Magazine article Insight on the News

Silence Is Not a Virtue When Left Limits Free Speech

Magazine article Insight on the News

Silence Is Not a Virtue When Left Limits Free Speech

Article excerpt

David Horowitz -- one of this country's staunchest defenders of free speech -- is out on the college lecture circuit defending himself. In the last couple of weeks, on what he calls his Freedom Tour -- at the University of California-Berkeley, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas and Boston University -- Horowitz has fought back against yet another attack by the Political Correctness crowd. In the past, Horowitz has been attacked for his well-reasoned conservative positions on race. This time, because of recently renewed pleas that some black Americans receive "reparations" for antebellum slavery, Horowitz purchased advertising space to present a political statement entitled "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea -- and Racist Too."

Did any of Horowitz's 10 reasons even hint at racism? Did any of them conceivably constitute an attack on black Americans? Did any even imply that today's African-Americans are lazy, stupid, dishonest? Not by any stretch of the imagination! Indeed, Horowitz's 10 reasons -- explained, defended, and substantiated in two single-spaced pages -- were the following:

I. There is no single group responsible for the crime of slavery; II. There is no single group that benefited exclusively from slavery; III. Only a minority of white Americans owned slaves, while others gave their lives to free them; IV. Most living Americans have no connection (direct or indirect) to slavery; V. The historical precedents used to justify the reparations claim do not apply, and the claim itself is based on race, not injury; VI. The reparations argument is based on the unsubstantiated claim that all African-Americans suffer from the economic consequences of slavery and discrimination; VII. The reparations claim is one more attempt to turn African-Americans into victims. It sends a damaging message to the African-American community and to others; VIII. Reparations to African-Americans already have been paid; IX. What about the debt blacks owe to America?; X. The reparations claim is a separatist idea that sets African-Americans against the nation that gave them freedom.

These 10 reasons are not racist. They are -- even were they racist -- political speech protected by the First Amendment.

What was the reaction to Horowitz's nonracist, First Amendment-protected, political speech? Predictably, the PC crowd viciously attacked him, together with some of the newspapers that had the integrity to print his "Ten Reasons. …

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