To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Like most of those who are in favor of the Young Democratic Club's decision to sponsor Governor Wallace in an unchallenged speech you too have misunderstood us who oppose his visit. The issue which are actually involved oppose his visit. The issue which are actually involved on both sides of this question have hardly been brought up.
In the first place, the isue is not one of free speech. While we believe strongly that the right of free speech should not be denied even to Governor Wallace, it is neither a forum for any and all political views. On the contrary, the Young Democratic Club is organized to further particular views on important issues. Specifically, the club has been working to advance the cause of civil rights in the United States--a cause which an unchallenged presentation of Wallace by any Democratic organization can only damage. Furthermore, any desire which the Young Democratic Club may feel to provide such a forum without injuring its own cause was amply met by its invitation to Wallace to debate his views with Professor Mark DeWolfe Howe.
Likewise, the issue is not one of education. The only way that one more restatement of Wallace's well-known views can be educational to the Harvard community is to allow those views to be freely questioned and debated as they are presented. This is exactly what Wallace has refused to permit.
Nor is the issue one of keeping a promise to the club's members. The Harvard International Relations Council insured that Wallace would still be invited if the Young Democratic Club declined to sponsor him. In fact, at an Executive Committee meeting Colin Carl, a member of the faction advocating an invitation to Wallace at all costs, kept the IRC invitation secret to insure that the Young Democratic Club would invite Wallace itself. And when the IRC invitation was revealed, Burt Ross, now President of the Young Democrats, refused even to consider a joint sponsorship of the Wallace appearance with the IRC because he did not wish to share the profits.
This is the same reason which other members of the Ross faction have repeatedly given for their desire that the Young Democrats sponsor Wallace: simply to make money for the club. Yet the club treasury was already at an all-time high from the dues which the club collects in order to be free to devote its full energies to educational and constructive functions and avoid this Shriners' Circus type activity. And while this one issue reflects badly on the club, it is only a symptom of a general change in the nature of the club, from an independent, idealistic, reform-Democratic group to a strict party-oriented organization which regards its own properity and perpetuation as an end rather than a means.