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Frohnmayer calls out Pacifica Forum on “gutter bigotry”

President Frohnmayer recently issued a letter denouncing the Pacifica Forum for its sometimes “unabashedly racist” content. The letter came at the urging of the community board of Oregon Hillel, a Jewish student group on campus; they were prompted to action by a disturbing, anti-semitic screed written by PF regular Valdas Anelauskas attacking ODE columnist Deborah Bloom.

While Frohnmayer spent plenty of time denouncing the forum, he was careful not to call for their outright banishment from campus. From the Register-Guard article:

Frohnmayer said in his letter that groups such as the Pacifica Forum may use UO facilities but do not speak for the university. The appearance of any speaker on campus does not imply the UO’s “endorsement, support, or even its moral indifference to the content of a message,” he wrote.

But while Frohnmayer and members of Hillel made it clear that they weren’t questioning the forum’s right to spew forth insane drivel, Anelauskas decided to have himself a free speech pity party:

Anelauskas was unimpressed. Frohnmayer, he said, “probably just caved in to the so-called Anti-Hate Task Force and it doesn’t really do him any honor.” As to the student journalist’s column, Anelauskas said he doesn’t regret his response — “not a bit.”

“This is an issue of free speech, first and foremost,” he said. “I have the right to say anything about everything, anything and anyone, including Jews.”

For being dedicated to the free dissemination of ideas and discussion, some members of the Pacifica Forum get awfully touchy when criticized. In fact, it seems to be a standard defense of theirs to cry “censorship!” whenever challenged. Maybe Anelauskas should get used to the fact that there will be public backlash to his abhorrent ideas. Oh, and by the way, you don’t have the right to “say anything about everything, anything and anyone.” Freedom of expression is not absolute, at least if the Supreme Court of the United States has anything to say about it.

Even Orval Etter, the founder and defender of the Pacifica Forum, is starting to catch on to Anelauskas’ douchebaggery, although not as decisively as one would hope:

Etter expressed some concerns about Anelauskas but did not outright denounce his views. “I now see he’s taken a more anti-Semitic position; I didn’t sense that at first,” Etter said. “He’s a fairly scholarly guy. There’s been some yelling about him having a platform, but (people) are not picking him apart in terms of what he’s coming up with.”

What he’s coming up with? Anelauskas’ presentations are “fairly scholarly” in the same way the Time Cube is fairly scientific. People don’t debunk Anelauskas’ claims because they have no basis in reality. I can’t conclusively disprove the idea that a secret cabal of Jewish bankers run the world, much the same way that I can’t disprove that there’s a Ford Pinto orbiting Saturn.

For the record, I don’t believe the Pacifica Forum should be kicked off campus. Most people go through their lives never actually hearing the kind of things Anelauskas says. Most people aren’t aware this kind of thinking is still around, much less in their hometown. You could consider this a good thing, but on the other hand they never have the chance to refute it, to think critically, defend and further illuminate the truth. As John Milton wrote in 1664 in his Areopagitica:

“Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?”

My coverage of the Pacifica Forum is archived here.

  1. michaele says:

    “michaele” is me, Michael E. Williams, former UO student currently working with the Community Alliance of Lane County on a variety of projects, the Anti-Hate Task Force being one of them, and not my favorite piece of business.

    I don’t know “river.” I say this not because it is really anybody’s business, but perhaps to save river from the invective dc heaps on me. I don’t mind, I’m kinda used to it, but river might not be as insensitive and calloused, with such a well-developed sense of humor.

    Should we get up a lottery on how many discussions dc will pull the plug on? When the “last post” will be? When the horse will be buried?

  2. dc says:

    Ossie, maybe you thought “michaele” was someone other than Michael Williams. And if he is not also “River” then there is ONLY ONE other possibility, but THAT IS MWilliams’ writing, I swear.

  3. dc says:

    “Ossie” I feel like you were premature to shut off that other thread from comments as you did, in the middle of the night last night.
    [Pacifica Forum responds to Frohnmayer] HTML, please?
    I know you were out drinking, but your timing sucked. Now Michael Williams comments (and his alter-ego’s; “River”) are left standing, without sufficient response. Additionally, CJ’s article/post is misleading, with regard to 2 points, at least.

