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The Voice of Hatred at Dartmouth : Education: The Dartmouth Review always has had a history of bigotry and controversy, but quoting Hitler has created an unprecedented storm of protest.

October 05, 1990|ELIZABETH MEHREN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

HANOVER, N.H. — The anger and displeasure over the Dartmouth Review had brewed in the Dartmouth College community almost since the privately funded conservative newspaper was launched 10 years ago and began attacking blacks, American Indians, women, Jews, gays, lesbians and anyone it associated with the dreaded "L" word, meaning liberal.

But it took a passage from Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf," printed in last week's student-written Review on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday, to turn that displeasure into outrage.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Monday October 15, 1990 Home Edition View Part E Page 9 Column 3 View Desk 1 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Dartmouth Review--A company spokesman says the Coors family of Golden, Colo., provides no financial support for the Dartmouth Review, contrary to what was reported in an Oct. 5 story in View.

"This hateful act has appalled the Dartmouth community," said Tara McBennett, 21, a biology major from Cornwell, N.Y. "And this response is overwhelming."

At a rally Thursday to protest the Review's use of the quote from Hitler in its credo, Auguste Goldman, 18, a freshman from San Francisco, held a large, hand-lettered sign he had made from a cardboard box: "We are Dartmouth, not the Review."

Goldman, standing on the green of this quaint New England campus, said the Review had pushed too hard on campus sensibilities. "This has been going on way too long," he said.

Autumn leaves had already begun to fall as more than 2,000 students rallied against the weekly publication, whose advisory board members include such noteworthy conservatives as columnist Patrick Buchanan, economist George Gilder and writer R. Emmett Tyrrell. The masthead of the Dartmouth Review, whose annual budget of several-hundred thousand dollars is funded by private groups such as the Olin Foundation and the Coors family, lists "special thanks" to William F. Buckley Jr.

"I am very angry," said James O. Freedman, the school's president and a frequent target of the Review's enmity. A Review article about Freedman carried an illustration of him in a Nazi uniform with a headline, Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Freedman.

"For the last 10 years," Freedman said at the rally in what he called his "Gettysburg Address," the Review's "shameless voices have ranted that Dartmouth is for some people and not for others. These voices have preached exclusion from the Dartmouth family and have expected us to heed their words. What kind of people did they think we were?"

At the Review, staff members held a press conference Thursday to insist that the insertion in its credo of the excerpt from "Mein Kampf"--which said, among other things, "By warding off the Jews, I am fighting for the Lord's work"--was the act of saboteurs.

"It was a vile and dastardly act indeed," said Dinesh D'Souza, a Dartmouth graduate and Review trustee. D'Souza, who works at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, read a statement, saying the "vicious anti-Semitic slur" had been inserted "through an act of sabotage, a subterfuge, a dirty trick that we are determined to track down and expose."

But D'Souza also blasted Dartmouth's administration and students for their reaction to what has been dubbed "the incident." Officials have manipulated the event, D'Souza asserted, to the point that a "lynch mob" atmosphere has developed.

"This case is Dartmouth's Tawana Brawley case," D'Souza continued, referring to a notorious New York race-related case. Then, in reference to the flamboyant black minister who became Brawley's spokesman, D'Souza called Freedman "the Al Sharpton of academia."

Claiming "betrayal" by colleagues, four students, including the Review's president, have resigned from the publication's staff this week.

Kevin Pritchett, the Review's editor in chief, labeled the incident "frightening." He added that, "It is also quite frightening that people on this campus are using this as a witch hunt" against conservative viewpoints. Pritchett said he had received a telephone death threat this week after the Hitler quote ran in the Review.

This week's uproar is the latest in a series of controversies involving the Review:

* In 1982, it ran a column in what it asserted was "Black English." Titled "Dis Sho' Ain't No Jive, Bro," the piece implied that black students were illiterate.

* The Review argued against American Indian students who sought to change the school's mascot, an Indian.

* When anti-apartheid demonstrators built shanties on campus, Review members leveled them.

* Review staffers staged a formal lobster and champagne dinner for themselves on the day of a student fast against hunger.

* Review staffers secretly taped a meeting of gay students and then printed the transcript.

* The Review has branded programs such as Afro-American studies or women's studies as "victim studies."

But it was a long campaign, led by the Review, against William Cole, Dartmouth's former music department chairman, that galvanized campus resentment against the paper. In confrontations in Cole's classroom and in its stories, the Review harassed Cole and characterized him as "a mud pie" and "a used Brillo pad." Cole, who is black, left Dartmouth this year.

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