University Officials Attack a Young Warrior · 05 April 2005

Filed under: Florida, Press Coverage

By David Horowitz--04/06/05

I was in Florida on Tuesday to testify before the Education Council chaired by Representative Dennis Baxley a courageous Florida legislator who has introduced an Academic Bill of Rights into the Florida House. Representative Baxley like most legislators has had first hand experience of the intolerance and lack of professionalism of m'any of today's faculty who confuse their classrooms with soap boxes. The event was reported by half a dozen Florida papers and was the lead front page story in the Tallahassee Democrat. Like virtually all the Florida press - and all the local press in states we have fought this battle in - The Democrat reported this story in as relentlessly one-side a fashion as the Democrats on the education committee could have desired. It cited every one of their attacks on the bill and reported none of the responses. Nor did it provide the rationale for the bill as presented by the sponsors. I spoke for half an hour in support of the bill, as the principal witness before the council. None of what I said was reported. Fortunately, Republicans are in a majority in the Florida legislature and this bill will have its day. It's sad that the Democratic Party is such a leftwing party these days that it cannot even support academic freedom in universities anymore.

The most dramatic moment of the day came, however, at the press conference afterwards where a young woman named Elle Lahesa stepped forward to tell her story. This is the Tampa Times story:

'Later at a news conference, FSU junior Elle Lahesa, 23, said a history professor at Tallahassee Community College told the class that America deserved the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It happened in a Western civilization class the day after Sept. 11, 2001, she said.

'When Lahesa, a … Marine dressed in uniform, objected, she said the professor told her, "You have no right to talk. You are just a baby killer."

'Afterward, she said, students spat on her.

'When she went to the dean's office, Lahesa said she was told the dean didn't have time to talk to her.

'Monte Finkelstein, dean of the history and social sciences division at TCC, said he would be "shocked" if a professor made the comment.

'TCC spokeswoman Alice Maxwell said she doubted a dean would have ignored Lahesa's complaint either.

'"It really does not sound like something that would happen," Maxwell said.'

If anything revealed the problem on our campuses and with our media this story does. Why would the Tampa Times even report the informed slanders of two malicious university spokespeople who on the basis of no evidence are willing to step forward and call a young woman who volunteered to defend her country a liar, and at the same are eager to defend and an American traitor who hates his country? And why would these academics do this unless they were confident that the press (or whoever called them from the press) were politically sympathetic and wouldn't expose them to the ridicule they deserve? This little story gives the lie to those leftists who claim to oppose the war and support the troops. They don't support the troops - and why would they since believe America is the guilty party and should lose the war.