By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
THERE’S DEVILS AND THERE’S DEVILS
I want to commend Marc Cooper for an excellent profile on Joe Hicks [“The Devil and Mr. Hicks,” May 24–30], who has had an amazing American experience and who has such enormous potential to bridge the ideological divide that separates the American people, particularly with respect to the issue of “race.” There is one item in Cooper’s profile, however, that is factually inaccurate and needs to be corrected. As chairman of the Proposition 209 campaign, I can say unequivocally that neither I nor anyone else associated with the campaign had any conversations whatsoever with David Duke or made any “deals” not to mention 209 during his debate with Hicks. Perhaps the opponents of 209 considered it cute or good political gimmickry to attempt to connect Duke with our campaign, but I considered the issue far too important, and I was too respectful of the people of California, to insult them by allowing Duke to be injected into that campaign. Moreover, while a broken clock is right twice a day, and Duke’s opposition to race preferences is one of those times when he is right, I remain steadfast in my belief that he does not want true equality but yearns for a return to the days of white supremacy. In the infamous “Duke vs. Hicks” debate about 209, I found myself in the unusual position of rooting for my then-opponent (Hicks) to kick the crap out of my other opponent (Duke).
—Ward Connerly Los Angeles
Marc Cooper states, “It would be a loss to all if Hicks becomes one more dogma-ridden conservative hack.” He assumes that because the left is riddled with dogma-ridden hacks, it is also true of the right. I have never met one. As Mr. Hicks tried to say, joining the right liberated his mind from the dogma-ridden left.
—Don Diamond Canton, Ohio
So, a scant two weeks after Marc Cooper’s vicious, content-free assault on David Brock, we read, in “The Devil and Mr. Hicks,” that political defections can be okay, provided they run left to right. Cooper’s ugly celebration of the abuse of Sidney Blumenthal is truly appalling. Hey, Weekly, is this really the best you can do? Seems there is a great deal of FOX in your chicken Coop.
I don’t know what’s in the heart of Brock or Hicks, but one name left-leaners should view with considerable trepidation is Marc Cooper.
—Greg Wall Los Angeles
Marc Cooper flails vainly to come up with an explanation for the conversion of activist Joe Hicks from the left to the right. Because he was uncomfortable with some of the effects of affirmative action and the campaign tactics around Proposition 209? Because he took a trip to the Soviet Union and beheld that living conditions there generally compare unfavorably with ours? So naturally he became acolyte, apprentice and Web master to David Horowitz, whom Mr. Cooper accurately characterizes as a man who makes a living off of "fiery denunciations of feminists, leftist professors, multi-culties, Democrats and demonstrators." Naturally.
Hicks offers up as the primary cause of his switch-over the fact that he has been dismayed by "a rise in multicultural victimhood. We hear rhetoric every day from the left that discrimination against women, against gays, against blacks, is worse than ever!" The fact that this "rise" has been accompanied by the rise in corporate dominance of every aspect of life on earth and a huge consolidation of wealth in the hands of a very few people while real wages have declined for everyone else might have something to do with it. But instead of subjecting Hicks’ complaint to such analysis, Cooper confesses himself sympatico and urges us all to get with the program: "Must the narrative of the left remain rooted in victimization?"
Sorry, fellas: If one is in favor of peace and justice, one must perforce be opposed to war and injustice and must also point out that the conditions that produce them also produce, yes, victims.
Interestingly, Mr. Cooper does not seem inclined to issue a corresponding call to the right to abandon its world view so we can all just get along. Equally interestingly, Mr. Cooper has previously pooh-poohed the concept of civil disobedience ("From Protest to Politics," The Nation, March 11, 2002) and granted gracious public air time to Robert McNamara and Pat Buchanan on KPFK in the form of kid-gloves puff-ball interviews. One must presume that advising activists not to go making trouble, allowing fundamentalist reactionary mind-sets to go unchallenged and providing a podium for self-exculpating war criminals is part of what Mr. Cooper has in mind when he plunks for abandoning "dusty cant" and laboring to "conjure a proactive vision with popular appeal" — like that of Joe Hicks and David Horowitz.
Andrew Christie Los Angeles
So is Marc Cooper angry that David Brock wrote this book, or is he just pissed that he didn’t think of it himself? I could actually hear Mr. Cooper whining through the entire review, so what is it contempt or jealousy?
Chris Davis Long Beach
Mr. Cooper writes that "Leftists seem constitutionally incapable of responding to Horowitz in anything less than a scream." That is because Horowitz uses reason in his arguments, no matter how provocative he may be. This totally baffles leftists, who then express themselves as children, which they are intellectually. Mr. Cooper then writes that "Hicks’ more diplomatic tone is a special challenge to the left. It’s the left, after all, that lays claim to independent and critical thinking . . . " This is an amazing claim by the left, which in fact mercilessly oppresses independent thought and relentlessly crushes any attempt at critical thought regarding its dogma. I applaud Joe Hicks for moving out of the realm of emotion and into that of thought.
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