Center for the Study
of Popular Culture
David Horowitz, President & Founder
Dear Fellow American,
Our nation is facing a prolonged and perilous war with international
terrorists bent on our destruction. Yet, a class of university students in
Colorado -- a conservative state -- was given a mid-term exam with an essay
question that told them to "Explain Why George Bush Is a War Criminal”.
When a student taking this exam wrote an essay on "Why Saddam Hussein Is a
War Criminal" instead, she was given an F.” Since when do highly
controversial -- let alone extremist -- questions have only one correct
From the standpoint of educational values and training America's future
leaders, American universities have never been in worse shape.
Single-answer essay questions, commonplace now in American higher education,
are just one of myriad problems on our campuses today. For example:
Students taking ROTC and attending class in the uniform of the United States
military -- including female students -- are regularly told by their own
professors that they are "baby killers”.
At Ball State University in conservative Indiana, a "peace studies" course
called "Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution”, amounts to
an indoctrination for students to sympathize with our enemies. The lecturer
isn't even qualified to teach the course --he's a saxophone professor!
Students who voice opinions that differ from his are quickly silenced.
At Duke University, Weather terrorist Katherine Whitehorn, who served 14
years for bombing the Pentagon in the 1970s, was brought to campus in 2003
by the Black Students Department as a "human rights activist”. The previous
year, the same university paid Professor Sami al-Arian to keynote a
symposium on "National Security and Civil Liberties”.
Six months earlier, appearing on the O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly
exposed al-Arian's public statements calling for "Death to America" and
"Death to Israel" and said, "If I were the CIA I would follow you everywhere
Duke University apparently considered this a recommendation to give Al-Arian
an academic platform. Al-Arian is currently in jail having been indicted by
the Justice Department as the North American head of Palestine Islamic
Jihad, responsible for the suicide bombing murders of more than 100 innocent
civilians including several American citizens.
These horror stories reflect the capture of American universities by
political ideologues who have no respect for academic institutions or for
the country they live in. But their unchallenged reign is about to end.
Until now, universities have been like the weather. Everybody complains
about them, but nobody knows what to do about them. Thanks to the Center
for the Study of Popular Culture and it creation – Students for Academic
Freedom – this situation has now begun to change.
We know about the incidents in Colorado because they were included in
testimony before the Education Committee of the Colorado legislature, which
held public hearings about the abuses of students at universities in the
state. The hearings were called in connection with legislation modeled on
the Academic Bill of Rights, a document I authored for our campus
organization, Students for Academic Freedom.
The Colorado bill, sponsored by Colorado Rep. Shawn Mitchell, passed the
education committee in March. As a result, the presidents of all the public
universities in Colorado met to agree on a "Memo of understanding”, a
document that serves successfully to ensure the protections of our
Academic Bill of Rights is reflected on Colorado's campuses.
These protections include guaranteeing intellectual diversity at Colorado
institutions of higher learning, making sure that students have access to
books that challenge university orthodoxy and that funds for student
activities and guest speakers be fairly distributed to ensure a
representation of diverse points of view.
A short time later the Academic Bill of Rights passed the Senate of
the State of Georgia by a vote of 41-5. Senator Eric Johnson was the
sponsor of the Georgia bill. Legislation based on the Academic Bill of
Rights is now moving in seven other states, as well as the U.S. House of
Representatives, sponsored by Congressman Jack Kingston of Kentucky.
At Brown University and Brooklyn College, the concept of intellectual
diversity has been included as part of the campus diversity program.
All these victories were made possible by Students for Academic Freedom (SAF),
an organization sponsored by the Center, which has grown to 140 local
chapters on 140 campuses across the United States over the past 12 months.
The creation of SAF is a major part of our dynamic National Campaign for
Over the course of the National Campaign for Academic Freedom I have
traveled to more than 250 schools to bring this topic to the forefront of
campus debates. I've met with legislators, school alums, regents,
administrators, community leaders, and individuals as concerned as I am with
the state of our colleges and universities.
And, of course, I've met with students who have embraced this campaign
because hey recognize they deserve more than half an education.
I've sought to engage groups and individuals in this campaign because, as I
mentioned before, I believe it is one of the most important issues facing
our nation's future … and we're seeing real success.
We have shown we can change the university world. We need your help to do
it. There are fifty states and several thousand campuses. We have come up
with an idea that works. We have created an organization that can do it.
We need your financial help to hire more campus organizers; to create more
informational literature for our student members; to publicize what we have
done and recruit more support.
Will you help me today and support our National Campaign for Academic
Freedom? I can tell you that we run a tight ship at the Center, so a
contribution of $20, $25, $35, $50, $100 or more right now will go a long
way toward making this campaign even more successful.
In addition, I have included a "call to action", a personalized letter from
you to your governor asking him to support an Academic Bill of Rights
for your schools. I would like you to sign it and return it with your
contribution in the pre-addressed envelope I've provided.
Our budget of $235,500 can be reached if I am able to engage the support of
Americans like you who realize that it is vital to bring genuine academic
freedom back to our campuses".
In fact, if you will make a contribution of $25 or more today, I will send
you a copy of our booklet Battle for Academic Freedom free. This
booklet describes the campaign in detail, further illustrates the problem,
and also conveys the difference we're making.
I have one last story to tell you, but before I do, I want to emphasize that
our National Campaign for Academic Freedom is precisely that -- a battle to
end the one sided indoctrination process that goes on at our schools and
open the door wide to all possibilities, all theories, literature, history
and the like.
With that in mind, I want to close by telling you a story about part of my
visit to the University of Colorado at Denver.
At one point, I found myself walking down the hallway of CU-Denver's
Political Science Department. On nearly every door and on every bulletin
board were cartoons demeaning President Bush and members of his
… anti-war, anti-Republican, anti-conservative cartoons and
Now for a moment try to imagine being a student walking down that hallway,
seeking a professor, looking for advice. If you were a student who didn't
agree with these postings you would naturally be intimidated.
It shouldn't be this way. It is not too much to expect professors to act
professionally. A doctor, for example, doesn't ask you if you're Republican
or Democrat before making a diagnosis. You trust he'll be professional. We
have a right to the same type of trust on our campuses.
I know it is possible, and I know that our Academic Bill of Rights
will act as a safeguard for that type of professionalism. And we will all
benefit from the intellectual freedom these Rights will guarantee.
So, I encourage you again, to join with me in this important campaign.
Please take a moment to sign your Academic Bill of Rights
Endorsement and make a special contribution of $20, $25, $35, $50, $100
or more if possible, to our campaign right now. And remember, with your
contribution of $25 or more today I'll send you a free copy of our booklet,
Battle for Academic Freedom.
But act today. We need your support. Thank you. God bless you and God
SIgnature of David Horowitz
P.S. Take a moment right now to sign your name to the enclosed
Academic Bill of Rights Endorsement and we'll forward it to
your governor. Then please make a contribution to our National Campaign for
Academic Freedom. We have a right -- and students and professors have a
right -- to expect professional behavior on our campuses. An Academic
Bill of Rights will guarantee it. Thanks again.