We Say No to Hate Speech at Tulane University sign now

We, the undersigned, are New Orleans residents, alarmed by the recent news that Tulane University is hosting an event encouraging violence and hate towards members of our community. In a city plagued by racial tension, in a climate of national alarm for hate crimes, such as the nooses hung in Jena, Louisiana, Tulane is sending exactly the wrong message a message of intolerance, rather than inclusiveness.

Right wing extremist David Horowitz, who has said, "Free blacks and free descendants of blacks benefited from slavery," is sponsoring a week of anti-Muslim events on more than 100 campuses across the US. Locally, Tulane University is hosting a talk on October 22, 2007, as part of this national week of hate-speech, providing the venue for pundit Ann Coulter, who has said, referring to US policy in the Middle East, "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." More recently, Coulter claimed that "Jews need to be perfected," by becoming Christian. She has also called Muslims "ragheads," and "camel jockeys, called presidential candidate John Edwards a faggot, and even insulted 9/11 widows.

We are not calling for censorship even those that present hateful views have the right to speak. However, we are concerned at the official silence from Tulane administration. When Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University recently, politicians and the university president were quick to condemn his views. Why has Tulane University president Scott Cowen remained silent? Why have we not heard condemnation of Ann Coulters hate speech from the administration that is hosting her? And why have local politicians also been absent? In this case, official silence conveys endorsement.

We are New Orleans parents, community members, and youth, of different colors, faiths and backgrounds. Tulanes actions have made all of us feel less welcome in this city.

We call on members of the Tulane administration, as well as New Orleans political representatives, to speak out, and declare their position on this hateful event. We also call on Tulane to fund and host a speaker from a Muslim background that will present positions counter to the hateful arguments to be presented by Coulter.

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Terrie LawrenceBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Tulane University Administration

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