Re: [sixties-l] Provocative, and Proud of It by David Horowtiz

From: William M. Mandel (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 13:52:18 EST

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    Exactly, and the Genocide Convention, to which the U.S. is finally a ratified
    signatory, reads
        "ARTICLE III: The following acts shall be punishable:::...(c) direct and
    public incirment to commit genocide" which is defined just above in
        "ARTICLE II:...(b) Causing serious bodily or MENTAL harm to MEMBERS of the
    group [my emphasis, W.M.]; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions
    of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole OR IN

    Bill Mandel

    monkerud wrote:

    > Let's keep the perspective ... as in who paid for this ad? It was not
    > Horowitz but his backers... the Nazis ran ads in newspapers I'm sure. I'm
    > sure the liberals jumped to the tune of free speech at the time....
    > best, Don Monkerud
    > At 2:41 PM -0800 3/13/01, radman wrote:
    > >Provocative, and Proud of It
    > >By David Horowitz
    > > | March 13, 2001
    > >URL:
    > >
    > >
    > >MY SALON EDITOR JOAN WALSH has generously offered me space for a
    > >"rebuttal" of her story and profile (Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad
    > >Horowitz?). Her story reports on the travails of an ad I have attempted to
    > >place in many college papers, questioning the wisdom of reparations for
    > >slavery 136 years after the fact. In "rebutting" her article, my task is
    > >complicated by two facts. First, though Salon's editors and I disagree
    > >politically, they have given me the very opportunity to have my views
    > >heard that so many college papers have recently denied; moreover, in her
    > >article Joan has provided a defense of my position in the current
    > >controversy. I thank her for this support. We are indeed colleagues and I
    > >cherish that fact. In the second place, the only truly negative aspect of
    > >Joan's piece is its somewhat tongue-in-cheek portrayal of me as a
    > >publicity-seeking, "racial provocateur." By merely taking the opportunity
    > >(and space) to reply as offered, however, I may seem to be confirming the
    > >charge.
    > >
    > >Let me begin by saying that I am not a racial provocateur and, as I hope
    > >will become evident in the course of this reply, I do not have a chip on
    > >my shoulder that causes me to seek confrontation with the African American
    > >community. In fact, I do not see myself in confrontation with the African
    > >American community at all. My fight is with the African American left.
    > >
    > >When a well-meaning Democrat in Florida designs a butterfly ballot to help
    > >elderly Democrats vote their ticket but inadvertently confuses them
    > >instead, and when this becomes a pretext for Jesse Jackson and other
    > >demagogues to charge Republicans with a plot to "disenfranchise the
    > >descendants of slaves," THAT is racial provocation. If you're looking for
    > >a racial provocateur, Jesse Jackson should be your model. Jackson's
    > >strategy is a cynical triad: provocations, negotiations and then
    > >"reparations" (for Jackson, of course, and his family and their
    > >well-heeled friends).
    > >
    > >Under the self-serving leadership of Jackson, Sharpton and Randall
    > >Robinson, the civil rights movement has adopted the triad as its political
    > >formula of choice. The reparations claim itself is the work of racial
    > >provocateurs people who want to put race at the center of every
    > >political conflict and reveal it as the source of every problem afflicting
    > >African Americans in order to shake out the loot on the back end. The
    > >entire thrust of the ad I attempted to place -- "Ten Reasons Why
    > >Reparations Is a Bad Idea and Racist Too" -- was to dissuade African
    > >Americans from following the dead-end path of racial provocation down
    > >which leftwing arsonists are leading them.
    > >
    > >In writing about me, Joan has anchored even her misperceptions in
    > >anecdotal data: "'Now we're sending the ad to about 100 papers,' an
    > >excited Horowitz says by cell-phone, rushing from meeting to meeting."
    > >Well, not "meeting to meeting" exactly. When this conversation took place,
    > >I was in my car on Wilshire Boulevard, driving home. The accurate half of
    > >Joan's account is that I was indeed coming from a meeting, as I mentioned
    > >to her. It was, as it happens, a five-hour meeting, the only item on my
    > >calendar that day. Because it was around three PM, she had to leave our
    > >cell conversation abruptly to pick up her daughter after school. As a
    > >result, Joan never got around to asking me what my meeting had been about.
    > >If she had, it would have thrown some light on her perceptions.
    > >
    > >My meeting, in fact, was with three African Americans who run a grassroots
    > >organization in the inner city. Their operation is an outgrowth of the
    > >1992 Los Angeles riots and is an effort to bring jobs, technical training,
    > >"economic literacy" and other financial resources to its inhabitants.
    > >
    > >At this moment, thanks to the dead-end, race-polarizing, leftwing
    > >leadership of Jesse Jackson and others, the project was facing the kind of
    > >crisis that similar organizations are facing in inner cities all over the
    > >country. It had been receiving, for example, $1 million a year from the
    > >Clinton White House; it had been getting valuable political support from
    > >Vice President Gore (which it returned to him during his presidential
