Letter to the Editor: Ani Ajith right to make remarks against Dinesh D’Souza

Isaac Hasson

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Last week, Dinesh D’Souza spoke on campus. Ani Ajith, our student body president, was right to say something about it.

Conservatives resent the bias of modern academics that exist to advance a left wing ideological agenda, bypassing real scholarship for narrative and cherry picked facts. It is therefore stunning that the College Republicans decided to host the conservative version of that.

What matters is not whether Dinesh D’Souza is a racist, but whether a racist audience might have found comfort in his speech. Real leaders don’t coddle racists; they challenge us to be our best. We live in a more racially egalitarian country than ever before. In the words of Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The world has changed. It has not changed totally, but it has changed significantly.” Instead of having that discussion, D’Souza singled out African Americans for undue criticism.

Most black children lack access to a quality education. African Americans are incarcerated for nonviolent drug crimes at rates far exceeding their share of drug users. This separates families and prevents communities from accumulating wealth, treats people as disposable, and costs billions of dollars better spent elsewhere.

I’m a Republican. Not the Massachusetts kind, the real kind. There is nothing conservative about telling black people they shouldn’t be upset about this and many more things.

There are compelling reasons to be skeptical of race-based affirmative action. It arguably imposes a de-facto quota on Asians and promotes the most fortunate members of underrepresented groups at their expense. A Hmong student born to a single mother can grow up in crushing poverty, surrounded by drug abuse and gang violence but has to score hundreds of points higher on his SAT to have an equal chance of getting into college. Some people think this is good policy. I’m not one of them.

But most objectionable was D’Souza’s decision to assail our president as a “Kenyan anti-colonial Marxist.” What the hell does that mean? I disagree with President Barack Obama about 90 percent of the time. You can make a confident, conservative case against the president’s policies without resorting to the cynical politics of resentment and mistrust. D’Souza is trying to exploit racial sentiment, hoping to trick people into believing that the same president who has fought al-Qaida to the end of the earth is the second coming of Robert Mugabe. We’re too good as people to settle for talk like that. We deserve better.

Isaac Hasson
Conservative chair, Northwestern Political Union