This popular post was first published here on May 9, 2011.
It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that no one has heard before.
Revelations that rock the status quo are hard to take. And sometimes people rather lie about the messenger than listen to truth. People didn’t want to hear the earth wasn’t flat, cigarettes weren’t healthy, or pro-wrestling was fake. I still don’t believe the last one! People don’t want to be challenged. And those who challenge are often gagged. That was true this week when the University of California Santa Barbara student council had to vote on allowing David Horowitz to speak on their campus.
Earlier this week the Associated Students Legislative Council of UCSB met to discuss giving student money so that Horowitz could give a speech. The College Republicans scheduled Horowitz as a guest speaker, and the school is supposedly obligated to help pay for security and technology needs to pull off the event.
Last Monday, the board denied any money for the speech. One problem: the board is not allowed to deny the funding simply because they find the speech offensive. On Wednesday, the Republican group went back to the board and asked for the minutes to be reopened and the issue to be reconsidered. The groups asked again for around $1500 to help put on the event. The council meeting lasted six hours as free speech was discussed and while Horowitz was made out to be the anti-Christ.
In the end the board would vote to give the College Republicans only about half the money needed. Even worse, the all night session was a disturbing battle that consisted of a barrage of lies about Horowitz. Not only was his character questioned, but angry student Leftist groups did a hatchet job on Horowitz using a doctored Youtube tape. Both the board and one of the reporters covering the meeting fell for these lies.
During Public Forum…(they) played a YouTube video to the audience and Leg Council depicting Horowitz giving a speech filled with racial slurs and accusations at Brooklyn College December 2010… In the video, Horowitz is heard to say the following statements such as “no other people have sunk themselves so low as the Palestinians” as well as “Arabs are racists, Jew haters, and can’t live peacefully with others.
I’m not sure why Amanda Garcia, the student author of this article, would misrepresent the Horowitz Youtube video this way. Anyone can go watch it themselves and see how the video only shows clips of Horowitz out of context. And anyone who watches it can see that Garcia has misquoted and misrepresented Horowitz’s statements in the video. (Go see the video for yourself, or better yet, see the whole unedited video. And for a serious rebuttal of the chopped up video, check out this blog which features pictures and video of the event.)
The Youtube video shown at UCSB gives only snippets of a speech (given this March – not last December) where Horowitz is discussing Palestinians who have acted out in terror against Israel and are demanding the removal or destruction of Jews. It is specifically these people who Horowitz calls “racist, Jew haters” who have “sunk themselves so low morally” (Garcia removed the word morally when she quoted Horowitz). Yet the Leftist students at the UCSB meeting (along with the Garcia article) portray Horowitz as saying all Arabs are racists and all Palestinians are the dregs of society.
The edited version of Horowitz’s speech was reportedly made by Philip Weiss, a known anti-Israel activist and Horowitz hater. It appears student Sophia Armen, the person showing the Youtube propaganda piece, did not disclose that information. In fact, Armen is the head of Human Rights Group at UCSB, which is a division of Human Rights Watch (a group known for being anti-Israel). This isn’t Armen’s first dip into attempting to silence speakers.
Last year she helped lead a campus walk-out on Karl Rove and went so far as to call him a “war criminal” to the press.
Others at the meeting claimed Horowitz was hate-filled and dangerous. One Muslim student (a member of the student council no less) proclaimed having Horowitz come to campus would make him feel unsafe, though he never detailed why.
As a marginalized individual, I feel my safety is somewhat threatened by bringing this individual to campus. I don’t want to subject anyone else to the hate that I’ve experienced. – Ahmed Mostafa
The Left has learned that the best way to gag someone is call them racist. But if that doesn’t work, the last straw is to say that someone’s speech will somehow endanger you physically. It doesn’t matter that there are zero reports of someone harming people based on hearing Horowitz speak. You say whatever lie works to keep people from listening to the truth.
Even though UCSB isn’t giving the College Republicans all the money that is due them for the Horowitz event, the good news is that the speech will still happen. The next question will be how will the anti-Israel, Horowitz haters react when it’s time for the actual speech. Will freedom win out or will there be more lies to try to silence truth?