After signing up for the Lecture Fund email list my freshman year, I have been to and seen plenty of exciting and informative events and speakers. While serving as a Georgetown University Student Association senator this past year, I admired the Lecture Fund’s ingenuity and the diverse range of guests it brought to campus.

I appreciate that the Lecture Fund sought to bring Republicans, Democrats, comedians, scientists, artists, poets and actors — all in all, an incredibly dissimilar group of people, whose only similarities were that they had been able to address Georgetown’s student body. However, I was a bit taken aback, and frankly saddened, to receive the recent email “proudly announcing” Ann Coulter’s visit to campus.

This is not an issue with Coulter being a conservative or a Republican but rather the fact that she has displayed a record of prejudice and hatred in both her written works and public appearances. I find it troubling that Georgetown is sponsoring a visit by Coulter through the Lecture Fund. In doing so, the Lecture Fund and the university’s administration are betraying and alienating a portion of our student body. I appreciate that the Lecture Fund has invited other controversial speakers in the past — notably Michael Moore — but these speakers have not directed the same hateful statements that Coulter has concerning various minority groups.

Coulter’s demonstration goes far beyond political passion into the territory of hateful vitriol. There is a line between political opinion and bigotry, and she has made a career of crossing that line and attempting to redraw it over and over. Coulter has, on record, made several anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic remarks over the course of her career. Isn’t Georgetown a school founded on the basis of religious understanding? Isn’t it hypocritical for our school to welcome a speaker who believes a significant portion of our student body is religiously inferior?  Coulter has also gone to great lengths to single out the widows of 9/11 victims — meaning parents of several Georgetown students — saying that they “enjoyed their husbands’ deaths.” She also devoted an entire chapter in her last book to claiming that single mothers were the reason for high rates of homicide, rape and other violent crimes.

As the Jewish child of a single mother, I am both a mistake and an imperfection to Coulter. I was under the impression that at Georgetown I was neither. Frankly, I feel betrayed. As a student from the New York area, I was in close contact with many families who lost loved ones on 9/11; none of them enjoyed those deaths. Coulter’s views on Muslims in America are even more disturbing and hateful. She has called the religion of Islam a “car-burning cult.”

I understand the Lecture Fund’s goal is to bring to campus a wide array of individuals with diverse perspectives, and I appreciate that greatly. However, how is bringing a speaker who holds hatred for any part of our student body to campus a fulfillment of Georgetown’s most important ideals? If Coulter had made those remarks as a student here, she would be violating the Student Code of Conduct. Her hatred has no place on the Hilltop. Georgetown’s collective identity doesn’t mean that we all share one political or religious belief but rather signifies a shared understanding that every student at Georgetown is an integral part of our community.

Ms. Coulter would have us believe otherwise. Her remarks and ideals are not only offensive to me but to every student at this school who comes from a single parent family, every student at this school who celebrates the traditions of Judaism or Islam and every student at this school who lost a loved one on 9/11.

This may be a small population of our student body, and although it may be unworthy to Coulter, it is not invisible.

 

Marissa Brogger is a junior in the School of Foreign Service.

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