Parcbench`s Chris Yogerst had the recent opportunity to interview David Horowitz.
CY: Last year you spoke at UW-Milwaukee, my undergraduate alma mater, and you were able to point out how radical the Muslim Student Association (MSA) was there. How does this school rank as far as the MSA is concerned?
DH: It was actually one of the worst. The Muslim Student Association at most schools is a front for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Because it is a front organization in the classic communist sense, it poses as a cultural religious group (non-political) in order promote a false image, which has political advantages and to recruit activists to its more sinister causes. Many innocent students and university administrations get fooled. In fact the MSA sponsors pro-jihad, pro-terrorist speakers and campaigns that promote Jew-hatred. The majority of Muslim governments in the world, in fact all of them, appear to be on board for the destruction of the Jewish state and are generally anti-Semitic as well as anti-Christian. There are Imams all over the world calling for the extermination of the Jews and the obliteration of America, and not too many condemning them. On college campuses the Muslim Student Association is treated as a persecuted minority, although there is nobody actually persecuting Muslim students. In fact the MSA groups are quite privileged getting generous helpings of student activity fees and special favors from the administrations. Muslim students of all kinds are recruited to the pool from which more radical groups like Students for Justice in Palestine recruit them for more anti-Jewish and anti-American activities. The MSA works hand in hand with Students for Justice In Palestine.
At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of California-Irvine, the MSA put out an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting me. These campuses have provided me with some of my worst campus experiences, although I have had many. Their mentality is strictly fascist; they want to shut down free speech and in some cases they are prepared to use violent means to do it. Look what the campus fascists did to Tom Tancredo in North Carolina last week. They use slander and character defamation casually and relentlessly in order silence their opposition. And it works. It intimidates most people and shuts them up.
CY: Name-calling is really just a juvenile tactic for arguing serious issues.
DH: I can tell you are a conservative when you use a word like “juvenile” to describe fascists. Yes, it’s very juvenile but also very sinister. The left has purged the conservative presence from almost all academic faculties and constantly attacks conservative student organizations and individuals. It’s a very intimidating force and it’s pervasive in the academic world.
CY: I had been following your work a few years before I saw you speak, and I still had a hard time believing the issues on campuses were as bad as you made them out to be. Of course when you came to Milwaukee I was able to see first hand how bad it really is. The hate groups came out in full force.
DH: It’s a big problem. Everyone has a tiny piece of the world that they actually see, so I’m not surprised you were skeptical. My problem with so-called liberals, even the decent ones, is that they are constantly protecting the campus radicals. Despite the overwhelming evidence of classroom indoctrination and abuse, liberals won’t take up the cause of academic integrity and decency. The campus newspapers are all left, along with most of the professors. So the problems are not reported. Media like the New York Times are uninterested because the abusers are advancing leftwing agendas. Besides Bill O’Oeilly, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Lou Dobbs, there aren’t any anchors willing to even discuss both sides of an issue like this. So there are only a few outlets, generally labeled “conservative” that are providing information as to what is going on out there.
CY: When you were here in Milwaukee, you asked all of the offended Muslim students if they would condemn Hamas and suicide bombing. Only one person stood up. The rest remained silent and that really scared me.
DH: Well the girl who stood up was a Mexican-American student who was willing to condemn Hamas. She was one of the innocents. She was a member of the MSA but obviously didn’t understand that the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamaas created it and that pro-jihadist activists ran it.
I was at the University of California-Santa Barbara and there were 50 members of the Muslim Students Association in the audience and throughout my speech I asked them to condemn Hamas and they wouldn’t. When the Q & A period began, the president of the MSA stood up and I asked him if he would condemn Hezbollah. He said the question was too complicated for a yes/no answer. I said, “Put it this way: I am a Jew, and the head of Hezbollah has stated the he wished we would all gather in Israel so he wouldn’t have to hunt us down globally. Are you for or against that?” He wouldn’t answer. That shocked the College Republicans who had invited me. Individually MSA members are fairly intelligent. It isn’t like they’re skinheads. But Jew-hatred is their inner mentality. They are very personable and get along with most people even the Jews whose destruction they seek. The only time they bare their teeth is when they feel they have to fight a jihadist cause on campus.
They will, however, invite open Jew-haters, gay-bashers and racists to express that inner mentality and do their dirty work for them. One of the names of these Imams if I remember it correctly is Sheikh Khalid Yasin. He’s African American racist from Brooklyn who believes that homosexuals should be executed and that 9/11 was an inside job. This is the kind of people the Muslim Students Association sponsors. Hate speakers.
CY: What is your message to those Muslim students who don’t identify with terrorist organizations or hate groups and may not be aware of the kind of associations the MSA has.
