Letters: Freedom of speech means tolerating Nazis

Never before have I seen such contradiction in a newspaper than in Loren Balhorn’s column, “Let’s all be total jerks” (Nov. 24). While exercising a freedom established in the Bill of Rights, Balhorn argues that another of those freedoms should be applied selectively to only those who agree with his opinions.

I can see why he would get along with Mao and Stalin, who similarly wished their opponents would simply disappear. Unfortunately for Balhorn, we live in a democracy. Although I am personally disgusted with neo-Nazi rallies (especially since I am Jewish), I would rather they have the right to speak their mind knowing I can speak out in response. If we take away their rights, how long will it be until our own are restricted as well?

Tolerance is what separates us from them. Additionally, how dare Balhorn compare the College Republicans at Northwestern with an extreme group like neo-Nazis? He labels the Republicans on this campus as the “xenophobic, homophobic extreme right,” and yet I doubt he has met or attempted discussing actual political issues with any who dares label themselves as a republican on this campus. He criticizes religion, saying, “come on, it is the 21st century.” Yes, it is the 21st century and I thought, at least at an institution like NU, we had moved beyond such ridiculous generalizations and stereotypes: not every Republican is a gay-hating, fundamentalist Christian.

I am proud that the same issue of the Daily which printed your column had an article about those protesting Century Theatres for their support of Prop. 8 (“Hundreds protest theater’s support of Prop. 8,” Nov. 24). I am proud that my school allows speakers from all over the spectrum, from David Horowitz to Jeremiah Wright. I am disappointed, however, that someone at this university truly believes that intolerance is okay.


Weinberg sophomore