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Morals Week speech causes interruption

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010 09:01

When the author of a book titled Why the Left Hates America comes to speak at a predominantly liberal institution, there is bound to be some fireworks. That very author, Daniel J. Flynn addressed a group of about 20 students in the Sullivan Science Building this past Thursday as part of the College Republicans’ Morals Week. From the start of his speech, Flynn took great pains to clarify that not all of the “left” hates America. “When I’m talking about left,” Flynn explained, “I am talking about a segment of the population that probably makes up no more than 10 percent. It’s these small numbers that belie a rather massive cultural influence whether you are talking about over-representation in libraries, museums, Hollywood, the media and, especially, academia.” His main gripe about college campuses was what he saw as “diversity that is set in superficial characteristics.” “What I find ironic is that you hear on so many college campuses about tolerance and sensitivity and diversity,” Flynn said. “But the type of diversity you are gonna get at the University of North Carolina is diversity is where you will have a faculty that might look like the United Nations, but thinks like a San Francisco coffeehouse.” To further drive home his point, he recalled a visit he made to the University of California at Berkeley, or as Flynn called it “the Rome of the Left,” before the release of Why the Left Hates America. According to Flynn he was not very well received. “At the end of the event, there was a Nazi-style burning of my writings,” he said “at Berkeley, home of the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s.” After telling the crowd about how he got kicked out of a Black Panther reunion, he drove home his point by recalling being beaten up at a protest in front of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. The protest was in response to the overturning of the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia cab driver found guilty in 1981 for the murder of a police officer. Flynn concluded this portion by saying, “practice what you preach. If you’re into diversity, let people on the other side speak.” After chastising war protestors who he felt went too far and those he felt falsely accused America of being racist and bigoted, Flynn ended his speech and opened the floor to questions. At this point members of the International Socialist Organization walked in and assembled in the back row, their main spokesperson holding a promotional flyer of the event with a picture of the cover of Why the Left Hates America. Needless to say, they were looking for an explanation. “I am a self-identified leftist,” began the main spokesperson, who, as with the other four members, asked to remain anonymous for this article. “Who let you in?” asked Flynn as the chamber chuckled. “The door was open and I walked right in,” replied the unfazed and unamused leftist. After displaying the flyer and admitting he had never read the book, he started in on the speaker. “The fact that this country was built upon slave labor, or legalized racism in the Jim Crow south, or genocide of the Native Americans, or Japanese internment,” he said. “There’s a long list you don’t address of things that aren’t so great about U.S. history.” “When you look back,” said Flynn, “and see ‘what best suits my current needs?’ Well, progressives, the current needs of a modern day progressive are a historical rewrite that always puts them on the side of the angels. Internment is an excellent example of that. Who pushed internment? Franklin Roosevelt. Who was against it? Conservatives.” “But if you go through the liberal version of history,” Flynn continued, “there is this rewrite where the left is always on the good side and conservatives are always on the bad side. It doesn’t work that way. It works that way in our imaginations by projecting what we need today on the past. But, the past isn’t so malleable.” “I don’t defend the Democratic Party,” said the leftist, “because it has a long history of racism. But so does the right, and I think the right has a lot more explaining to do.” Flynn had stated at the top of his speech that he was glad that people showed up on a Thursday night considering all there is to do on a college campus. For more on Daniel J. Flynn, visit

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