In one of the more guffaw-inducing student editorials in recent memory, the University of North Carolina’s Daily Tar Heel’s recent headline reads “Campus speakers should be chosen with discretion.”
Naturally, they’re upset at the recent appearance of David Horowitz (he “rightfully provoked an outcry,” which “highlights” how the usual groups “are made to feel unsafe”), but take it a step further by invoking an appearance by Mitt Romney at neighboring Duke University:
Just last week, Duke University invited former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to speak about President Obama’s foreign policy despite Romney’s lack of practical or academic experience in the subject.
Romney, while likely briefed extensively about national security issues during his campaign for president, did not match that preparation with a nuanced discussion of national security policy, instead employing charged partisan rhetoric.
Universities, and by extension, student groups, have a responsibility to promote serious discussions about controversial issues. This responsibility is inextricably linked to universities’ statuses as safe havens for free speech.
UNC’s College Republicans and Duke should not lend the pageantry and platforms they did to speakers such as Horowitz and Romney if they will only use their platform to advance ideological agendas with little grounding in academic discussions of these critical issues.
The funny — and sad — thing is, they’re actually serious.
Perhaps Romney shouldn’t have even bothered to show up at the 2012 presidential debate concentrating on foreign policy due to his “lack of practical or academic experience in the subject,” eh? Heck, Barack Obama should have preceded Romney in that regard in 2008.
Curiously, where was The Daily Tar Heel when UNC and Duke hosted an event on Malcolm X this past February, and UC Irvine’s Sohail Daulatzai was among the panelists? A search of the DTH’s website shows zilch.
Did Daulatzai employ “charged partisan rhetoric” and “use [his] platform to advance ideological agendas?”
Of course he did. But, you see, he was speaking about the “right” things.
h/t to Gary Fouse.