Basically there are claiming that this ad made the Daily Cal a “vehicle for bigotry”. Huh?
Now David Horowitz is not really my cup of tea…quite a bit more conservative than moi, but the issue of reparations for African Americans is a serious issue…and while many of his points are suspect IMHO…they seem to be points made by many in this debate…Is taking out this ad in the paper a bigoted action in and of itself?
Is this ad something that needs to be apologized for?
Did it really turn the paper into a vehicle for bigotry?
Obviously, we do need an open and reasonable debate about reparations. That’s not what Horowitz is offering, though. His “ten reasons” have very little to do, directly, with the issue of reparations, and plenty to do with promoting the idea of white superiority.
First of all, Horowitz tries to send the entire black community on a guilt trip by insisting that 3,000 slaveholders were black. I’ve seen this alleged fact tossed around by conservatives quite a bit, but I fail to see the relevance. The reparations, if they occur, will come from the United States of America, not from individual pocketbooks. Regardless of how you feel personally about reparations, you have to realise that proponents aren’t singleing out guilty people, they seek only an apology from the United States government. Horowitz intentionally misrepresents this position.
The argument that whites were solely responsible for ending slavery is even more ridiculous and hateful. The abolition movement started with black leaders (Frederick Douglass and Sojouner Truth); later, many white people joined in. Howver, the work of blacks was always the main driving force behind the movement. To suggest that whites are the only ones responsible for ending slavery is outright hate speech, any way you look at it. Oh, and finally, Abraham Lincoln did not give his life to end slavery. He gave his life because a lone psycho thought that he could save the Confederacy by shooting Lincoln. To hear Horowitz tell it, you would think that Lincoln told his attacker, “I would rather die then allow slavery to continue”, but it just isn’t so.
Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838; Truth was freed in 1828, but did not begin actively campaigning against slavery until 1843.
The Grimke sisters started their abolitionist activities in 1835. William Lloyd Garrison started The Liberator in 1831. For that matter, John Woolman started expressing his abolitionist ideas back in 1743.
If you wish to argue that the abolitionist movement started with blacks, you’ll need to find some earlier blacks than Douglass and Truth.
To say nothing of William Wilberforce, who gave his first sppech against slavery in 1789, who was instrumental in ending the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807, and due largely to whose efforts, Parliament passed a bill outlawing slavery in 1834.
Of course, Wilberforce is literally a DWEM, having been British.
Ok, so there were very early white abolitionists, and there probably were some black abolitionists in the same time periods. I do not claim to be an American history expert. I was of the opinion that the Abolition movement really started growing from a few disconnected groups into a real national movement about the time that Douglass and Truth arrived on the scene. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I remember from American history class. But the point is that in Horowitz’s article, he states that blacks owe a debt of gratitude to whites for ending slavery, and I was pointing out the absurdity of this statement.
Probably true. The topic of the article was not why some of the more radical, fringe groups are wrong. Horowitz is arguing that the entire movement for reparations is wrong, and I think that the mainstream of this movement exists because these people want the United States to officialy admit that slavery was wrong.
The Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War weren’t apology enough?
Funny. I read the same article, and infered no allusions to “white superiority”. Could you please, for my edification, quote the relevant passages from his ad that contained such?
So, by your assertion, John Wilkes Booth (or someone else of a similar vein) would have still shot Lincoln had he not emancipated the slaves and just finished waging a successful war to liberate the slaves and re-unite the country?
Just to see if we’re all on the same sheet of music, my History Book says Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9th, 1865. Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater on April 14th, same year.
The Confederacy was officially dead; perhaps not yet buried (some would like to believe this today, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary), but dead nonetheless.
Saying Lincoln “gave his life to end slavery” (like he died on a battlefield, or something) may be a bit of a poetic stretch, but had he not emancipated the slaves and presided over the half that won, would he still have been shot? I think probably not.
I maintain (just MHO, of course) that Lincoln was another casualty of the whole, larger affair, including reconstruction, through the Civil Rights Act and, for some, still going on to this day.
Dude, the US government is individual pocketbooks. Do you think they get their money from selling Furbies on eBay? No. They get it from everyone who pays taxes, which is everyone. The fact that 3000 slaveholders were black (I don’t know if that number is accurate, but let’s say that there were certainly some black slaveholders) is very relevent. Presumably, these hypothetical reparations would be paid to black people (how you define “black person” is anyone’s guess) including the descendents of black slaveholders. Why is this fair?