    > >campaign). Now, along with the 92% of the African American community that
    > >voted for Gore and stigmatized Republicans as racists, it had discovered
    > >what the two-party system is actually about, and why it might not be such
    > >a good idea to put all one's eggs into a single political basket.
    > >
    > >My three visitors and I have our political differences. Our meeting began,
    > >inevitably, with a discussion of the reparations issue. Fortunately,
    > >however, the leader of the organization whom I have known and worked
    > >with for years was able to form a strong bond with me which none of my
    > >"provocations" has affected. He saw early, as others apparently have not,
    > >that my criticisms of African American leaders come from a genuine concern
    > >for African Americans themselves. My reparations argument is really a plea
    > >to African Americans not to let their leaders separate them from the rest
    > >of America and then polarize their community against America, which by and
    > >large actually wishes African Americans well.
    > >
    > >As a result of our bond, and having aired our differences over the
    > >reparations issue, we were able to set to work on plotting a strategy with
    > >which to approach the Republican Congress and the Republican White House,
    > >through connections which I was able to supply. Our agenda was to get the
    > >new Administration to continue and extend the support for this project
    > >that is now jeopardized, and to build additional bridges across the
    > >political divide. I have been working with this group and with similar
    > >organizations for many years, just as I have been working with the
    > >Republican Party to open its doors and extend its hands to communities and
    > >cultures in America that have been left behind.
    > >
    > >So much for perceptions of me as an emotionally embittered antagonist of
    > >blacks.
    > >
    > >Of course, I am something of a political provocateur. A long time ago I
    > >resolved that I was going to draw on my experience in the left and fight
    > >fire with fire. I was determined to speak to and about the left in its own
    > >morally uncompromising voice. I had a rationale for this, particularly
    > >where race matters were concerned. Most people are intimidated by the race
    > >card when played by the left. Few will take the risk of candor. In these
    > >circumstances, a surreal situation has gradually developed until we find
    > >ourselves talking now to charlatans and racists as though they were civil
    > >rights leaders worthy of respect. Is there any non-black person in America
    > >(not ideologically distraught) who thinks of Al Sharpton a racial
    > >incendiary and convicted liar -- as a possible heir to Martin Luther King?
    > >Or who does not realize that the very presence of Sharpton does
    > >irreparable damage to the civil rights cause?
    > >
    > >Yet who outside myself and a "provocative" few would dare to say as much
    > >in public? When Sharpton held his Martin Luther King charade at the
    > >Lincoln Memorial last August, flanked by New Black Panthers calling for
    > >race war, what news media or public figure stepped forward to puncture his
    > >balloon? The head of the ACLU took her place on the platform side by side
    > >with the racists without even noticing the incongruity. The head of the
    > >Urban League was there as well. And so was Andrew Cuomo, then Secretary of
    > >Health Education and Welfare, now a Democratic candidate for governor of
    > >New York. And why not? The entire Democratic Party leadership has embraced
    > >Sharpton as a "civil rights leader." Is there any mystery why the African
    > >American community feels okay doing so as well?
    > >
    > >That is the situation we find ourselves in, and until it changes, I will
    > >continue to speak (as the left likes to say) "truth to power." I will do
    > >it, even though it means being tagged as a provocateur.
    > >
    > >I will especially continue to do it on the issue of reparations, which is
    > >the biggest shakedown scam of all. Most blacks in America started their
    > >post-slavery lives with nothing, and come now from a legacy of centuries
    > >of oppression and violence against them. But notwithstanding this past,
    > >they have achieved enormous gains in this country. Collectively, they have
    > >accumulated more wealth than 90% of the world's nations. In their
    > >majority, they are solidly middle class -- and this by American standards,
    > >which means they are wealthy by most of the world's standards. Yet on the
    > >cusp of success, we do not celebrate their success. Instead we have a
    > >black leadership revving up a gigantic grievance machinery to once again
    > >dramatize failure the failure of America in the past; and the failure of
    > >a minority of African Americans, who are mainly fatherless and poor, to
    > >take advantage of the opportunities before them.
    > >
    > >This failure is presented improbably as a continuing "oppression" by the
    > >rest of America and thus a rationale for the "reparations" claim. The
    > >reparations, however, are not to be paid by slave-owners, or even scions
    > >of slave-owners, but by working class Hispanics, Asian boat-people, Kosovo
    > >refugees, blue-collar whites whose ancestors may have died fighting to
    > >defeat the slave power itself, and a hundred million or so others whose
    > >ancestors weren't even Americans in 1865. What kind of lunacy is this?
    > >
    > >A Time magazine poll shows that 75% of Americans oppose reparations for
    > >slavery. Don't you get the idea that black leaders behind the reparations
