Issue 82, Summer 2001

College campuses erupted recently over a controversial ad that appeared in some student newspapers. The ad, written and paid for by conservative activist David Horowitz, opposes reparations for descendants of slaves. Students who considered the ad racist destroyed thousands of newspapers at Brown University, protested at Duke and burned papers at the University of Wisconsin. Apologies for running the ad were issued by the University of California at Berkeley and at Davis and Arizona State, but Wisconsin’s editor refused to apologize, saying to do so would hamper free speech. NCAC is among the free speech groups that have expressed concern. Executive Director Joan Bertin said, “While student protests are an appropriate way to explore controversy, when students take it upon themselves to suppress ideas that they find objectionable they fail to meet the challenge of a free society—to counter offensive ideas with more persuasive arguments of their own.”

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