The Campus Thought Police

Published: 2000-01-01

"To refuse a hearing to an opinion because they are sure that it is false is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility."
—John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

"It was naive to believe that the 'light of day' can dispel lies, especially when they play on familiar stereotypes. Victims of racism, sexism, antisemitism, and a host of other prejudices know of light's limited ability to discredit falsehood. Light is barely an antidote when people are unable, as was often the case in this investigation, to differentiate between reasoned arguments and blatant falsehoods. Most sobering was the failure of many of these student leaders and opinion makers to recognize Holocaust denial for what it was. "
—Deborah Lipstadt, Emory University

The Varsity a University of Toronto newspaper will issue an apology and retraction for mistakenly allowing a Holocaust denial advertisement by Bradley Smith into its paper. As well, the revenue paid to The Varsity by Smith is being donated to "The Holocaust Education and Memorial Center of Toronto."
—Bernie M. Farber, Canadian Jewish Congress

"Maybe it takes more sophistication than one can expect The Daily's busy leaders. How can they know enough to make qualitative judgments about the sort of groups that submit ads to the paper? It sounds like a reasonable question."
—Peter Hayes, associate professor of history and German at Northwestern University

"College students are young, idealistic, predisposed toward the underdog and against authority, often willing to challenge received wisdom, struggling to cope with many new, disorienting ideas and, today, frequently without a strongly formed sense of history."
—ADL, High-Tech Hate: Extremist Use of the Internet

"Emotionally, the decision made by the editors of The Justice is unforgivable. How many of you asked your grandparents what they thought of this ad? ... I don't think [they] would have approved."
—Leo L. Bases, president, Boston University Hillel

"The Voice... had run an advertisement from Bradley Smith of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust challenging the historicity of the Holocaust and attacking the Holocaust Memorial Museum that I helped create. One would have imagined that Georgetown students would have known better.... There is no debate as to whether the Holocaust happened."
—Michael Berenbaum, former director of the United States Holocaust Museum and Adjunct Professor of Theology at Georgetown University.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: The Campus Thought Police
Published: 2000-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 2000, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
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