Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
14 April 2010
The Daily Titan
California State University-Fullerton
This note is to congratulate the staff of the Titan for its willingness to run an on-line banner that links to the text of a talk I gave at the Holocaust conference in Tehran in December 2006. The full title of the talk was “The Irrational Vocabulary of the Professorial Class with Regard to the Holocaust Question."
At the same time that I note my appreciation to The Titan staff, I feel it obligatory on my part to point out – if it has not already been pointed out to you by others – that the professorial class, as a class, is committed to enforcing a taboo against any suggestion of a free exchange of ideas about the orthodox Holocaust narrative. No matter that one fundamental ideal of the university in the West is to forward exactly that—a free exchange of ideas.
As to what you can expect—and I am willing, even anxious, to be proven that I am wrong about this—you can expect to be contacted by campus academics and individuals representing special-interest organizations who will argue forcefully that you should remove the banner from the Titan on the grounds that it is anti-Jewish. In the end, there is no other issue. It will be argued, at bottom, that the Titan can encourage any question on any other historical issue it wants, but no critical question about the orthodox Holocaust narrative. Ever.
One question is: who benefits from this exercise in academic conformity? Palestinians? Students? Germans? Muslims? Who benefits when an entire professorial class is committed to a rigid intellectual conformity on one historical narrative, and will demand of those students it professes to teach to commit itself to the same orthodoxy?
I do not expect one academic on your campus to stand with you in public and argue for a free exchange of ideas on this matter. I hope it will be demonstrated that I am wrong about this. My suggestion, if I might, is that when you are being pressured to remove the banner that you ask that academic, that representative of a special-interest organization, to repeat one phrase, one sentence, from the document itself that suggests that the text of the talk should not be made available to students on your campus.
Anyhow, good luck with this.
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust
PS: I will copy this note to some number of students and faculty at Fullerton.