Sadly, though, Columbia is no defender of free speech. That was all too apparent last year, when students stormed the stage to prevent Jim Gilchrist from speaking.
Gilchrist founded the Minuteman, a group of patriotic citizens who’ve taken it upon themselves to patrol our country’s border with Mexico. It’s fine for students to disagree with Gilchrist, but they should have at least had the courtesy to hear him out.
Instead they forced him to leave. As student Ryan Fukumori told the New York Sun, Gilchrist has “no right to be able to speak here.” And Ahmadinejad does? Please.
Columbia has a proud history of supporting our military. Alexander Hamilton went there before serving as General Washington’s right-hand man. When he left the Army, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower served as president of Columbia. Yet it’s impossible to imagine Ike sharing the stage with Ahmadinejad, or serving at an institution that bans ROTC.
We need to return to the days when schools taught and trained young leaders -- and when schools that spurn our military didn’t welcome tyrants with open arms.