David Horowitz was supposed to attract a crowd of protesters similar to the crowds who packed Isla Vista Theater for Ward Connerly and Ollie North’s lectures.
When Horowitz spoke at UC Berkeley, he was taunted, jeered and eventually walked off the stage.
“The moment you’ve all been waiting for,” Horowitz said as he stepped to the podium Wednesday night in Buchanan 1910.
But the crowds of angry protesters never materialized. Instead, the audience clapped respectfully and laughed at Horowitz’s jokes.
The four security guards who always travel with Horowitz stood at ease and focused their attention on the audience or exchanged glances with each other. The UCPD stood against the back wall.
Recently, Horowitz has become known for an advertisement he wrote and sent to 73 collegiate newspapers, titled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks Is a Bad Idea for Blacks – and Racist Too.” Following the controversial reception the ad received- notably at Brown, Princeton and Berkeley – he embarked on a speaking tour at college campuses around the country.
In his lecture, Horowitz pointed to students from universities where the advertisement was run who protested on the grounds that the advertisement was racist and offensive.
“I consider it offensive that white America – it’s not just white America but other groups in America – should be accused of being responsible for every percentage point in the gap between some blacks and other people which are accused of every problem that the black community faces,” Horowitz said.
Horowitz said people who share his views on the reparations movement but are afraid to express their opinions suffer under what he believes is a system of racial McCarthyism. A similar system of oppression of conservative views, not just reparations, restrains university students from expressing beliefs that are not politically correct, Horowitz said.
Horowitz said he had more freedom as a Marxist during the 1950s attending Columbia University while McCarthy was a senator, than conservative college students have today. Horowitz said he sent the ad to campuses to address what he believes is a decline in free speech.
“The whole reason I did the ad was because only one side gets to debate its views on a campus like UCSB,” he said. “What I see going on here is an attempt to demonize me; I see a lot of name-calling as an attempt to stigmatize my ad in such a way that people can’t even consider the argument. The whole idea of a university is rational exchange of ideas and bound knowledge. How can you know things if you don’t have the freedom to entertain a different view?”
Although he was once a part of the Black Panther movement, Horowitz turned from all leftist activities after experiencing conflicts with the Panther members, whom he referred to as “gangsters.”
He said he has marched and campaigned for civil rights since before some students were even born, but the civil rights movement has now betrayed the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because under the system of reparations, blacks in America would be favored.
“How are you going to tell Jos