DH: If they really care about the well-being of Muslims, most of whom are probably decent people (Jew-hatred, which seems to be endemic in the Muslim community notwithstanding), they really need to stand up and condemn Hamas and Hezbollah, and Islamic Nazism generally. You may get members of the Muslim Students Association to condemn terrorism, for example, but then they will go on to say that the United States is a terrorist state. So it’s not really terrorism they’re against. It’s us. The greatest service a Muslim can do for the Muslim community is to condemn the hateful acts committed in Islam’s name. The fact that the Muslim who will do this is rare, tells you how big the problem is.
CY: Lets move on to your latest book, One Party Classroom, which you co-authored with Jacob Laksin. I enjoyed it, as the material is a really eye opening account of some of the most radical one-sided courses in the country. Your critics all seem to want testimonies from students to make your points valid.
DH: Sure they do. I’m being sarcastic. In fact, I began years ago assembling testimonies of students, and my so-called critics called the students liars. Actually they were too politically shrewd to do that. They called me a liar for reporting what the students said. We had plenty of horrific cases. But my critics were not interested in the fact. Take Michael Berube for example. He a professor at Penn State and on the board of the AAUP. He attacked me over a claim that did not originate with me. I repeated a report that Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 had been shown in a biology class where it was just used as propaganda to persuade students to vote for Kerry. I repeated it because students on several different campuses had reported the showing of Farenheit 9/11 in inappropriate classes during the election season. Berube attacked me for this, suggesting that I regularly made up the evidence that his political friends were abusing their students.
Then, last year, a student at Penn State filed a formal grievance because a French Professor showed sections of Sicko, Michael Moore’s communist propaganda film about the superiority of Fidel Castro’s health care system to our capitalist ripoff system. The instructor showed the sequence that took place in France, which was his lame excuse for showing it. This was a language course about verbs and nouns and the like. Moore’s film had nothing to do with the French language. It was propaganda in behalf of socialized medicine. The teacher did not deny that he showed it but maintained it was appropriate. His department chair backed him up. I appealed to Berube to help this student in her appeal to no avail. Berube doesn’t care about abuses in the classroom. He cares about defending his political soul mates. Such critics are hypocrites and less than honest. They are just trying to shut me up and block any reform. My efforts are just to provide a voice for students who are being abused, and an opposition to classroom indoctrination.
In One-Party Classroom, Jacob and I decided to focus on course syllabus instead of student testimonies in order to avoid the kind of unprincipled attacks that were made against me in the past. Here we had professor’s own words and reading lists to go by. One can see how they conceive their courses, and what books and readings they assign. We’ve shown that there is an epidemic of classroom abuse and indoctrination. The schools we wrote about are representative of academia as a whole. Too many courses are designed as recruitment sessions for radical causes and left-wing organizations. The curriculum in these courses is that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialist power and that the terrorists attack us because we are oppressors. In the book we try to be very conservative and I estimate there are ten thousand indoctrination courses in the country, but it’s probably more like forty thousand. In either case this is a massive problem and I wish more people were focused on it, including conservatives. The conservative press has never really covered the story of our campaign.
CY: Well, we here at Parcbench are not afraid to shed light on these issues and review your books.
DH: Good. The Weekly Standard, to take but one example, has not reviewed one of the books I’ve written about this subject. I’ve written four books now about universities and they haven’t looked at any of them.
CY: Keep Parcbench on your radar because we are paying attention.
DH: Great. I am a big fan of the Internet.
CY: My review of One Party Classroom will run once we finish up with the tea party news. What did you think of the tea parties? Parcbench founder Kellen Giuda organized the one in New York City, which brought in over 12,000 people.
DH: The tea parties are great. They were nothing like the usual liberal protests – no violence, no obstruction of others. Conservatives generally are too individualistic to get organized, which is a great handicap in these political battles. But this time they were able to organize events all across the country. I’m tickled that they have began to speak out.
CY: What is the biggest misconception made by your critics (i.e. Chris Goff, John K. Wilson) about your academic freedom campaigns in general?
DH: Goff is one of the union flaks who constitute my main opponents. John Wilson is with the AAUP. He willfully misunderstands what I do. I actually get along with him fine; he’s a nice guy, which isn’t the case with all of them. He thinks I want to remove controversial issues and political opinion from classrooms, which is false. I just want the teachers to present both sides to controversial issues fairly and let students make up their own minds. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the difference between indoctrination and education but John doesn’t. I have engaged him for years. He also says I want legislators to monitor what goes on in the classroom, which is another lie. I’ve never sponsored a bill that would enforce my academic bill of rights.
A website was set up by the teacher unions to attack my other book, The Professors. Jacob Laksin wrote an article dismantling every charge against that book. What these “critics” do is take a difference of opinion and present it as though it were a difference of fact. So attacking me as factually challenged becomes their main form of “rebuttal.” What it is, is a Stalinist tactic to discredit me, and remove me from the debate. It’s hard to have any respect for such people.
