Do not limit debate

I have heard through the Williams grapevine about the events concerning the David Horowitz ad in The Williams Record. The campus response has created a sort of deja  vu for me, since the reaction so far has followed the blueprint of what happened after The Mad Cow printed offensive and/or distasteful articles in one of its publications.

Now, I agree that the ad printed in the Record may not have been truthful or tasteful, but the Record is essentially free to print whatever it wants, just like any print source in the United States. Don’t you see that the reaction of the Williams campus is exactly what Horowitz wants? He wants to incite panicked behavior and stereotyping instead of open discourse. And that is exactly what has happened in the Purple Bubble.

Most of you will soon see in a few short years that there are many things that you may not like or agree with, and there are people that say things that are offensive. However, the proper reaction is not to prevent them from speaking. A good response would be to disprove the stereotypes and try to effectively argue with them on the topic.

If it has come to the point where students feel unsafe because of a newspaper ad, then I wonder how they are going to feel when they have to walk the streets of New York, Boston or any other major city in the United States. Keep open the lines of communication instead of cutting off any sort of debate or discussion over a specific issue.

Garry Sanders ’02