Fred Dickey's article ("An Uncivil Discourse," May 6) is full of unexamined cliches drawn from the so-called "political correctness" debate. In a general attempt to deal with the ironic death of free speech at UC Berkeley, the article indicates that there are those who reject the idea that free speech is an unqualified human good. But none of the noted defenders of this position are quoted. In addition, Dickey concludes that David Horowitz is the real victim in this matter. Dickey argues that he can't see what all the anger is about concerning Horowitz's ad [for nonpayment of reparations to blacks for slavery], as the ad is "blunt" but not racist. Dickey is not seeing the forest for the trees. When put into the context of Horowitz's other writings, it appears that Horowitz has a deliberate strategy of blaming African Americans for the problems they face in contemporary America. And he does this in the most inflammatory way.
Edwin A. Roberts
Dickey's logic is flawed. Brown University is commended for speaking out forcefully for free speech while canceling a Horowitz appearance for fear of violence. UC Berkeley is faulted for not speaking out forcefully enough, and yet the Horowitz event goes forward. Ironically, the person who cut off debate at Berkeley was Horowitz himself. To quote from a letter from the Berkeley College Republicans, the sponsors of the event, to the assistant chancellor apologizing for Horowitz's attack on the administration: "We were very disappointed that Mr. Horowitz unexpectedly decided to leave without answering more questions or consulting with any of the event organizers."
Robert M. Berdahl
UC Berkeley Chancellor
David Horowitz had his advertisement published, the Daily Californian ran its apology, the students voiced their opinions at various rallies, Horowitz spoke on campus, and everyone took a second shot at the issue in your magazine. It seems to me that free speech is alive and well, notwithstanding the "sky is falling" tone of the article.
Via the Internet
Where is George Orwell when we need him? The smug bullies of the Left pay lip service to "diversity" as long as they agree with the arguments. Otherwise, they censor, obstruct and destroy, just like the totalitarians that came before them.