About David Horowitz
In 1988 Horowitz founded the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles to “establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground.” Nearly two decades later, the center was rebranded the David Horowitz Freedom Center and turned its focus toward “the efforts of the radical left and its Islamist allies to destroy American values.” Since its beginning, though, the Freedom Center has become the premier financier of anti-Muslim voices and radical ideologies, as well as acting as an exporter of misinformation that seeks to increase popular appeal for Horowitz’s fears and phobias.
In His Own Words:
“He’s an evil man, in that sense, yes. He is destroying our borders. He will send emissaries to Ferguson for a street thug who got himself killed attempting to disarm a police officer, resisting arrest. But when a beautiful young woman who happens to be white, and is a good Samaritan, when she is murdered by someone that he is chiefly responsible for getting into this country, he won’t even pick up the phone to call her parents. He is systematically destroying America.”
“The problem is when you have a religion which preaches war and violence and hate, rationality is never gonna take over.”
“Of course the executioner Ismaaiyl Brinsley is a black criminal like those embraced by the left in their war vs. whites, police & country.”
Horowitz tweeted in response to the murder by Ismaaiyl Brinsley of two NYPD officers
David Horowitz was born on January 10, 1939, in Forest Hills, N.Y., into a household of schoolteachers and Communist Party USA members. In his 1998 memoir Radical Son, recounting his life and departure from 1960s member of the New Left, Horowitz describes the political convictions of those around him.
Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. … Even if we never encountered a Soviet agent or engaged in a single illegal act, each of us knew that our commitment to socialism implied the obligation to commit treason, too.
Horowitz moved to London following the completion of his graduate degree and began work with the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. Established in 1963, the Foundation sought focused on human rights, social justice and peace with a particular interest in the ending the nuclear arms race. He returned to the United States five years later in 1968, where he took work as co-editor at Ramparts, a magazine associated with the New Left movement of liberal activists seeking to drastically reform the cultural landscape with a wide range of social reforms.
By the 1970s, though, Horowitz had begun working with the Black Panther Party in Oakland, Calif., and formed a close relationship with the group’s co-founder, Huey P. Newton. Horowitz collected funds for the purchase of a Baptist church that was then converted into a learning center for children of members of the Black Panthers. But the relationship soon soured.
In 1974, Betty Van Patter, Horowitz’s friend and colleague at Ramparts who he brought into the Black Panther movement, was found dead on a San Francisco Bay beach. She had been severely beaten, and Horowitz was convinced members of the Panthers were involved.
Hugh Pearson, author of the Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in American, wrote in recounting Horowitz’s feelings: “Without question, David Horowitz was extremely traumatized by what happened with Betty Van Patter, as I think anyone would be. … As a result, David just totally went berserk with regard to the left-liberal community.”
It isn’t an overstatement, in fact, to note that Van Patten’s death served as a grand catalyst for Horowitz’s quick departure from the radical left he helped found.
Increasingly disillusioned with his political course in life, the decades that followed would see Horowitz adopt increasingly right-wing positions on matters of sexual promiscuity in the gay community, LGBT rights, U.S. foreign policy, the question of racial equality and affirmative action and, in 1985, he publicly announced that he had voted for Ronald Reagan the year before.
In the essay published in The Washington Post titled “Goodbye to All That.” Horowitz and his writing partner Peter Collier –- both luminaries on the Left – came clean. “Casting our ballots for Ronald Reagan was indeed a way of saying goodbye to all that –– to the self-aggrandizing romance with corrupt Third Worldism; to the casual indulgence of Soviet totalitarianism; to the hypocritical mainstream politics,” the pair wrote.
The essay was the beginning of a new course for Horowitz. Three years later, he founded the Center for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPC) in Los Angeles, which sought to “establish a conservative presence in Hollywood and show how popular culture had become a political battleground.” Horowitz spent much of the 1990s securing financing for the CSPC while railing against “political correctness” in American universities.
In 1992, he began publishing the monthly tabloid “Heterodoxy,” which was “meant to have the feel of a samizdat publication inside the gulag of the PC [politically correct] university.” The tabloid targeted university students who Horowitz viewed as being indoctrinated by the entrenched Left in American academia. Horowitz has maintained his assault on the political left to present day, and in 2005 established DiscoverTheNetworks.
Horowitz refers to his DiscoverTheNetworks as an “online encyclopedia of the left” and a “comprehensive profile of left-wing organizations and individuals.” Made available on the DHFC web page, the resource strangely cites a number of white nationalist groups, namely the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which served as the primary gateway for Dylann Roof (the Charleston church Shooter who murdered nine African Americans on June 17, 2015) into the white supremacy movement, and VDARE, a racist anti-immigrant web site.
A prolific writer, Horowitz has published a number of hard-right publications, many offering a glimpse of his political evolution. In a pamphlet titled “Hating Whitey,” he argued that contemporary leaders of the black community had squandered the legacy of the civil rights movement by reframing “the civil rights agenda as a radical cause.” In a book of that same title, published in 1999, he made racially charged claims about black-on-white crime, voicing criticisms of affirmative action that would last through the election of President Obama, who he since called a communist with a “curious background.”
A vocal opponent of reparations for slavery, Horowitz also has attacked minority “demands for special treatment” as “only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others.”
