hunts" you mention how conservative students in all the campuses you've visited are afraid to speak their minds because of attacks from students and professors, and that political correctness in higher-education is limiting free speech. If that is the case, how will your Academic Bill of Rights fix that?

Horowitz: By establishing as university policy that diverse viewpoints are to be respected. Think of it as applying diversity protections to ideas. It's a matter of getting professors to respect their students even when they disagree with them. Is that so difficult?

Advocate: What do you think of the recent cases in Colorado where students have said professors were biased against them?

Horowitz: I think the behavior of Oneida Meranto and professors who call their students "baby killers" because they are in the military is outrageous and should be unacceptable.

Advocate: Why is it that most, or all, of the examples cited by ABOR supporters are of conservatives who say they're being disrespected because of their beliefs? Do you think liberals are subject to the same disrespect?

Horowitz: If liberal students were subjected to the same kind of harassment and disrespect as conservative students, I would champion their cause. I was a student in the McCarthy era. I was a Marxist then. Yet my professors showed me respect. That's the way it should be. The reason the cases of abuse today virtually all concern conservative students is that virtually all professors are on the political left. Leftist faculty have in effect instituted a blacklist against conservatives making it almost impossible for them to get hired.

Advocate: How do you respond to people who say ABOR is a tool to attack liberal professors?

Horowitz: Since the Academic Bill of Rights protects all students regardless of their political views, left or right, and protects professors as well, I find these attacks incomprehensible.

Email the author at morenoadvocate@hotmail.com.