September 24, 2007

Questions I Ask Myself

I was wondering today if... the current President of Columbia University would have asked Adolf Hitler to speak in 1938 or early 1939.

I suspect the answer is yes.

Posted by Boudicca at September 24, 2007 06:27 PM | TrackBack

There's no need to suspect: He [the dean, who invited Ahmadooshbaginejad in the first place, not the president] actually said he would.

Posted by: Erica at September 24, 2007 06:47 PM

That makes me sick. May he rot.

Posted by: Bou at September 24, 2007 06:59 PM

Over at Q&O, one of the commenters noted that in 1933, the then-President of Columbia University *did* invite Adolph Hitler to speak at the school.

Posted by: Ted at September 24, 2007 07:24 PM

Ted- I don't get it. I don't understand the mentality. Perhaps I should take solace in the fact that the idiocy is not new, but instead I am disgusted that it continues to perpetuate.

Posted by: Bou at September 24, 2007 07:30 PM

..... actually, the Dean pretty much said that..... about Hitler, I mean....

Posted by: Eric at September 24, 2007 10:31 PM

Maybe it's because I work in the media and believe in freedom of speech, but I don't understand what the "stupidity" is of inviting him to SPEAK.

As reported in the media, the college president and students gave him a pretty warm reception, questioning everything he said and has said about the Holocaust, Israel, etc. I gather it was more an opportunity for the students to see evil first-hand and unfiltered by the press than anything else.

Allowing someone to merely speak doesn't mean you agree with them or endorse their actions. If that were true, we'd have a pretty quiet presidential campaign.

Posted by: George at September 25, 2007 08:51 AM

Well, George, this is where you and I differ. Freedom of speech enabled him to speak here. Freedeom of speech enabled the dean to invite him.

That said, I think the Dean was wrong to do so. I don't think giving someone like that a podium, national spotlight in this country, for him to pontificate on anything is admirable. The students at Columbia are supposedly the brightest of the brightest. If they want to understand evil, they only have to read about him. If they want to experience it first hand, let them travel to Iran. I don't have to experience some things at first hand to truly understand it.

The man is a terrorist. To invite him to speak here to me is like asking Osama bin Ladin. Same same in my book.

Posted by: Bou at September 25, 2007 09:11 AM

I agree 100% with you Bou. Let's all please remember that the right we have of Freedom of Speech is the right for Americans to speak their mind without being summarily thrown in jail by our government. It is not the right for a murderous dictator from another country to come here and spout his bilge for all to hear.

Posted by: Teresa at September 25, 2007 09:36 AM

Also George, freedom of speech means the freedom to say things that people might not like to hear. The Iranian Prez got his chance, unlike the founder of the Minutemen - also at Columbia - who was shouted down and finally escorted off the stage by security when the students rushed the stage. Something similar happened to Ann Coulter. By those actions, Columbia defines freedom of speech to mean "things we happen to agree with".

Posted by: Ted at September 25, 2007 10:52 AM

So if we don't give him a "platform," his dictatorship will go away and peace will reign? We should just read about him? If nobody ANYwhere gives him a "platform," how will we know how he thinks? (other than by counting his enemies' dead bodies).

Sorry, but I equate such self-censorship with misguided parents who think if they hide the words "sex" and "birth control" from their underage kids, the kids will stay disease-free virgins until they're 30. Hiding it doesn't make it go away.

Let the man speak. Then tell him what WE think of him (as his audience did at Columbia). He bitched about the rude reception he got, something I'm sure he's never heard in his dictatorship. Welcome to the real world.....

Posted by: George at September 25, 2007 11:04 AM

I hat to counter George, but the man has been given very platform available- including print media, television and the UN. Putting him in front of college students who, mostly, have not entered the "real world" yet is just wrong. These are incredibly flexible minds yet and have no idea how they actually think.

Did anyone actually know as much as they *thought* they did at 20?

Posted by: Jody at September 25, 2007 11:57 AM

Sorry George, but none of that is apples and apples to me. Not at all. Sex education and terrorism... can't compare.

We absolutely differ on this 100%. There is no meeting ground. At all. None.

Posted by: Bou at September 25, 2007 06:03 PM