    I am just home now and v.tired, so I will simply cut and paste my hurried, pre-work/ pre-school comment from this morning, here, so that it will at least be included in your PF archive. Feel free to put it on the thread it was supposed to go on~ I chose the Holy Cow cuzza the title, and cuz I’ve known Kathee and Anton forever.

    Finally, In response to this:

    Ossie says: >>dc: It has been nice conversing with you and your group of crazies over the past months, but I think it is time to move on.<<

    I have never written to you, or conversed with you. And the first time I ever read/posted here was MARCH 20th, mainly because Daniel Pope chimed in. [drink?]

    Here’s my this morning’s blocked post, less the John Mearsheimer quote. Would like to know if you’d prefer I don’t come to this blog anymore..

    dc Says:
    April 30th, 2008 at 7:28 am

    dc: It has been nice conversing with you and your group of crazies over the past months, but I think it is time to move on. I don

  4. ArabMIke says:

    dude wake up clear your beautiful mind and find another Sudoku puzzle to read tea leafs with. This shit is wasting precious cognitation with regard to real things that deserve thought like bouncy breasts and pear like asses. The Jew are in control of a tiny slever of sand that is surrounded by salty water, really??? Read a comic book or something, Justice League, restore that faith budy.

  5. Vincent. says:

    Thank fucking god DC is screwing up the formatting of the entire site due to a paralyzing inability to learn basic fucking HTML.

  6. Sakaki says:

    Call Hillel. Let’s get Rosenberg and a few others over there to kick the shit out of the anti-semitic bitches.

  7. dc says:

    As per V. coming on campus and “spewing Anti-Semitic garbage”, that’s a place where you and I veer. My opinion is based on having been present for his lecture series.

    His presentations did NOT warrant the viciousness with which the lobby purports was necessary to “protect the community”/ there was no “garbage” there. I view your statement as a product of the bally-hooing; a repercussion of their PR campaign, it’s blowback, essentially (sorry “Jan”), all of it is..

    Yes, his post on that offensive article is offensive.
    But I think you folks are all saying he is wrong to express his thoughts~
    and that, to me, is more offensive.
    PS THIS Friday 4/25 @ 4:00 pm, after an open floor for Current Event discussion, the Pacifica Forum /attendees will be invited to participate in a workshop toward drafting a response to President Frohnmayer’s letter to colleagues, as we listen to a recording of his (September 11, 2007) lecture on “Tolerance”.

    All are welcome.

  8. Timothy says:

    Thought…oh, that’s quaint.

    Dude, for serious? “American Jews are to blame for the occupation of parts of Syria and Jordan by Israel!” If that isn’t anti-semitism I’m not quite sure what would qualify. Don’t you have a book burning rally to get to or something?

  9. dc says:

    Thought I got that right. Sorry. I better go eat dinner.

    I’ll try to fix it later. Plus I want to tell you about the menorah

  10. dc says:

    I started attending PF in ’05 and never caught wind of Hillel-HAL (as in, he did not attend,) until around the time we publicized our hosting of Jeff BlankfortFAQ, and of Alison WeirFAQ, in the spring of 2006. (Both guests are Jewish, by the way, and were fonts of good info/current and historical.) Hal again objected (and here, he actually attended ONE Forum: “Washington DC~ Israeli Occupied Territory?) As far as I can tell, he has been shilling ever since.

    For whom? I could create a flow chart, anybody dare me./?


  11. dc says:

    : )

    Thanks for the honesty & upright-ness in your post, here.

    I never said you’d suppressed the truth, only that you’d perpetuated the (the carefully crafted) caricature, initially proffered by those who’d prefer PF did not exist, for reasons less obvious than you’d assume. Most of the profferers have not attended our Forums, either.

    Hillel (via Applebaum, mainly,) has been dissing the Forum since 2003, stemming from Orval’s showing of 2 videos, which, I’m told, documented aspects of Israel’s illegal Occupation of Palestine.

    But that’s what Hillel does (aside from hosting govt.. SHILLS like Dennis Ross (Scooter Libby cohort) on Campus. They’re a pressure group. Perception management. Just one prong in a myriad of the gd pitchforks used to serve up the lobby’s agenda (agendi?). Smack your lips, tomorrow’s another day…

    Have more to say~ Just home. Wednesday’s are always long..

