Core Principles

When the border militias coordinated their street theater with GOP Congressional campaigns two years ago, I sent along this brief response to a request for advice from Tejano activist Arvin Hill:

First off, we don’t debate or repeat the talking points of Minutemen any more than we do their Nazi comrades, Holocaust deniers, or Confederacy apologists. What we do is attack their values and lies. Same for any media engaged in whitewashing these hatemongers. That said, some of these guys are misguided, but not evil. They can be culled through reasonable voices of moral authority sometimes. So we work with churches. We also document these guys, do background on them, and disseminate our information.

When I read last October that Columbia University Republicans hosted a Minuteman spokesman, I was not surprised. Liberal institutions and organizations often conflate free speech with unopposed speech, and misguidedly provide public platforms for hatemongers as though this somehow demonstrates their loyalty to sacred, democratic values. After opponents disrupted the vigilante love fest, Columbia University Public Affairs Office issued this press release:

University Statement on Disruption of the “Minutemen Forum” Sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans
Free Speech on Campus is Everyone’s Right and Responsibility

The University deplores the disruption that took place last night at the “Minutemen Forum” sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans at Alfred Lerner Hall. The specific facts surrounding the incident are under active investigation by the University and so it is premature to make any official statement regarding facts that are yet to be confirmed.

This much is a matter of core principle at Columbia: The freedom to speak, to pursue ideas, and to hear and evaluate viewpoints totally objectionable to one’s own is an essential value of this university and, indeed, of our civil society. We defend the right to peaceful protest and expression of opposing views. But it is never acceptable for anyone to physically take to a stage and interrupt a speaker.

Our regulations are intended to help event organizers, participants and protestors maintain a safe environment for members of the University community and their guests to engage in meaningful and sometimes contentious debate across the spectrum of academic and political issues. We will continue to review the events of last evening to determine how that safe environment was violated and take appropriate measures to ensure it does not happen again.

Does this core principle of the university extend to, say, a discussion of the scientific benefits of human medical experiments carried out at Auschwitz? How about the cultural enhancement of lynching for White Citizens Councils?

Read a letter on this topic to the WA State Human Rights Commission.
Learn more about vigilantes as a political pressure group.
Find out how to avoid getting caught up in the choreographed insanity.
Discover how liberal media promotes fascism in America.

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~ by Jay Taber on May 3, 2007.

2 Responses to “Core Principles”

  1. excellent points. and thanks for the group of links at the bottom esp–

  2. glad to help

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