On May 9, the College Republicans invited David Horowitz to address University of Chicago students on the issue of Race Relations on College Campuses. However, instead of confronting the issue of race relations on college campuses, Horowitz attacked leftist views, spoke on U.S. political agendas including the war in Iraq, and complained about the Black Panther party movement in the 1960s. Horowitz came armed with his own political agenda, a viewpoint not necessarily aligned with conservative or Republican doctrine. He was unable to guide students on how to improve race relations on college campuses. In fact, his presence only made campus racial relations worse than ever before.
Since he did not address the issue, I tried to get his feedback by posing him a question related to Race Relations on College Campuses. I asked if he thought a possible way of improving race relations would be to engage in an academic discourse on race, such as a race discussion in the classroom. His response was that we definitely should be talking about race in the classroom. His statement that we should engage in an academic dialogue on race was the one positive and valuable statement he made.
If we are going to truly take the next step forward and advance the racial dialogue on this campus and beyond, we need to stop bringing people like Horowitz to campus, who only antagonize, poke fun, and have little to nothing to contribute to the valuable discussion of race. I strongly encourage the College Republicans to choose other speakers that are both academically respected and controversial. Furthermore, I encourage the College Republicans to collaborate with other cultural organizations and cohost a similar event with the University of Chicago Democrats. By doing this, the College Republicans will get the debate they want that is intellectually engaging and not just entertainment for the amused. Such an event will further the dialogue of race but will not be so polarized from one perspective.
Ruth Anne Whitfield
First-year in the College
Your May 5 account, reporting the vigorous May 3 attack by a visiting speaker on this campus against John Mearsheimer because of his Israel Lobby article, noticed that our professor was condemned as a disservice to the University of Chicago and academia.
The only obvious dissent in the audience from our visitors harsh remarks on that May 3 occasion were mine. After identifying myself as someone who regards himself as a longtime friend of Israel and who considers it in the American interest to support that gallant country, I observed that I know Professor Mearsheimer to be an honorable and conscientious student of international affairs, someone who is obviously troubled by the folly of our Iraq intervention. I objected that it is neither fair nor useful to liken (as was done) the Mearsheimer critique of the Israel Lobby to the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
I then ventured to predict that Professor Mearshiemer would want to acknowledge publicly any serious mistakes that he discovers himself to have made in his controversial article.
Lecturer in the liberal arts
University of Chicago