  12. CJ Ciaramella says:

    DC wrote: “What first prompted you to write about Valdas, or the Pacifica Forum, anyway?”

    Well, the short answer is that Valdas and crew come to my campus and spew anti-Semitic garbage. But I’m guessing you want the long answer. Well, here it is: the true story of how a naive college reporter was manipulated by shadowy forces to bring down a peaceful discussion forum and suppress The Truth.

    It all started back in October, I believe. I was walking around campus, and I saw a poster for the Mark Weber lecture. Being the astute journalist that I am, I jotted down the information and wrote this blog post.

    Unfortunately, I was out of town for Weber’s lecture, but my interest was piqued. I decided to do an investigative piece on the forum, which came out in the Holiday Issue of the Commentator (pg. 8). I interviewed Etter, dug up some great stuff about Jimmy Marr bringing a desecrated menorah to a meeting, etc.

    The forum fell off my radar for a little bit, until I saw another delightful poster titled “Martin Luther King: Communist?” Once again, being the astute journalist that I am, I jotted down the information and made sure to attend the meeting.

    My blog post about the MLK lecture caught the attention of the Eugene Weekly, who sent their own reporter to find out what was going on. (She had also previously covered the forum). The reporter got a hold of Anelauskas’ letter to Bloom and wrote part of it into her article.

    This in turn got the attention of Oregon Hillel, who urged Frohnmayer to denounce Anelauskas and the forum. Frohnmayer did so, and the Register-Guard covered it. The reporter for the R-G tracked some of the story back to this blog, and the whole clusterfuck came full circle.

    There you have it, DC. That’s your grand conspiracy – the coincidental meeting of an alkie student journalist and a couple of posters.

  13. Olly says:

    “It tells me that you

  14. Timothy says:

    I dammed a Freemason once, didn’t generate much electricity.

  15. Brandon says:

    Here I thought the Freemassons were to blame, dam it!

  16. Sho says:

    Whoa, easy on the submit button there dc. You might break it. Or wait, is “World Jewry” also to blame for double comment posts?

    I can see it now, “Zionist overlords undermine comment sections of weblogs on the World Wide Web.”

  17. Brandon says:

    Wow what a cluster fuck! Interesting shit show non the less…

  18. dc says:

    Sakaki Said;
    Geez, your sources are lacking, biased, and effectively dismissable.

    This is like the sub-atom-ny [sic] of my sourcing, I was using real time, a sampling of stories from that particular hour.

    What is the source from which you ‘speak?

    CJ said ;
    The fact that I

  19. dc says:

    ~Hmm. Trying to post a thing.

    Guess the little chicken feet are not allowed tonight?

  20. dc says:

    >>Geez, your sources are lacking, biased, and effectively dismissable.<>The fact that I

  21. dc says:

    >>>Geez, your sources are lacking, biased, and effectively dismissable.<<>The fact that I

  22. Vincent says:

    Olly: Fair enough, though I’m not sure that civilized society has really rejected too many of my ideas or yours quite as thoroughly as DC’s rank anti-Semitism has been. So while it’s true that many of my ideas are antiquated in the sense that they are old and date from such societies as Imperial Britain or Prussia, which few today would find to be just or equitable, they maintain a certain currency that Jew bashing does not.

    But your point is taken in any case.

  23. olly says:

    Tim: for a second there I thought you meant the Anti Task Hate Force.

  24. olly says:

    “Your ideas are antiques, mate. They date from such lovely places and times as Tsarist Russia, Medieval Europe, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, to name a few.”

    Vincent – mate – not that I disagree with you here, but your ideas are also antiques, as are mine. Many of them can be sourced to similarly lovely places. (Presumably you wouldn’t accept this line of argument yourself?)

    Meanwhile, I posted this link before, and it still speaks for itself. DC’s insistence that you have to attend all the Pacifica Forum’s meetings – and, apparently, exhaust the internet’s entire supply of lunatics – in order to come to certain conclusions about them need not be taken seriously.

  25. Timothy says:

    I keep getting it confused with the ATHF theme song.

  26. Sho says:

    @Jan: Yeah, after that first paragraph, my mind shut off. Actually, wait, it was when the cringe-inducing neologism “sheeple” was used.

    @Olly: I imagine the AHTF theme song as a marching band version of “Get Together” by the Youngbloods.

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