The Campus Project Is Back!

Published: 2016-04-07

A few weeks ago I received good news from our friend Germar: CODOH was now able to re-start The Campus Project. We had enough funds to buy ads in student newspapers and run the campus project. This time it must be different. Bradley Smith is no longer with us, and only he was able to do it the way the Campus Project used to be under his command. He invented The Campus Project. No one else had done what he did. I remember in Bradley’s Fragments in Smith’s Report he reveals an excerpt of what Professor Arthur Butz says in an email to a few colleagues with CODOH:

University of Chicago

“…That has been the value of the campus project. It has been intrusive. As I recall, the first national publicity B[radley]RS[mith] got was in connection with the Campus Project. It was intrusive. While it is important to maintain the intellectual quality of CODOH’s online offerings, it should be borne in mind that they are not intrusive.”

So for Professor Butz the value of the campus project is in its intrusiveness in American Universities. I completely agree.

Our job now is to make our own Campus Project in our style and set of rules that can work for us. And that is what we are doing so far.

Germar gave me the material we needed to advertise a book cover from Castle Hill Publishers, titled The First Holocaust: The Surprising Origin of the Six-Million Figure which sells on Amazon and has a lower probability of getting rejected by the advertising department at the student newspapers I had selected to start our campaign.

Most readers at CODOH are familiar with the Campus Project, but it is essential to keep in mind that what we look for by placing these ads in student newspapers is to encourage intellectual freedom and free inquiry which should be no doubt one of the ideals of the American University. Yet it is not so with regard to the Holocaust question. Taboo prevents this from happening.

And taboo is very hard to crack. In my experience with the Campus Project, it has been most of the time academics and not students who enforce this taboo. This new campaign has been no different in this regard.

Out of the five student newspapers I had chosen one refused the ad, another never answered, a third one was too expensive for us, and two accepted our insertion requests: The Hoya at Georgetown University and The Chicago Maroon at University of Chicago. Both of the ads we were able to buy were online ads. Clickable ads that would take whomever would click on the book cover image we had running as an ad to the Amazon page where the book sells. A simple deal. 

I was actually very surprised that two big student papers had actually accepted our ad. And even more surprised when they ran the ads. But it did not last long. The ad at The Hoya ran for one and a half day, then the student who was taking care of our account sent me an email, and I’ll quote him here:

Your ad was flagged by my supervisor, and it will have to be taken down. The content of the book was deemed not appropriate for our website. 

I made some inquiries about who was his supervisor, maybe a teacher I thought, that is very likely, and what part of the book was “deemed not appropriate” for their web site. I never heard back from The Hoya.

In the case of The Chicago Maroon things went a bit differently. Here the ad ran part of Friday which was the first of this month. Then the person who was working with us from the advertising department at The Chicago Maroon said on our first exchange after the ad was pulled down:

“The directors of  The Maroon have decided to pull down your ad due to the controversy it is causing to readers.”

Well, we had created some controversy. That means others on campus were talking about the book, our ad, the entire topic of the Holocaust six-million myth, possibly. This is what we wanted. A free exchange of ideas. Intrusiveness.  But I wanted to know more about why they pulled down the ad. So I asked what was the specific controversy that she was taking about, and if faculty was involved when an ad gets pulled down from The Chicago Maroon.

Many times students are advised not to answer anything else in cases such as this. We cannot forget that the ADL/Hillel compound created a manual to “help” students deal with “controversial advertising” titled: “Fighting Holocaust Denial in Campus Newspaper Advertisements. A Manual for Action,” which by the way has been very successful at preventing our ads from running in student newspapers. This manual was created in May 2010 in direct response to the success Bradley and I had with running ads online in different student newspapers at universities across the U.S. Ironically, success on our side can be counterproductive, or at least this time it seems that way.

But the manual did not interfere with the dialogue I was having with this student. She was embarrassed and apologetic, but she also implied sympathy with our side. Here is what she said in response to the questions I had sent via email:

“…if it were up to me we would advertise your book, but unfortunately we received complaints from various faculty, and thus the CFO decided to take it down.” 

She was very clear about one thing though:

"The University of Chicago prides itself in being a liberal arts college and for that reason there are a lot of students who speak out against controversial topics, like the one your book presented."

Well, the last part of her statement gives an inside look at how students are told to think… if it is too controversial, we cannot have it… Also the complaint came from faculty. So the faculty at the University of Chicago stands for the opposite of freedom of speech and free inquiry. One might have an unpopular opinion and one that might be offensive for some, but it is one’s right under the First Amendment to express that opinion. It also enriches debate and encourages free inquiry, in this particular case, as I have said here before, in one of the places where this is supposed to happen: the campuses of American universities. The faculty at the University of Chicago feels otherwise.

Additional information about this document

Author(s) Roberto Hernández
Title The Campus Project Is Back!
Sources http://www.adl.org/assets/pdf/education-outreach/Fighting-Holocaust-Denial-on-Campus.pdf http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Holocaust-Surprising-Six-Million/dp/1591481163 http://codoh.com/library/document/3963/
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Dates published: 2016-04-07, first posted on CODOH: April 7, 2016, 5:39 p.m., last revision: n/a
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