Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ahmadinejad Appearance Prompts Criticism of Columbia University Public-Speaking Decisions

NEW YORK — Columbia University said it would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States — even Adolf Hitler himself — to speak to students and faculty at the Ivy League college.

But there are those who question what the New York college's standards are. They ask why a school that will not allow an ROTC program to be part of its curriculum would allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, one of America’s avowed enemies, onto its campus.

Critics wonder why the leader of a nation that exports terrorism is allowed to speak, but the leader of an American organization that seeks to secure U.S. borders was not.

On Monday, Columbia will play host to Ahmadinejad, who has called the Holocaust "a myth," encouraged the destruction of Israel and who leads a nation that has supported Hezbollah terrorists in the Middle East and insurgents in Iraq.

The Iranian president will address students and faculty at a forum only days after Columbia retracted a speaking invitation to the president of the Minuteman Project, a controversial citizens' group that seeks to secure America's borders from illegal immigrants, even going so far as to try building a fence along the border with Mexico.

Minuteman founder and president Jim Gilchrist said he now feels "sweet and sour" toward Columbia after an invitation to participate in an Oct. 4 talk was taken away last week. Gilchrist appeared at Columbia last year, but his speech was thwarted when students and other opponents stormed the stage as he took the podium.

"I've always respected Columbia, but I've relegated it to a gutter school after that incident," Gilchrist said in a phone interview. "They've stopped free speech. That's worse than killing people. With that, you can kill an entire nation."

But Gilchrist — an ardent supporter of the First Amendment — actually backs the university's decision to host Ahmadinejad.

"I'm defending his appearance," he said. "I think he should speak. To say no, he cannot speak, is to support exactly the same thing that happened to me."

Gilchrist added that he wouldn't back Ahmadinejad’s appearance if the United States were at war with Iran.

He believes Columbia's administrators are good about fostering free speech but give too much power to "radical" groups in determining who gets a forum on campus."

Gee, but ya think? The nations 5th oldest university...founded in 1754 as King's College, isn't exactly a mega-center for learning, what with only 20,000 or so students, but remains devoted to all things Kingly and never did get over that little fracas referred to as the American Revolution.

That is a given. "Free speech" is a joke, and all one need do is detest America and refrain from drooling over the big speakers fees awarded to any hobo that walk in from the street with disrespect to America on his or her agenda. Shame too, because the academic standards are quite high...if it can't field a football team you KNOW the school is a good one...and a degree from Columbia opens a great many human resource doors across the country and is a ticket to a good profession that will last a lifetime. Thats if you don't mind hiring someone who hasn't the foggiest idea how to think out of the box and is for all intents and purposes a bonafide socialist, but most kids are stupid anyway and at least the place doesn't tolerate cheaters just because they can run, kick or throw.

And thats about all you can say about a institution of lowered expectations that would welcome a racist murderer like Ahmadimeadozen.

A gutter-school indeed.

No comments: