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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Horowitz blasts liberal nature of universities

Published: October 22, 2010
Section: News

PHOTO BY Yuan Yao/The Hoot

Conservative activist David Horowitz spoke this week to Brandeis students about academic freedom and leftist bias in American universities, which he said were full of “non-thinking liberals.”

During the lecture, Horowitz explained that a key difference between American universities and schools in more oppressive countries is that American schools, he said, are meant to teach students how to think, rather than what to think.

These universities, he said, are the most intolerant places in modern American society. Students, especially liberal students, are cheated out of a truthful and fair education by professors who voice their political and academic opinions.

When he was a student at Columbia University, Horowitz said he never knew his professors’ political views and believes that is how classes should be taught.

“Professors can have an opinion,” he said, “but morally they must present the opposing view … it’s not their job to advise you morally.”

The problem started around the time of the Vietnam War, when radicals chose tenure over “serving their country and fighting Communism,” Horowitz said.

Whole departments were turned into political parties, indoctrinating students with professors’ views, rather than teaching them the skills of critical thinking and reasoning.

Although the event was advertised as being about Israel, the first 30 minutes were focused on the general state of education to give background. Sentiment on college campuses is generally extremely anti-Israel, Horowitz said. For this, he blamed groups like the Muslim Student Association. He said the MSA is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist political group, and that the group Students for Justice in Palestine was a “fraternal jihadist organization.”

His wording prompted laughter from members of the audience who were clearly more liberal than him, to which he replied, “You think it’s funny to be part of a genocidal organization?”

After giving a brief history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Horowitz concluded that most American students are taught, both socially and in class, the “Hitlerian lie” that Jews stole the land of Palestine from resident Arabs.

Horowitz also refuted the idea that race, gender and ethnicity are socially constructed, saying there are biological differences between the groups.

“I don’t feel inferior because Asians are smarter,” he added.

During the following question and answer session, Horowitz blamed the university’s one-sided perception on lack of conservative professors, claiming that there were none at Brandeis. This prompted an outcry by Professor Jerry Cohen (AMST).

Cohen said that he disagreed with the majority of his colleagues’ politics, but refused to be embarrassed by them, and stressed that there are far more conservative professors that Horowitz believed.

When asked about his own children’s education, Horowitz said only that he doesn’t try to run their lives for them.

Horowitz was hosted by the Brandeis Libertarian-Conservative Union. He is founder and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and he founded the right-leaning activist group Students for Academic Freedom.