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Absolutely Despicable
03/28/2003

I don't know how they do it, but college professors continue to astound me with the depths of their willful ignorance and blind rhetoric:

At times, the scene resembled a sporting event. Thunderous applause and whistles greeted anthropology professor Nicholas De Genova's sick desire that "a million Mogadishus" be visited on U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. And then there's Roger Normand, an adjunct professor at Columbia's School for International and Public Affairs and director of the lefty Center for Economic and Social Rights. Normand took the podium to yell, "Let's see if we can make some noise in this auditorium," and began a call-and-response, "We Will Rock You"-style chant with the capacity crowd.

Remember that name — Nicholas De Genova — so that you'll know to spit on the pavement at his feet. It ought to be simply unacceptable for somebody in a position that is supposed to carry some respect to wish for a "million Mogadishus" — a million murders of our soldiers, a million stripped American corpses dragged through the dirt street by horses. Of course, De Genova has a right to speak his mind, as vile as it may be, but Columbia University and Anthropology Professors around the country ought not willingly submit to his defilement of their good names.

ADDENDUM:
I just read an article on the topic linked by Instapundit. Here's the ending:

Using a reference to Nazi Germany, a history professor, Barbara J. Fields, said like-minded Americans should vigorously oppose Bush.

"The 'good Germans' of the Nazi era were the few who said, 'No,'" Fields declared.

Funny, when members of the governments of other nations compare America to Nazi Germany and Bush to Hitler, they are generally made to apologize, often to resign. American professors? Nah. Glenn Reynolds has it right: "Kind of sad, isn't it, when a guy who goes by the handle "dipnut" is able to think and talk rings around a Columbia professor?"

ADDENDUM II:
It seemed a bit peculiar to me that De Genova's picture would be the only one missing from the faculty page of Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity & Race. Also peculiar is that whoever manages the group's Web site would have an unused picture of somebody named "Nick." Hmmm. It's certainly much clearer than this grainy photo of some guy in a beard.

As a note, along with the links of these pictures, I want to clarify what ought not be obscured: there is no justification for physical violence against this scum. Such a reaction would only further radicalize him, perhaps bolstering his beliefs (à la Robert Fisk). Shunning him, discrediting him, and shaming him are all much more effective actions to take, and much less apt to harm the actor, physically, emotionally, and legally.

ADDENDUM III:
As I write in my column, this week, I think De Genova's current problems indicate a larger problem for the academy — involving a revolution, of sorts, that is just in its beginning stages.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 07:10 PM EST



26 comments


Would someone remind me why academic tenure is such a good thing? It's been so long since a professor supported at least in part by my tax money advanced an argument I agree with that I begin to wonder at my supine agreement with the concept.

Jerry @ 03/28/2003 09:54 PM EST


Academic freedom and tenure don't protect this guy. What protects him is the gutless wonders in the administration and on the faculty of Columbia. If they had any integrity, he'd be gone.

Isn't it incredible that this De Genova bozo has the balls to spout evil, and there's no one at Columbia who will stand and name him as the traitor he is? I guess not - if that were possible, he wouldn't have the guts to say a damn thing.

harmon @ 03/28/2003 10:28 PM EST


Disgusting. I am ashamed to be a student at Columbia. This institution has surrendered completely to trickle-down hypocrisy, political correctness, and left-wing lunacy.
When will someone stand up to these so-called intellectual authorities? The once-fine academic centers will be the first to turn sour in America. What next? The police? The military? I will not be castrated and brainwashed without a fight!

talk about "saddened and ashamed" @ 03/29/2003 01:01 AM EST


De Genova's hate speech demonstrates the same moral and intellectual bankruptcy of David Duke but that is not surprising. American academics despise those who sacrifice to protect the freedoms they enjoy and often misuse: police officers, fire fighters and members of the armed forces. They consider them inferior beings who deserve to be eradicated. The Columbia administration, Trustees and alumni have demonstrated their fecklessness by their silence.

Erebus @ 03/29/2003 12:14 PM EST


I find what Nicholas De Genova said to be repugnant, not that I believe that you can't disagree with a policy of an administration, but to wish the death of those young men and women who serve and protect our nation, is not dissent, but inline with those that want to kill them in war. This person probably believes in the target killing of women and children are acceptable for dissents to show their disagreement with a policy. To Genova a terrorist is someone to be hailed not scorned. We as a nation must tell those that use such senseless hate speech is not acceptable and what they say has consequences.

jeff tate @ 03/31/2003 01:26 PM EST


I think that Nicholas De Genova's comments crossed the line. They are hate crime.

Todd @ 03/31/2003 02:00 PM EST


This isn't "anti-war," or "anti-policy" speechifying -- it is pro-policy: it is public endorsement of a policy not just of killing U.S. servicemen and servicewomen, but of executing humiliating deaths.

All President Bollinger did was issue a "this is not the official view of the University" fine-print caveat.