“Campus Progress” is a Clinton-Soros type publication that is right at the heart of the Democratic Party and has joined the union attack – actually it’s just another aspect of the union attack, another arm of the Stalinist left. Campus Progress has a section called “Know Your Right Wing Speakers.” I looked at the profile of me they had posted and saw it was a tissue of lies. It is one thing to not like what I say. It’s another to invent my biography and put words in my mouth in order to attack them. I called them up and the kid I talked to – an editor of the site named Jesse Singal -- asked me to send corrections to the profile. I did. I wrote a piece going over point by point each attack on me and refuting it. Factually. That was two years ago. They never changed a word. I posted my critique of their profile with the corrections on Frontpage for anyone who’s interested.
My Academic Bill of Rights is thoroughly liberal in the good sense. And that’s revolutionary. It says that professors are obligated to present more than one side to controversial issues and that students have the right to expect they will observe that decorum. It gives students rights, and that is what they hate. They don’t want anyone to have rights but themselves and that’s why they would rather crush the opposition than deal with it.
CY: Speaking of blatant disregard for what you are arguing, you wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal discussing your experiences with a professor at the University of Texas who called you a “McCarthyite” for leading “witch hunts.”
DH: Yes, they describe themselves and project the description onto others. Dana Cloud was one of the 101 professors examined in my earlier book. Every time I speak at her university (Texas) she calls me names and tries to shut down my speech. Then she accuses me of being a witch-hunter.
CY: I had a similar experience when I was an undergraduate taking a communication course. So far, my graduate courses have been great, but I am at a less secular institution now. I am studying film, so out of my own curiosity, what are some of your favorite films?
DH: Claude Lelouch’s And Now My Love. I enjoyed Snatch, The Mexican with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Films like Braveheart. Welcome to the Dollhouse is great, similar to Napoleon Dynamite but even better. I don’t watch a whole lot of films anymore, I have to say, but I do enjoy the show South Park.
CY: South Park is great, I wrote a piece on that show not too long ago. On a more serious note, you have written extensively about your experiences with Huey Newton and the Black Panthers in the 1970’s. Is there any person or group today that embodies the same kind of radical influence?
DH: They were the radical edge of the Civil Rights Movement, which was very large indeed. I don’t see any particular group like that now. Conservatives have long thought that the Communist Party was behind the left. It’s not. It isn’t one party, or group, but an idea. The idea is that there can be an earthly redemption and that with enough state power “progressives” can bring it about. It’s called “social justice.” In practice, this idea killed 120 million in the last century and will kill another 100 million in this one if given the chance. This is what unifies the left: the perception that America stands in the way of the earthly redemption. That’s why they hate America and why they hate conservatives who defend America. They are a hate group. They are consumed by hate. The last eight years of Bush hatred is just the tip of the iceberg of their hate. This entire Bush is Hitler and Bush lied/people died mentality is quite revealing. The only people who lied while Americans died were the Democrats. People died because of the Democrats and Republicans are too timid to say that. Democrats voted to send our young men and women to war and then spent the next five years attacking the war as an illegal aggression and occupation. This was propaganda worthy of our enemies and a great service to them. I wrote a book with Ben Johnson called Party of Defeat in which we exposed a lot of this. Eighteen conservative congressmen endorsed the book but no conservative publication reviewed it.
CY: I read it and if Parcbench was up and running we would have covered it, I recommend that book to everyone.
DH: Obama, with his bowing and scraping before America’s enemies, is now on a course to get more Americans killed. It is a miracle that the ship captain is alive because the White House delayed those Navy Seals for 36 hours. Obama will get people killed with that attitude.
CY: What are your upcoming projects that you want people to know about?
DH: I am organizing another Islamo Fascism Awareness week this fall. It will be called “The Campus War Against the Jews” because the campus left is utterly committed to the Islamic forces who are preparing another Holocaust. Parcbench readers who want to participate should get in touch with Jeffrey at the Horowitz Freedom Center if they want to help out. His email is Jeffrey@horowitzfreedomcenter.org
CY: Thank you David, for taking the time to speak with me today.
DH: You are welcome.
David Horowitz has been a lifelong civil rights activist. He spent his early years on the radical left working for a communist publication (Ramparts) and with the Black Panthers. Eventually, the murder of a colleague (by the Panthers) led him to question the motivations of the party he was so faithful to. Details can be read in his memoir Radical Son. Since the 1980’s, he has been speaking out against the left and has most recently been on the battle fields of academia fighting indoctrination. David is an extremely courageous person and speaks at campuses across the country, often going up in front of unwelcoming and intimidating crowds. David is widely published and has a large body of excellent books. His most recent books are Party of Defeat with Ben Johnson and One Party Classroom with Jacob Laksin. He is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and also the editor-in-chief of Front Page Magazine (www.frontpagemag.com).