As the Associated Students of Stanford University courteously leaked last week, we plan to host Dinesh D’Souza at Stanford this winter. Contrary to the smear attacks that ooze through the pages of the Stanford Daily, D’Souza is mainstream conservative with an illustrious career in policy-making and academia. D’Souza served as a policy analyst in the Reagan Administration, as a John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and as a Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution here at Stanford. He has spoken without issue at hundreds of campuses through the Young America’s Foundation “D’Souza Unchained” lecture series.
D’Souza is best known for his films, including 2016: Obama’s America, Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, and Death of Nation. In these films, D’Souza exposes Progressivism as a consistent threat to liberty that has plagued us since the Democrat Party’s birth. D’Souza demonstrates that not only is the Democrat Party responsible for America’s darkest moments (slavery, Indian removal, Jim Crow, eugenics, forced sterilization, abortion), but also how these atrocities are consistent with Progressive ideology. D’Souza underscores how the Republican Party was on the right side of history at nearly every juncture, while debunking leftist revisionist history, like the mythical “party switch.” Given the left’s propensity for violence and hysteria, D’Souza’s message is more relevant now than ever. This is why SCR is partnering with Young America’s Foundation to host D’Souza this winter.
Since D’Souza threatens the assumptions that undergird Progressivism, we are not surprised that leftists are desperate to stop D’Souza from stepping foot on Stanford’s campus. Whenever a conservative speaker is invited to Stanford, leftist activists, pushing their studies to the back of their priorities lists, work incessantly to stop our speakers from coming. Once they fail to deny university approval and funding, leftists change their strategy, working to deny as many students as possible the opportunity to hear conservative ideas. When SCR invited Robert Spencer, leftists ripped down our flyers, bullied our members, and, on the day of the event, staged a walkout and rally that prevented 150 students waiting patiently from being able to hear Spencer. When leftists failed to stop Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens administratively, they proceeded to reserve as many tickets as possible under fake names, using bots, to sell out the event and prevent fellow students from attending.
This time, we have noticed that the attacks on D’Souza have taken a uniquely ugly form: accusing D’Souza of being an anti-Semite. Given our long-standing commitment to combating anti-Semitism, and as an organization with many Jewish members, we find the suggestion that we would even consider inviting anyone with anti-Semitic views to be deeply insulting.
No Stanford group has done more to combat anti-Semitism recently than SCR. No organization has done more to promote the safety of Jewish students than SCR. When a professor, with a history of promoting anti-Semitic content, founded the ‘Campus Antifascist Network’ to intimidate pro-Israel and conservative students, SCR worked with The Stanford Review to expose him. When the anti-Semitic RA, Hamzeh Daoud, threatened to beat up Jewish students, SCR successfully spearheaded the campaign to fire him. While SCR was standing up for the safety of Jewish students, the same leftists maligning our speaker as anti-Semitic, defended Daoud, and his anti-Semitism, claiming that SCR’s insistence on defending the safety of Jewish students was the real problem. SCR has led on exposing anti-Semitic organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine for their financial ties to terrorist affiliates. As if more evidence was needed, SCR insisted that the platform of our parent organization, the California College Republicans, include an explicit mandate to fight anti-Semitism. We also recognize in light of the horrific massacre in Pittsburgh, anti-Semitism continues to cause pain for millions of Americans.
SCR values our positive relationship with Stanford’s Jewish community immensely. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to dispel the following myths about D’Souza:
Myth: D’Souza intentionally retweeted an post with an anti-Semitic hashtag.
Fact: D’Souza made the mistake of not reading the full post before he retweeted. He acknowledged this, and apologized.
Myth: D’Souza has claimed that Bernie Sanders is morally on par with Adolf Hitler.
Fact: D’Souza highlighted the similarities between the economic policies of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and those of Democratic Socialists, of which Bernie Sanders is one. Both are socialist movements, and thus, D’Souza was simply highlighting how fascism and socialism both fall under the ideological umbrella of Progressivism. D’Souza was stating the obvious.
Myth: D’Souza’s criticism of George Soros is anti-Semitism.
Fact: Although D’Souza has been a vocal critic of George Soros, it is wrong to suggest that criticizing one individual amounts to an attack on that individual’s co-religionists. Soros has every right to fund the political causes that matter to him. Since Soros has injected himself into the political fray, why should he be immune to the political mudslinging? Do leftists treat the Koch Brothers, the Mercer Family and Sheldon Adelson with the civility they demand for Soros? Recently, Israel’s Prime Minister claimed that Soros was behind attempts to block illegal migrant deportations from Israel. Is Israel’s Prime Minister anti-Semitic for peddling “conspiracy theories” about Soros?
Myth: D’Souza blamed Jews for the 9/11 attacks.
Fact: In The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, D’Souza claims that leftists and Islamists essentially collude in their shared pursuit of destroying America as we know it. D’Souza also claims that outlets of leftist “Western decadence” prompted jihadists to lash out at the United States. Admittedly, this point is controversial, and it is not a view that SCR shares. SCR believes that the impetus for radical Islamic terrorism lies within the texts of the Qu’ran and Ahadith. That is why we invited Robert Spencer, not Dinesh D’Souza, to address Islamism last year.
D’Souza names individuals who he claims advance the agenda of the “cultural left,” from Hillary Clinton, to Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Democrat Senator, Robert Byrd, to Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky. Some of the individuals D’Souza named happen to be Jewish, most are not. Immediately after the book was released, leftist New York Times columnist Michiko Kakutani published a scathing rebuke of D’Souza’s book. While Kakutani leveled several criticisms at D’Souza’s book, anti-Semitism was not one of them. We are also critical of D’Souza’s book. But, to suggest that D’Souza’s argument is anti-Semitic because some of the individuals D’Souza names happen to be Jewish is ridiculous. Those who make that claim do so at the expense of recognizing real problems with D’Souza’s argument.
While we may not agree with every argument D’Souza makes, his deconstruction of Progressivism makes him more than worthy of our invitation. We would be honored to host him. Allegations of anti-Semitism against D’Souza are insulting, and do not hold water when evaluated against the facts. We are open to considering concerns of some students regarding the event. However, we will not waver in our commitment to exposing fellow students to conservative ideas, simply because a handful of closed-minded students wish to maintain a leftist monopoly over political discourse.