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"The Black Radical Congress Statement on Student Protests Against Horowitz Ad"

May/June 2001 issue of Poverty & Race

The recent attack on Black people mounted by ultra-right winger David Horowitz, in full-page, anti-reparations advertisements which he attempted to publish on more than 50 university campuses nationwide, has created an unsafe climate for Black students on those campuses. The content of the ads, particularly in the absence of any refuting arguments, constitutes a message of hate, pure and simple.

In attacking the basic concept of reparations, a concept the Black Radical Congress strongly supports and which is rapidly gaining diverse support around the country, the ad maliciously misrepresents the activities and perspectives of historical Black movements.

We stand by the declaration in our Freedom Agenda, that “As the descendants of enslaved Africans, we have the legal and moral right to receive just compensation for the oppression, systematic brutality and economic exploitation Black people have suffered historically, and continue to experience today.”

But even more outrageous than Horowitz’s views — views he is constitutionally entitled to express — is his use of campus newspapers as the principal weapon to specifically target a nearly defenseless population: Black youth. Obviously, he knows that Black students lack access to the financial means required to mount a counter-attack.

The Black Radical Congress applauds the valiant efforts of Black students and their supporters — White, Latino, Asian and Native American students — who are protesting the use of institutional publications by the equivalent of a Holocaust-denier to purvey his white supremacist ideology. We join these students in demanding that universities provide a safe and positive environment for all of their students, equally. The First Amendment does not justify racism or entitle hateful people to destabilize and render dangerous the learning environments of Black youth.

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