It’s not hate speech at all; it’s historical truth. Slavery was outlawed in England by parliament before Douglas ever started doing anything.
You’re right that Lincoln didn’t walk into Ford’s Theater with the same mindset that soldiers walk onto a battlefield; but he did know that people were out to kill him, and he had faced several death threats about this exact issue. He knew he was a target, and one of the most hated men in the world. He had no obligation, nor mandate, to free slaves (technically, the 13-15th amendments legally freed slaves, but the symbolic gesture was perhaps the most effective illegal act a President has ever made) or even fight the war. He was even a white supremecist. He chose to take a morally superior route, and he was fully aware that that put him in mortal danger.
The US has admitted it was wrong, in the form of Lincoln’s great speech, three Constitutional Amendments, a civil rights revolution, and so on. There is a difference between “admit you were wrong” and “give me money because you were wrong.”
What bothered me about the actions of the Daily Cal, is that their language suggested that the ad was akin to an ad run by Holocaust revisionists or the Klan. While controversial, many of the points in the ad are points that are being legitimately debated in the main of society. Saying that publishing the ad made the newspaper a “vehicle for bigotry” is just sad…
Not to pile on, but these quotes perfectly illustrate the problem with the Daily Cal’s reasoning, and yours ITR. You start out claiming that there is really only one acceptable version of history and that those who don’t share that view are racist.
Horowitz makes some statements that reasonable people could debate. But rather than debate, you want to label and silence. You label Horowitz’s views as objectively wrong and thus unworthy of being spoken. Yet you then have to concede several points made in defense of the “objectively wrong” position. Viewing opinions as unworthy of protection is a very dangerous view.
All this happened at Cal-Berkeley? Birthplace of Freedom*? Shocking.
I think good-sized portions of Horowitz’s arguments are self-serving, misleading or irrelevant. However, publishing them does not in my view make the Cal paper a “vehicle for bigotry”. A question - is Horowitz correct in saying that selling an ad is the only way to get his views across in such a forum (not to mention getting publicity for his website)? Would his opinions (voiced by him or by students) have been published as a guest column with appropriate response by opponents?
I don’t think pulling the ad was “censorship”. Refusing to hear its arguments at all would set a poor standard for the paper.
*the concept, not the poster.
Good question. From the the tenor of the editorial response, it appears that they labeled the entire bit as a bigoted diatribe against blacks…if they would not give the Klan guest column space, I’m guessing that they wouldn’t give Horowitz the space either
It doesn’t look like it. Though I agree that the newspaper can decide who advertises in it, the knee-jerk reaction that Horowitz is a bigot is disturbing. The editor said one of the reasons the add shouldn’t have run is that people don’t have a chance to respond to ads. So his solution is to attack the ad and give opponents a forum without, it appears, giving Horowitz a chance to respond.
There’s nothing that says a newspaper has to publish everything, but the editor is being quite a hypocrite.
One can compare this matter to the issue of Holocost reparations. I’ve read serious arguments against certain aspects of reparations for Holocost survivors. Whether or not I agreed with them, I didn’t consider them to be anti-Semitic. Although I am Jewish, I didn’t demand that they be censored or ask for an apology.
Many Americans oppose the idea of reparations for slavery. Even if the Daily Cal doesn’t agree with their postion, it’s appropriate to publish that side of the issue.
Horowitz’s style is intentionally provacative. Nevertheless, the Daily Cal’s decision to run an inapproprate apology may be an implicit criticism of African-Americans. The Daily Cal appears to believe that they are overly sensitive.
Call me crazy but if the you disagree with the tenants of the ad aren’t you allowed to, I dunno, buy your own ad? I mean you don’t kill arguments by supressing them, you debate them and kill them on their lack of merit.
Living near Berkeley, I get to see many examples of how ridiculous the situation is there these days. The birthplace of the free-speech movement is now very intolerant of any viewpoint to the right of moderate (or even liberal) Democrats. They justify their actions by invoking the name of Gandhi or MLK, both of whom engaged their opponents instead of shouting over them. Frankly, I’m not surprised at all.