College Republican’s controversial speaker David Horowitz delivered his lecture to a crowd of 250 students last night, attempting to provide students with a broadened perspective on both local affairs and public policy.
The speech, entitled “Infantile Disorders at UCSB: Why the Muslim Students Association is Afraid of David Horowitz,” also aimed to tackle the state of Arab-Israeli, oftentimes directly criticizing nationwide student groups including the Muslim Students Association and the Students for Justice in Palestine for their perspectives. Followed by a Question & Answer session, during which attendees were allowed to challenge Horowitz’s views, the event sought to ultimately delineate the state of free speech within the campus community.
Throughout his lecture, Horowitz emphasized the necessity for free speech on university campuses.
“The First Amendment is just not any old right — it is the absolute foundation of all of our rights,” Horowitz said. “If you don’t have the ability to get up and express your mind … then you can’t defend any of your rights and you’ll lose them all.”
According to Horowitz, providing a forum that allows all perspectives to be heard needs to be a priority for Associated Students.
“I don’t for a minute think that your student government actually represents the students on this campus,” Horowitz said. “I can’t imagine, when I was a student radical, that I would say when somebody was coming to campus ‘I feel unsafe because of what he’s saying.’ … I don’t come to campus and incite people to lynch Muslims.”’
Dina Varshavsky, who served as Representative-at-Large when the A.S. Legislative Council funded the event in the amount of $800, said the event was not as inflammatory as the campus community was expecting.
“I have never heard him speak before, and I went into preparing for the worst, and yes, there were some harsh things that were said,” Varshavsky said. “As adults, we have to see two sides to things. It was not as harsh as it possibly could have been.”
According to Horowitz, his lecture was primarily intended to foster open dialogue among the campus community.
“If I leave you with any message tonight, it’s that you’ve gotta cherish real difference,” Horowitz said. “You’ve got to try to figure out how to argue in a rational, civilized way.”
Some of Horowitz’s statements, such as his claim that “America is the happiest country on the face of this earth” and “Einstein was never inside the atom; he seems to have understood it,” were met with laughter from the audience.
Kevin Akin, a third-year economics and accounting major, said although he did not enter the event with a strong stance on Horowitz’s views, he felt the speaker tested the boundaries of campus discourse.
“I’m glad he came and was able to voice his opinion; I just didn’t agree,” Akin said. “Especially at one point when, after claiming people want to exterminate the Jews, he said, ‘I don’t see an end to this conflict until a war has destroyed them.’”
The student response displayed at the event however, was more positive and contained than expected, College Republicans President Steven Begakis said.
“The big significance is that people were very respectful and they were quiet during the speech; they asked good, thoughtful questions,” Begakis said. “It was a marked difference from the controversy going up to the event. We’re really happy as a club that the students would want to engage in dialogue that way.”
This is a terribly written article. Even after rereading many of the quoted portions three times, they still make no sense.
Funny that this article makes no mention about Horowitz’ actual comments about the Muslim Student Association: His claims that they “want a second holocaust of the Jews” and that they are funding terrorism or whatever. Seems like an inclusion of the messed up things he says would have given the article some healthy context.
At what point did Horowitz make those comments last night?
even if he didn’t explicitly say it last night, we all know he truly does believe it, no need to deny it. he ran an ad in our school’s paper accusing the MSA of being terrorists for goodness sake. so i think the better question is, how could Campus Republicans invite this guy after knowing that?? but before you retort to “we have the freedom of speech!”…yea yea, we know. no one has ever stopped CR from any other events they had. but there’s a line that can’t be crossed, and Horowitz crossed it. there is such thing as a… Read more »
Well,that is some great evidence “we all know he truly does believe it.” and i suggest you reread that ad he bought a few years back.
and yes, people have attempted to stop CR events in the past, just look last year when the CRs brought Karl Rove to campus. there was a “coalition” started to stop the CRs from bringing him, even though the funds needed were for security.
and if you were at the event, you would have seen how many ASI students there were there in support of horowitz :)
I stand corrected on my second statement, I myself, do not agree with some of what horowitz said last time
After attending the event I was surprised at what he had to say. Everyone said he’s a right wing radical nut. His speech held intelligence and a warning that we need to understand. The important part of life is that you shouldn’t listen to anyone until you’ve heard it for yourself. People have a way of contorting things to their own view, and therefore confuse the original message. Also, some of these quotes are generalized, no way are they quoting word for word. You need to get an official transcript. “I don’t know an organization that would call themselves the… Read more »
didn’t he mention that night that’s he’s never even been to Israel? I just don’t get why people like to stand up and talk about stuff and make passionate claims when they have no credentials. well actually i do get it….want attention, trying to make a name for yourself…etc. so i guess the guy is pretty clever and tactful, he knows how to put himself out there. but there are so many more qualified and credible republicans out there that could’ve given a much more factual lecture on what Horowitz was talking about. he’s never traveled to the Middle East,… Read more »
Ray, he said that in 2008. And as far as I know there is no moral statute of limitations on demagogic hate speech. So what if he gave his toned down PC speech, he spent so much time talking about freedom of speech why didn’t he use his and tell us what he really thinks…again? We all know how much love Conservatives have for the ACLU and Civil liberties in general. We need to protect our right to cast suspicion on a vulnerable minority group(SB County .6% Muslim)of American Citizens. “There is a movement for a second Holocaust of the… Read more »
Here again we find another specimen of association-guilt denial. If a student group formed a KKK chapter at UCSB, but didn’t engage in actual behaviors that Jer finds abhorent, then no denunciation of the local KKK agenda is required? Don’t make me laugh. If UCSB MSA members don’t wish to be tarred with MSA affiliation, then they should disassociate themselves and form a group that more accurately reflects their values. Perhaps the kitten-kuddler-klub? In the interim, academics of conscience have a duty to condemn MSA local chapters for their local and national organization’s rancid record of Islamo-supremacism and bigotry. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7403… Read more »
I attended the event, and found no hate speech. I’m a teacher, and a Christian, very familiar with Israel’s history. What I heard was Muslim Student Association hecklers hollering out an occassional contradiction to Mr. Horowitz when he discussed incontrovertible facts such as the 1967 attack on Israel. Fortunately, UCSB’s highly organized security dealt with each heckler swiftly, heading off the MSA’s previous free speech verbal blockade. Those opposing SA funding for this event seemed to think they have the right to do so because they didn’t like the content. They call it “hate speech”, but it was in reality… Read more »