Can there be a more marginal role at Columbia than the President's, issuing not opinions, not directions, not analyses, but boilerplate.

Advanced education in America bemoans its lack of support from the population in general and amazingly they see no link between that lack of support and their own character as the providers of that education.

We need to write to the supporters of Columbia. Put them on notice that they bear responsibility for how their support is being turned into calls not for the education but for the execution of America's young people.

Carson Bennett @ 03/31/2003 04:06 PM EST


This guy is sick! I believe he needs to go on sabbatical at Baghdad Univesity. I wish that all like minded americans doing anything in thier power to keep away from Columbia U or anything to do with it's faculty. A apology is not enough. I think family of the brave which have fallen should sue this man for pain and suffering. It's worth a shot!

Tad Judge @ 03/31/2003 04:43 PM EST


A very sad commentary on this mans life, who is obviously filled with great emotional hatred. And, so often people donít think before speaking. Saying what he did, and wishing young solders dead, is no different than looking out across the crowd he was addressing, and saying, if any of you join the military after leaving school, and ever engage in military action that I donít approve of, I want you all dead too! What I want to know is, more importantly than his messages of hate, and criticism, and this goes for all anti war protesters, is what are your SOLUTIONS. If he, and the millions of people like him spent so much fervent time in finding ways to prevent war, maybe we would not be were we are today.
GT
California
PS what ever happened to level headed common sense?

Greg T @ 03/31/2003 04:49 PM EST


Nicholas De Genova ... Remember that name. Yes, all of us who have family, friends and relatives fighting in Iraq. Should any of them die in battle, the name Nicholas De Genova should stand out as an accomplice to any war casualties inflicted.
Nicholas De Genova..... Nicholas De Genova..... Nicholas De Genova.....
Trust me, you coward, somebody will make your hatefull insensitive comments their rallying cry, and the very poison you spew forth will become your final minute of fame as another casualty, you filthy, sickening, cowardly piece of excretement.

Mike S. @ 03/31/2003 05:31 PM EST


As a student of Columbia University and as a person who WAS in attendance at the teach-in where de Genova made his remarks, I would like to point out that his comments were indeed NOT met with thuderous applause. Rather I think stunned silence would be the correct characterization of the atmosphere. His comments do not represent anyone's but his own violent and misguided opinions. But free speech is a guaranteed right, my friends. We may detest what the man said, but we cannot silence him. That would be fundamentally un-American.

Spending so much energy repudiating words so clearly wrong does nothing but take away energy from the cause that we should be focusing on now--namely getting through this horrible conflict with the least amount of lives lost.

And regardless of what your politics are, assuming one person's words stand for a whole community is silly. De Genova is neither a spokesperson for Columbia nor for the anti-war movement in general.

Anne @ 03/31/2003 11:27 PM EST


Sorry, Anne: you've got a fallacy, a misunderstanding, and a strawman.

1. We (as opposed to the government) can silence him to the extent that silencing means taking away the podium offered by his comfy professorial position. This is particularly true (as I'll be writing tomorrow) in light of the apparent fact that his statement is perfectly in line with his broader beliefs and the focus of his work. But that's extraneous: he hasn't a right to a position of respect, nor the captive audience offered by a university.

2. As far as I know, very few of the people commenting on De Genova have done so at the time-wise expense of activities that could facilitate a rapid end to the war. Indeed, to the extent that Hussein (or his henchmen, if he's incapacitated) take encouragement from the activists' drive to keep him in power, encouraging such people to think before speaking directly expedites the cessation of hostilities.

3. Nobody that I've read has extrapolated De Genova's specific comments to the entire movement. However, fortunately for those who might be inclined to use a broad brush, very many within the movement's ranks are perfectly willing to offer up their inanity on an individual basis.

I'm surprised, Anne. You should be particularly incensed. De Genova essentially took your diploma and used it to wipe his intellectual rear-end, leaving a stain that may prove to decrease its value in the eyes of many who see it.

Justin Katz @ 03/31/2003 11:42 PM EST


I am a graduate student in anthropology, and I am flat-out disgusted by the comments of Nicholas de Genova. His statements don't really surprise me though. Liberal Arts academia has been hijacked by ultra-leftist Marxist professors who aim to indoctrinate naive, young students into believing their extremist agendas. They shout "Academic Freedom" if their motives are questioned, but quickly insult or silence any dissenting viewpoints from their own. This is happening on my campus as well. These assholes need to be sent into the frontlines themselves and get shot at...maybe they will gain some sense.

Justin @ 04/01/2003 12:24 AM EST


I have written to the Chair of the Anthropology Dept. at Columbia--to President("not the views of Columbia") Bollinger's office, and called and left voice-mail messages for both.

BOYCOTT COLUMBIA!! If you are Alumni--stop contributing and tell them why. If you're a potential student--find another university that deserves your tuition--and tell Columbia about it. If you're a corporation or a foundation--withold grant and endowment money.
If you're the media--investigate Columbia--investigate De Genova--investigate his boss. Shine the cold hard light of day on these gutless bastards. Break stories of academic tyrrany on Columbia's campus. Believe me--they're there.