“The fact is that it is not tolerable in America to hate blacks, but it is okay in your politically correct culture to hate white people,” states Horowitz in “Hating Whitey.” Horowitz, ever critical of American academe, states, “Of course, the leftist academy has a ready answer for every question about black racism: Only whites can be racist.”
Horowitz, an ardent supporter of Israel, is also highly critical of Palestinians and Muslims. “No people have shown themselves as so morally sick as the Palestinians,” Horowitz once said. “In the history of all mankind, there was never a people who strapped bombs on their bodies and killed innocent people. No other people has sunk so low as the Palestinians, and everyone is afraid to say it.”
That vitriol directed at Palestinians soon found focus in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a reason to question Muslims in America – in government, in academia and in communities across the country. In 2006, the CSPC changed its name to the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC). Soon afterward, Horowitz saw Islamic radicals everywhere. Muslim Student Associations soon became “arms of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the fountainhead of the terrorist jihad against the West.” He called Hillary Clinton adviser and Muslim Huma Abedin a “Muslim Brotherhood operative” and said she is “worse than Alger Hiss.”
In the hours after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Horowitz published “Horowitz’s Notepad Special: This is War” on the Freedom Center website. He blamed a weak and defenseless United States for the attacks and called for tighter security measures to include racial and ethnic profiling of “potential terrorists—and that does mean Islamic and Palestinian terrorists.” Horowitz also attempted to draw a link between the political left and their “alliances with anti-American radicals at home and abroad” seeming to place blame for the terrorist on the shoulders of members of the political left.
Horowitz wrote a number of pieces for his FrontPage Magazine that sought to tell a story of calculated missteps, administrative and military failures, and seemingly intentional political posturing on the part of the Clinton administration that either directly contributed to or enabled the attacks to take place.
This type of rhetoric and message would continue to be published both by Horowitz and also by the other individuals with whom he associated and allowed to contribute to FrontPage Magazine. With articles like “Our Enemy is One,” written in March 2002, Horowitz drew parallels for his readers between Yasser Arafat, Osama bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein and groups like the PLO, the Ba’ath Party and al-Qaeda.
Horowitz paints a picture of Muslims, especially Palestinian Muslims, using broad strokes and generalizations to convince that they are terrorists and thus enemies of the United States and Israel.
In 2002, Horowitz equated the threat to Israel by some Arab states as being also a threat to America, “Americans must arm themselves for the defense of their country. To be effective, this defense requires America and the democratic West to recognize that the defense of Israel is a defense of their own frontier.” Horowitz is careful to package his anti-Muslim ideology as more palatable pro-Israeli and pro-American sentiment and circulate it to a wider audience without his true intent being questioned too heavily.
With the name change in 2006 and the Freedom Center’s financial backing of Robert Spencer and his hate group, Jihad Watch - which was founded in 2003 and argues that terroristic violence by Muslim extremists are inherent to Islam itself - the DHFC entered a new era of operation.
The wars being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq combined with the various military engagements in the Muslim world provided Horowitz a larger audience for an anti-Muslim message. While still concerned with the infiltration of American society and politics by the Left, there was now a greater target of opportunity for Horowitz and his Freedom Center –– Islam in all forms.
In recent years, Horowitz has become much more vocally concerned with radical Muslim infiltration of American politics and government, holding lavish affairs in five-star hotels that mix extremist fear mongering with visits from marquis political figures. His annual “Restoration Weekend” and “The Retreat” weekends consist largely of speeches given by notable and infamous personalities in the anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim circles of the United States, individuals such as Pamela Geller, co-founder of the hate group “Stop Islamization of America.” Prominent past attendees have included Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
His associations have also long been criticized. A 2011 report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) entitled “Fear, Inc.” cited David Horowitz as a key financier of anti-Muslim organizations, such as Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, which facilitates highly distorted perceptions of Islam and American Muslims. Horowitz responded to that report by stating CAP had “joined the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Horowitz has never been a single-issue activist, however. Despite a veritable cornucopia of complaints, concerns, and conspiracies, Horowitz manages to always work in at least one of the handful of core beliefs to which he subscribes.
In recent years, Horowitz has also been a vocal critic of Black Lives Matter (BLM) – a movement that began after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer in 2014. He describes the BLM movement as “a racist hate group founded by a core of radicals who have dedicated themselves to fomenting race conflict and putting bullseyes on the back of our nation’s police officers.”
“Our racist president [Barack Obama] can try to tip the scales in Ferguson but in OKC a black beheaded a white and tried to behead another, silence,” Horowitz tweeted following the murder of Colleen Hufford and the wounding of Traci Johnson in Oklahoma City by Alton Nolen, an African American and former co-worker of the two victims. Nolen, who had been suspended from his job earlier in the day, returned to work and attacked the two women, one of whom died as a result of her injuries. Neither local nor federal law enforcement officials classified this attack as terrorism, with the local police saying that they had no information that led them to believe the attack was motivated by terrorism or radical Islamic belief.
Along those lines, Horowitz recently criticized Beyoncé Knowles’ performance during the halftime show of Super Bowl 50 in which she and her backup dancers donned uniforms of black leather and berets, claiming Knowles was paying homage to the Black Panthers.
“These [the Black Panthers] were the anarchic, murderous barbarians whom Beyoncé chose to honor as voices of ‘justice’ during her insipid Super Bowl halftime performance,” states Horowitz. “It was nothing more, and nothing less, than the grotesque glorification of racism – a politically correct brand.”