AU’s College Republicans narrowly avoided an embarassing and messy situation this week. They planned to have syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin speak about immigration issues, until they learned that she recently released a book in defense of Japanese internment during World War II and planned to speak about it on campus.
Malkin took advantage of the situation by blaming it on the Bush campaign and AU’s administration. However, it was not the administration that pulled the plug on her speech; it was the College Republicans. It is the group’s prerogative to choose what speakers they want to bring to campus. It’s not a liberal/conservative issue, and not about stopping a speech you don’t agree with. A group that agrees with Malkin can bring her to campus. But the College Republicans are not that group.
The College Republicans said that Malkin cold-contacted them, offering to speak for free. That should have set off red flags for them from the start. As the College Republicans tell it, Malkin was evasive about her speech topic, until they learned of her recent book about Japanese internment.
Her attempt to mislead the College Republicans should be a lesson to all campus groups. Students should always research a person they’re endorsing, inviting to campus or allowing to speak. Unfortunately, there are people who will try to take advantage and speak for personal gain ... especially if they’re offering to speak for free.