Eighteen soldiers were slaughtered in Mogadishu--their bodies mutilated, stripped naked, dragged through the streets while men urinated and defecated on the remains. De Genova wished that this happens to 18 million American servicemen and women.

He doesn't deserve to lick their boots!

Edwin @ 04/01/2003 10:50 AM EST


I heard anti-war Columbia prof talking on the radio this morning about this piece of filth, he was leading the charge that the FBI should be targeting this individual for treason.

Here is to this conflict ending as soon as possible.

Mike Addonis @ 04/01/2003 12:22 PM EST


Does anyone know where a list of supporters/donators to Columbia may be located?? I would type and write my fingers bloody in order to inundate these supporters to stop supporting professors who commit what, in my opinion, is treason. De Genova is only qualified to dig ditches and even that would need to be carefully supervised! For far too long, Americans have allowed idiots like De Genova and his counterparts to teach hatred in America under the thinly disguised veil of "Free Speech". Well I have had enough!-

PLEASE...if anyone knows how to obtain the names of private or public supporters of Columbia University...let me know!!

bajahaha @ 04/01/2003 01:56 PM EST


I find it absolutely disgusting that this man is teaching at an american university, and I am tired left wing lunatics decrying america as an agressor nation.

The united states is the most moral world power in human history.

the united states had a monopoly on nuclear weapons for four years after ww 2. Did we ever use them for our own gain? What would nazi germany and the soviet union have done if they had these weapons first.

Robert Alvarado @ 04/01/2003 02:05 PM EST


First of all, I absolutely disagree with these statements. They are hateful, wrong, and against anything a peace movement should stand for, and that is the preservation of life over death. However, I say to you, how dare you use this a wholesale launch against all Enlightened or liberally minded people? Perhaps because your small little brains cannot distinguish between those among us who can determine the appropriate comments and ideas and those among us who are witless; that's why you're conservative because you are witless and cannot tell one of you from the other. PEACE!

Conservative Morons @ 04/02/2003 01:50 AM EST


Priceless, "Conservative Morons." Thank you for so aptly parodying the inanity of the Left!

Justin Katz @ 04/02/2003 06:39 AM EST


Some people do not understand the concept of live and let live or the longed for hope of peace. Conservitive Morons you call people names and then print PEACE in capital letters? I don't know maybe it is just me but somehow that just does'nt make too much sense to me. No one hates war more than those who have been served,my father was in the underground in WW II in Norway when he came the U.S. in 1949 he served this country as a doctor in the Air Force.Our nightmare was the Nam and now my youngest son is doing his job in the 3rd ID right outside Baghdad. Shame on you! We don't do this for the politicians we don't do this for policy we do for YOU and your childern and all the rest of us who know freedom isn't free!! Think about that for a while would you please, Thankyou.

Robert Nelson @ 04/02/2003 01:58 PM EST


Conservative Morons, please excuse the spelling and punctuation, I sent this message before I double checked it. It is that important to me.

RN

Robert Nelson @ 04/02/2003 02:11 PM EST


Since he cherishes Iraq so much, and he wishes harm to our troops, I think we ought to outfit De Genova with an Iraqi army uniform and parachute him, post-haste, to the Iraqi side of the war front. Of course, we will then advise our brave troops of his position.
As an alternative, let's bring this bastard to the site of the next VFW national convention.

Chris Athmann @ 04/02/2003 08:37 PM EST


Columbia University has pulled the address for that pig De Genova from their website. However, his contact info (if they don't fire him):
Contact information for Nicholas De Genova of Columbia University - he who wishes for "a million Mogadishus" in Iraq:

Name: NICHOLAS PAUL DE GENOVA
Title: ASST PROF
Dept: ANTHROPOLOGY
Mail Addr: DEPT OF ANTHROPOLOGY
416 HAMILTON
mail code 2880
Phone: MS 4-0199
+1 212-854-0199
Fax: +1 212-854-0500
UNI: npd18
EMail: npd18@columbia.edu

Bill Kratzer @ 04/02/2003 09:26 PM EST


Robert, what is your point??

"Live and let live..."

"Call people names..."

"Conservative morons..."

Are you contradicting yourself Robert, like all liberals do??

David @ 04/03/2003 11:39 AM EST


My bad Robert. You should put names like "Conservative Morons" in quotes. That is just an example of how the jargon of the left tries to deceive and confuse :) .

David @ 04/03/2003 11:46 AM EST


David, Sorry for the poor skills in my punctuation. I am working every day to try to improve them so I can more clearly express myself on this machine. I , for better or worse, consider myself to be a conservative. I guess the point I was trying to make to one of the previous writers (see mail from "Conservative Morons")is anybody can run their mouth,but those who are willing to put their butts on the line carry a lot more weight with me. Robert

Robert Nelson @ 04/03/2003 01:31 PM EST