|And a dirty dozen more|
Conversion to conservatism
He made a bit of a name for himself in the 1990s with a memoir, entitled Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey, about how his Stalinist parents did everything but skin him alive as a child, how left-wing politics are nothing but a false religion, and how in consequence it is perfectly reasonable to align oneself with the looniest fringe of the Republican Party (usually the screaming lunatic fundamentalists who badger the hell out of women at abortion clinics and otherwise make their positions untenable). His memoir has a fair share of rants against entitlements, Affirmative Action, and other programs to help the poor.
Horowitz insists his "conversion" was caused by the unsolved murder of Betty Van Patter, an accountant he had recommended to do bookkeeping for the Black Panthers, with whom he was aligned. After Van Patter looked at the ledgers and brought discrepancies to the attention of Panther Chairwoman Elaine Brown, she went missing, and her body later was found with her head bashed in on the shore of San Francisco Bay. Horowitz and others have claimed that the Panthers did it, but there never was a conviction. Art Goldberg, Horowitz's long-time and by then-former friend, accused Horowitz of putting Patter into a dangerous situation and thereby bearing some of the responsibility for her death.
Horowitz in action
One of David Horowitz's pet peeves has been the long-standing issue of historical reparations for slavery. If his criticism was based on costs or on the fact that no one currently alive was directly involved with slavery in any capacity, he might have gotten away with it. Instead, we got the same logic-twisting that made Booker T. Washington anathema to the Civil Rights movement in Horowitz's anti-reparations argument, "Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks-and Racist, Too":
“”The claim for reparations is premised on the false assumption that only whites have benefited from slavery. If slave labor created wealth for Americans, then obviously it has created wealth for black Americans as well, including the descendants of slaves. The GNP of black America is so large that it makes the African-American community the 10th most prosperous "nation" in the world. American blacks on average enjoy per capita incomes in the range of twenty to fifty times that of blacks living in any of the African nations from which they were taken.
In layman's terms: "Slavery made us money and slaves' living conditions were slightly better than what they'd have been otherwise, so you should thank your plantation owners for giving you any wages at all."
Horowitz anti-reparations rationale originally appeared in his own FrontPage Magazine in January 2001. He then tried to place it as an advertisement in college newspapers across the US in March 2001. Many newspapers rejected the ads, as they are entitled to do, those that did run the ads faced backlash from students who called the text racist or hate speech. Curiously, "Ten Reasons" was subsequently scrubbed clean from FrontPage Magazine and the Internet Archive, both in 2013 or later. The entire FrontPage Magazine is now scrubbed and excluded from the Internet Archive. Horowitz apparently doesn't want people to know that he's been doing things he regrets his entire life.
David Horowitz Freedom Center
The "David Horowitz Freedom Center" (DHFC) is Horowitz's vanity think tank that exists largely as a vehicle for Horowitz to spread Islamophobia and combat "liberal academia." The DHFC runs a number of projects, most notably publishing the conservative FrontPage Magazine. The magazine started out as a more aggressively-conservative version of The Weekly Standard, but in more recent years has morphed into Stormfront-lite, takes a rabid anti-Islam editorial stance and publishes other miscellaneous wingnuttery by the likes of Ann Coulter, Daniel Pipes, and Melanie Phillips. Its more recent pundits Bruce Bawer, Daniel Greenfield, and Jamie Glazov have dropped any semblance of subtlety and frequently display overt racism and borderline neo-fascism in their screeds. The DHFC runs "Students for Academic Freedom", and Discover the Networks, a site allegedly keeping tabs on the "loony leftists" giving cover to the Jihad Johnnies and other assorted radicals. The DHFC has also taken aboard Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch fame. Spencer's Islamophobia is so virulent that it's too wingnutty even for Dinesh D'Souza! Then-Representative Ron DeSantis, who became Florida governor in 2019, spoke at the center's conferences on four separate occasions. DeSantis also used a racist dogwhistle in his campaign.
Attacks on academia
Horowitz has been pushing his deceptively named Academic Bill of Rights (ABOR) for quite some time. In one instance, his McCarthy complex managed to spark an investigation into Pennsylvania's higher education system. However, the investigative committee found that Horowitz's charges were overblown and that he had failed to document the widespread "indoctrination" he claimed existed.
In 2006, Horowitz published The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, which targeted many professors who supported Palestinian rights.:38 In 2009, he published One-Party Classroom, which listed 150 courses that he considered dangerous.:38 These books, in addition to his Students for Academic Freedom astroturf group were sufficient for the Trump White House to support his agenda and include at least 11 past or current members of DHFC in its administration, including Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller.:38-41 Horowitz even regards Miller as his protégé. While Horowitz has attacked the alleged lack of free speech at universities, the reality is that US universities are the "freest domain of expression in any workplace" since many other types of workplaces force their employees to sign non-disclosure agreements as a condition of employment.:41 Intellectually dishonest wholesale attacks on academia, as Horowitz has engaged in, is a common tactic of fascism.:36
- Horowitz's NewsReal blog.
- Inside Higher Ed's category for Horowitz.
- SourceWatch profile.
- The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle, Southern Poverty Law Center.
- A Most Brilliant Individual, Jacobin.
- Horowitz, David. Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
- Who killed Betty Van Patter? A letter from an old friend stirs up passions from one of the most disturbing, yet little-known, crimes of the New Left era. It happened exactly 25 years ago. by David Horowitz (December 13, 1999 5:00PM EST) Salon.
- Left-leaving, left-leaning by Christopher Hitchens (November 16, 2003) Los Angeles Times. Book review of Horowitz's Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey.
- Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks - and Racist Too by David Horowitz (January 03, 2001) FrontPage Magazine (archived from 10 Jan 2013 21:42:55 UTC).
- Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks is a Bad Idea for Blacks-and Racist, Too National Coalition Against Censorship.
- Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine. Internet Archive.
- Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine. Internet Archive.
- David Horowitz Freedom Center
- FrontPage Magazine
- About Students for Academic Freedom.
- Discover the Networks
- Jihad Watch
- D'Souza: Spencer "essentially agrees with bin Laden" by Robert Spencer (Mar 2, 2007 11:29 am) Jihad Watch.
- GOP candidate for Fla. governor spoke at racially charged events by Beth Reinhard & Emma Brown (September 9 at 10:30 PM) The Washington Post.
- Pastors protest DeSantis' 'monkey this up' comment in effort to 'silence dog whistle' by Meghan Keneally & Lissette Rodriguez (Aug 31, 2018, 12:42 PM ET) ABC News.
- Academic Bill of Rights (May 17, 2020) Students for Academic Freedom.
- Who Won the Battle of Pennsylvania? As David Horowitz's prized legislative panel finishes work, he claims victory, but many academics say it debunked his claims. by Scott Jaschik (November 16, 2006) Inside Higher Ed.
- From Bad to Worse for David Horowitz: Pennsylvania panel strips language he liked and affirms that students aren't oppressed for political views. He decries "cabal" for "stealing" report. by Scott Jaschik (November 22, 2006) Inside Higher Ed.
- The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America by David Horowitz (2006) Regnery Publishing. ISBN 0895260034.
- How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley (2018) Random House. ISBN 9780525511830.
- One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America's Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy by David Horowitz (2009) Crown Forum. ISBN 0307452557.
- How a ‘shadow’ universe of charities joined with political warriors to fuel Trump’s rise by Robert O'Harrow Jr. & Shawn Boburg (June 3, 2017) The Washington Post.