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White Nationalists deserve free speech too

Indiana Daily Student, June 29, 1998

To the editor:

While I disagree strongly with the ideology of August Smith and the White Nationalist Party, I am very concerned with the reaction of the University to the distribution of their flyers. No matter how much we disagree with the ideology of the WNP, for IU to "investigate" them for merely expressing their point of view is a chilling violation of the First Amendment.

Whatever happened to the phrase "The answer to hate speech is more speech?" As an institution of higher learning, IU must be willing to accept the fact that with free speech comes ideas we do not agree with.

IU also appears to be very hypocritical in its reaction to the WNP. While the WNP merely distributed flyers with an offensive point of view, the Animal Defense League web page has the home phone number of IU Professor Preston Garraghty, encouraging people to contact him and "speak out" against animal testing.

Last fall, the ADL posted flyers with the home phone number of George Rebec, another professor. Why is it that if the WNP distributes flyers with a controversial point of view, the Indiana University Thought Police investigates them, but the ADL can encourage the harassment of IU professors, and nothing is heard from the University? Something is seriously wrong in the office of one Pam Freeman.

The hypocrites in the IU administration need to realize they cannot silence an idea just because it is not politically correct, no matter how offensive that idea is. What IU should be doing is going after the group that is truly guilty of harassment, the Animal Defense League.

Scott Tibbs.