Conservative Author David Horowitz Condemns UC-Santa Cruz For Not Taking Responsibility for Leftwing Student Violence
The campus “waiver” policy forces invited speakers to speak at their own risk, regardless of university “negligence”
In a statement released today, conservative author and intellectual, David Horowitz condemned the University of California-Santa Cruz for shirking its responsibility to ensure civil discourse, promote intellectual diversity, and protect the speech of conservative speakers on campus. Horowitz is scheduled to speak at the University today, but in order to proceed with his event he was forced to sign a waiver absolving UC-Santa Cruz of any responsibility for harm that might come to him even if that harm is caused by “negligence” on the part of the university.
Horowitz issued a statement explaining his position: “Since conservatives have been the targets of virtually all the protests and violence against visiting speakers, while leftists have been the perpetrators, this waiver is in practice a decision by the university to join the left’s hostile treatment of conservative voices, and its general attack on scholarly discourse and free speech.”
In recent years, conservatives such as Charles Murray, Heather MacDonald, and Milo Yiannopoulos who have attempted to speak on college campuses have been met by angry leftist mobs, determined to censor their speech through threats and violence. Instead of defending conservatives’ right to speak, many prominent universities have instead used such protests as an excuse to ban conservative speakers from campus entirely, or to insist on exorbitant security fees and onerous restrictions that make it impossible for student conservative groups to hold events. UC-Santa Cruz’s waiver policy is a new twist in these tactics that allow universities to exempt themselves from any responsibility to protect unpopular speech and open dialogue on campus.
“The waiver policy of UC Santa Cruz administrators is a betrayal of their duty as public officials to protect free speech and intellectual diversity. I agreed to sign the waiver, and come to campus, and take the risk, only because I did not wish to disappoint the students who invited me and worked so hard to make the occasion a success,” Horowitz declares in his statement.
As for the other campuses which have similar policies and procedures in place to inhibit conservative speakers, Horowitz reserves some select words for them as well:
“Santa Cruz is not alone in this descent into intellectual barbarism. Over the last thirty years, universities across the country have abandoned their liberal ideals and become one-party states, where conservatives and conservative ideas are treated as alien intruders into their sanctuaries for radical prejudice… And over the last twenty years even visits by conservative speakers unconnected to the university have become contested occasions where leftwing activists obstruct, slander, and attempt to disrupt the visitors’ efforts to present a conservative point of view. This is a national outrage – an offense to the very idea of education in a democracy like ours. And it is supported by university administrators.”
David Horowitz is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a not-for-profit organization which was founded in 1988 and is located in Sherman Oaks, California. The Center’s mission is to defend free societies like America and Israel, which are under attack by totalitarians both religious and secular, domestic and foreign. Mr. Horowitz has spoken on upwards of 200 college and university campuses over the past 20 years.