It has recently come to light that Fordham plans to host an event featuring Ann Coulter, Republican political commentator, as the guest speaker. Due to the immense bigotry, xenophobia, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of intolerance that she has displayed in her books, interviews, and otherwise over the course of her career, we believe that a fair percentage of Fordham’s student body and faculty will be uncomfortable with this decision.
We concede there is room for discussion on both sides of the political spectrum. All voices, whether conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, religious or secular, or anything in between- all human voices deserve to be heard. However, there is no room at a university whose motto is “men and women for and with others” for the endorsement of hate speech, especially when portions of the club funding sponsoring this event no doubt come from the tuition paid by all students at Fordham- including students of Muslim descent, black students, children of Hispanic immigrants, queer students, women, people with disabilities, and other groups Ann Coulter has belittled and insulted in the public sphere over the course of several decades, we feel something must be said.
Given the alarming events of hate speech, racism and homophobia which occurred on the Fordham campuses during the previous academic year, it seems especially inappropriate to invite such a speaker. Fordham’s extension of this honor to such a controversial figure could appear to be an endorsement of these dangerous, intolerant, and backward undercurrents which are now known to exist among factions of the student body. Especially in light of the riots President Obama’s re-election have incited on other college campuses, such as the University of Mississipi, it is especially important for the Fordham administration to reiterate last year’s message: that it stands firmly against hate speech and intolerance.
We have sent you this message because we hope that you will stand with us in protest of the Fordham administration’s decision on this issue. We may not be able to change minds, but we hope to at least make our voices heard.
Concerned Fordham Students