24 September 2007

Sorry Columbia students.... I have to do it

Because it needs to be done.
Columbia University needs to Tighten Up. Way to invite Ahmadinejad to speak at your oh so heavy with Ivy hallowed walls. You've pretty much confirmed for my father that my boyfriend is a wacko leftist weirdo for attending graduate school Columbia. Way to go, assholes.

Now, Columbia, if you're going to do something this stupid, you better man up and be prepared for the firestorm. I can respect you for "robust debate" and I am all for free speech, but you better damn well understand how this makes you look in the eyes of many Americans.

And while you're at it, you could consider a little paint here and there where the students actually have class, not just prettying up the outside all the time so none of the passersby suspect that the historic preservation building is held together with duct tape. It's disgraceful. And I went to a PUBLIC SCHOOL, where a map fell of the wall during class and hit me on the head, so I know a little about class in shitty conditions.


Pepper said...

Written by CU president Lee Bollinger to the Columbia Community:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I would like to share a few thoughts about today’s appearance of
President Ahmadinejad at our World Leaders Forum. I know this is a
matter of deep concern for many in our University community and
beyond. I want to say first and foremost how proud I am of
Columbia, especially our students, as we discuss, debate and plan
for this highly visible event.

I ask that each of us make special efforts to respect the different
views people have about the event and to recognize the different
ways it affects members of our community. For many reasons, this
will demand the best of each of us to live up to the best of
Columbia's traditions.

For the School of International and Public Affairs, which developed
the idea for this forum as the commencement to a year-long
examination of 30 years of the Islamic Republic in Iran, this is an
important educational experience for training future leaders to
confront the world as it is -- a world that includes far too many
brutal, anti-democratic and repressive regimes. For the rest of us,
this occasion is not only about the speaker but quite centrally
about us -- about who we are as a nation and what universities can
be in our society.

I would like just to repeat what I have said earlier: It is vitally
important for a university to protect the right of our schools, our
deans and our faculty to create programming for academic purposes.
Necessarily, on occasion this will bring us into contact with
beliefs many, most, or even all of us will find offensive and even

But it should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we
deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the
weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas, or our naiveté about
the very real dangers inherent in such ideas. It is a critical
premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable
when we open the public forum to their voices.

The great majority of student leaders with whom I met last week
affirmed their belief that this event, however controversial, is
consistent with the values of academic freedom we share at the
center of university life. I fully support, indeed I celebrate, the
right to peacefully demonstrate and engage in a dialogue about this
event and this speaker, as I understand a wide coalition of our
student groups are planning for today. That such a forum and such
public criticism of President Ahmadinejad’s statements and policies
could not safely take place on a university campus in Iran today
sharpens the point of what we do here. The kind of freedom that
will be on display at Columbia has always been and remains today
our nation’s most potent weapon against repressive regimes
everywhere in the world. This is the power and example of America
at its best.


Lee C. Bollinger

Orville said...


Thank you for calling out Columbia on this one. No institute of higher education in the US should allow its facilities to be used as a platform by despots in the name of free speech. If anyone has doubts about this nutbag or the militant intentions of the Iranian regime, I'd like to personally invite you to Blogestan. Arash Kamangir's site, http://kamangir.net, and Hossein Derakhshan's site, www.hoder.com are at roughly separate ends of the spectrum of Iranian expats looking at Iran. Kamangir's site especially has almost daily links to photos and videos from the streets of Iran.

Let's just hope AJ doesn't get popped on our soil. Let's also hope, for the sake of Pepper's degree, that wealthy Jewish patrons of Columbia University don't reconsider their planned giving. Even being the mishuggoyim that I am, I'd think twice before buying more ivory for the tower.

Matthew said...

Mr. Bollinger concluded: “Frankly, and in all candor Mr. President, I doubt that you will have the intellectual courage to answer these questions, but your avoiding them will in itself be meaningful to us. I do expect you to exhibit the fanatical mindset that characterizes what you say and do.”

Pepper said...

whoa! mofongo did you get in?

Matthew said...

i streaked it.

mandy said...

Does a video/transcript of the whole thing exist somewhere?

Orville said...

...and the event is already getting used for propaganda in Iran--"amid a standing ovation," etc

Orville said...


mandy said...

Also: Becca a high-five to you for the "Colon Blow" tag. (The classic SNL Total cereal spoof.)

Orville said...

Mandy, here's a link to the opening of the speech.