Wednesday, September 11, 2002
Below is the original story by Steve Sexton in the California Patriot that revealed the distaste that Berkeley administrators and others had for patriotic themes, though evidently the publicity that resulted--more links here--turned them around.
I should add that some people think David Horowitz is too extreme. Even though he's one of my intellectual heros, I don't agree with every jot and tittle that comes flying out of Horowitz and FrontPageMag.com. But people bury their head in the sand and don't always appreciate what he is reacting to. This is what he's reacting to:
The "Star Spangled Banner" is too patriotic, divisive and political, so organizers of UC Berkeley's day-long tribute to the victims and heroes of 9-11 are excluding it. "God Bless America" is doubly excluded. Not only is it patriotic, but it also mentions God, something else that is taboo next Wednesday.
The Sept. 11 Day of Remembrance, sponsored by the Chancellor's office, the student body government and the Graduate Assembly, will also feature student leaders distributing white ribbons, instead of the red, white and blue ones they had originally planned.
"We thought that may be just too political, too patriotic," said Hazel Wong, chief organizer for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC). "We didn't want anything too centered on nationalism-anything that is 'Go U.S.A.'"...
Jessica Quindel, president of the Graduate Assembly, a key player in the planning, said the day's events are about more than just grieving. She said the day is, in fact, about politics. And it's not just about Sept. 11, but also the aftermath, including President Bush's response to the terrorist attacks....
Quindel, a self avowed hater of the American Flag, the federal government, and the "Star Spangled Banner," said she is still patriotic. "It depends on your definition of patriotism. Everyone has a different definition," she said.
...to prevent the exclusion of those who don't believe in the American Flag, there will be no tribute to the flag. "The flag has become a symbol of U.S. aggression towards other countries. It seems hostile," Quindel said.
Quindel will be one of two people selecting speakers for short speeches by students during a noontime event on Memorial Glade. Students must pre-register indicating the topic of the comments they wish to make-classifying them into categories of mourning, religious and political.
...Those who aren't selected to speak by Quindel and her undergraduate counterpart, Gabriel, will have an opportunity to speak at an open microphone assembly in the evening. But if last year's open microphone assembly on the night the attacks occurred is any guide, there will likely not be an opportunity for patriotic speech Wednesday. At last Sept. 11's vigil, members of the Berkeley College Republicans were shouted down while speaking of patriotism....