Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tutu Too Controversial in Minnesota

Desmond Tutu is one of the most admired figures in the world today. So when the University of St. Thomas wanted to invite him to speak, it would seem like an easy decision. Yes, it was: he had dared to criticize Israel, so he was banned from campus. And the staffer who dared to reveal this fact to him was demoted. Any censorship on a college campus angers me, but this just blows me away. If Desmond Tutu is going to be banned for being controversial, you might as well banish anyone who's ever expressed an opinion. His mild remarks aren't even remotely close to anti-Semitism. Worst of all, this kind of censorship of critics of Israel in case after case seems to confirm the idea of an Israel lobby, which I used to be rather dubious about. I think colleges ought to start inviting real bigots to speak on campus so that people will understand the difference between them and heroes like Desmond Tutu.

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