    > >movement WANT it to fail so that they can keep rage alive and stoke the
    > >fires of grievance that have rewarded them so generously in the past?
    > >
    > >In asking this question, am I really "inflating black leadership flaws" as
    > >Joan maintains? Or telling it like it is?
    > >
    > >Finally, I plead guilty to enjoying the attention the ad is getting and
    > >the consternation of those editors at campus dailies who have tried to
    > >stifle free speech. Who wouldn't be? Is it important to have two sides to
    > >a debate? Is it a national disgrace that without my intervention this
    > >dialogue on reparations would never have taken place?
    > >
    > >I did not pick Black History Month to launch my campaign. But if I had,
    > >what of it? Is Black History Month about history or about the imposition
    > >of a party line? Are there two historians who agree on anything? In fact,
    > >I wrote my Salon article last summer as a response to the decision by the
    > >Chicago City Council to support reparations. The vote was 47-1. That's
    > >some vote for a democracy. Were opponents of reparations intimidated into
    > >silence? You bet. Is this an appropriate occasion for outrage? I thought
    > >so.
    > >
    > >Six months later, I cut the Salon article to single page size -- suitable
    > >for an ad -- when I noticed on the Internet that a Reparations conference
    > >was to be held at the University of Chicago at the beginning of February.
    > >I guess it was for Black History Month. It was clear from the announcement
    > >that all the participants would be in favor of reparations. Was this
    > >stacking of the argument appropriate for a university setting? I didn't
    > >think so. I sent the ad to the Chicago Maroon so that students at the
    > >university would get another point of view. The Maroon printed the ad
    > >without apology and without incident.
    > >
    > >I decided to send 10 ads. I knew that faculty and students on most
    > >American campuses functioned under a cloud of intimidation from the left
    > >and suspected that no faculty member would publicly present an
    > >anti-reparations view. From a career perspective it would be too
    > >dangerous. I make no apologies for attempting to run these ads as a way of
    > >stimulating a campus debate that couldn't otherwise take place. Believe it
    > >or not, I never dreamed the ad would be turned down at places like
    > >Columbia and Harvard, or that the editor of the Daily Cal at Berkeley
    > >would apologize for printing it after the fact. His apology (and that of
    > >the editor of The Aggie at UC Davis) was tantamount to saying: We will
    > >never air a point of view that offends the campus left, particularly the
    > >African American left. It was this gauntlet that convinced me to send the
    > >ad to as many college papers as my resources permitted.
    > >
    > >I am thrilled by the result. And why wouldn't I be? The attempt by the
    > >left to turn these campuses into indoctrination centers has been thwarted.
    > >A debate has been started all across America on the issues of reparations
    > >and free speech. Campus censors are on the run. It is time to say goodbye
    > >to campus fascism, no matter what color it comes in. Too many conservative
    > >speakers have been driven off American campuses in recent decades; too
    > >many newspapers offensive to leftists have been burned in order to deny
    > >others access to their ideas. This kind of behavior should be unacceptable
    > >anywhere, but especially in a campus setting. Where are the adults? Where
    > >was the University of Wisconsin president when his security guards were
    > >telling editors of the Wisconsin Badger-Herald (which printed my ad) to
    > >lock themselves in their dorm rooms for their own safety. Why weren't the
    > >leaders of the so-called Multicultural Coalition who organized the
    > >thuggery expelled? Why weren't the students at UC Berkeley who burned the
    > >pamphlets of a visiting speaker last semester suspended and expelled? Why
    > >are the university administrators silent during a controversy that goes to
    > >the heart of the university mission?
    > >
    > >I can tell you this. In the days to come, I am not going to be hiding in
    > >anybody's closet. I'm going to be out there fighting this battle -- which
    > >I did not begin yesterday, or just to exorcise my personal demons during
    > >Black History Month. Ten years ago, Peter Collier and I launched
    > >Heterodoxy as a magazine to fight political correctness on college
    > >campuses. The Center I head was in the forefront of the battle against
    > >speech codes. Our lawyers actually forced a University of Minnesota
    > >President and a UC Chancellor to undergo sensitivity training in the First
    > >Amendment when they attempted to confiscate a conservative magazine and
    > >ban a fraternity whose T-shirt the left found objectionable. The
    > >experience was so embarrassing that both universities dropped their speech
    > >codes shortly thereafter. But speech codes are only one instrument the
    > >left has devised to quash free expression at institutions of higher
    > >learning. So when this latest battle is over, I will be finding new
    > >occasions to continue the fight call me what you will -- until American
    > >campuses are made safe for learning, which means safe for expressing
    > >different points of view.
    > >-----
    > >David Horowitz is editor-in-chief of and president
    > >of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.


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