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6 comments on “News Roundup: Hoot 11/12”

  1. Art Says:

    The externality that some students could not see Chomsky because their seats were ‘wasted’ by those who left is pretty marginal to the fact that individuals have the right to respectfully leave if they do not want to hear something that offends them to their core, like the throwing around of the words,”ethnic cleansing” in direct opposition of what governing bodies say. When Horowitz said what he did about pro-Palestinian students, I would’ve defended anyone’s right to quietly leave. Individual before the group. Wanted a seat at Chomsky but couldn’t get there in time….I am sorry.

  2. brelly Says:

    Nice articles, Morgan!
    I especially enjoyed Bret’s on Greek Life and yours on Chomsky- do you know which group it was that organized the walkout? and did they leave at an arbitrary time, or was it due to what he was saying at the time?

  3. Morgan Says:

    @Brelly, Thanks! From what I understand, the walkout wasn’t organized by any specific group, but a self-organized group of likeminded students. The walkout was supposed to occur at the end of Chomsky’s speech in between his conclusion and applause (which, in my opinion would have been much more appropriate). However, The walkout occurred around thirty minutes into the speech. It wasn’t in reaction to any particular statement, just at a pause in Chomsky’s presentation.

    @Art, I completely agree that students have the right to walk out as a result of offense taken from a speaker (I’ve been moved to walk out of several presentations that have truly offended me).
    My issue is with the fact that the walkout wasn’t as a reaction to anything in particular that Chomsky was saying, those who organized the walkout would have done so no matter what the content of Chomsky’s speech held. The walkout didn’t occur because students were shocked by how offensive Chomsky was, everyone knew his position going into his speech. It was a result of a group of students trying to make a statement (doing so at the expense of other students’ experience).
    Also, many students who didn’t make it into the presentation were in that position because a large group of students who participated in the walkout cut to the front of the line in front of those who had waited for hours.
    I just wish that students who were part of the walkout had invested their time and attention into listening to Chomsky’s speech and allowed themselves to leave if/when they felt moved to, as opposed to coming in to the speech with a closed mind.

  4. Gideon Says:

    “Also, many students who didn’t make it into the presentation were in that position because a large group of students who participated in the walkout cut to the front of the line in front of those who had waited for hours.”

    @Morgan, You present facts like Chomsky does. There are pictures of the crowd outside Sherman Function Hall while there was still a line for Thirsty Thursday in the Stein. When I got to the hallway and decided to go have a free beer instead of waiting in line, the line consisted of about fifteen “self-organized likeminded students”. When I left the Stein at five on the dot, there were about 35 of those “self-organized likeminded students” — in contrast to, um zero of anyone else’s students.

    So I question your ability — as well as anyone else’s — to indicate that anyone “cut to the front of the line in front of those who had waited for hours” when a) they *created* the line by arriving nearly three hours before the event; b) there was no one else to cut even if they *hadn’t* started the line; and c) *they* were the ones who had “waited for hours”. Bring a silly speaker, get silly journalism? That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

    Further, I’m a little unclear how you formed your assertion that “it is more than clear that the students who organized the walk out had not come to the event with an open mind, the intention of learning something new or even the courtesy of respecting a rival group on campus.”

    OPEN MIND > I came with expectations, just like everyone else, and they were mostly met. I also learned something, which I still have yet to look into (Egypt’s supposed 1971 peace offer, though my current understanding is that Chomsky is the only one who fails to read Sadat as having mentioned Palestinian interests in 1971; assuming my reading holds, Chomsky’s entire argument falls flat on its face because then a failure to accept ’71 can’t be a turning point . . . .) So while I’m not yet prepared to accept (or reject) that single new thing Chomsky said, you — Morgan Gross — have no business telling me whether I came with an open mind. Especially when it doesn’t seem like you interviewed anyone who left the room. You’re entitled to your opinions, but you shouldn’t publicize them to the rest of campus unless you have a good reason for having formed them.

    RESPECT > Secondly, to use a word from that ethnically-cleansing language of Hebrew, we *davka* did respect a rival group. In contrast to the Goldstone event, where a handful of obnoxious students stood and disrupted an elected senior official who was directly involved in the issues, a group of about fifty students listened silently to about 45 minutes of a speech and silently and quickly stood, causing almost no disruption. (In fact, at one person told me afterwards that the slight rustling woke them from their boredom with the speech; I’m pretty sure it was 45 minutes in and not 30, though maybe Chomsky was just that insipid.) Also, you should be clear that there was not a “pause in Chomsky’s presentation” as we stood up. He motored right along, at least until I left the room (and I was just about at the back of the four dozen students who left).

    Next time, more thinking and asking and less writing, please. Or at least do the first two before you do the third.

  5. Alex N. Says:

    I have to appreciate the mentality of someone who will stand in line for three hours to not listen to a speech.

    Also Morgan when you say Chomsky was “grounded concretely in fact and almost free of emotion” you are giving him a bit too much credit. His facts were mostly true, but his interpretations were one-sided and often completely ignored mitigating factors. And while he was not emotional while delivering his talk, his partisanship demonstrated a pronounced bias against a specific side. So is emotion really the metric we’re looking for?

    Also, you describe the rest of the week’s protests as “respectful” and “tactful,” but Thursday’s reading-of-the-deaths on the Rabb Steps was done in clear defiance of the fact that it was Blowfish day. It really killed the mood.

  6. Gideon Says:

    @Alex, sorry about blowing blowfish day for y’all. We’ll make it up to you — you can republish Chomsky’s speech in its entirety.