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CUNY Professor Leonard Jeffries To Give Lecture

Invitation Draws Faculty, Student Ire

By Stephen E. Frank, Crimson Staff Writer

Dr. Leonard Jeffries, the embattled City University of New York (CUNY) professor recently under fire for alleged anti-Semitic remarks, has accepted an invitation from three Black student groups to speak at Harvard next week.

Jeffries became the focus of controversy last summer when videotapes of a lecture containing his theories on a racist conspiracy led by Jewish members of the media were made public.

The CUNY African-American Studies department chair will lead a discussion Wednesday evening on the significance of Black history, according to Black Student Association (BSA) Vice-President Zaheer R. Ali '94.

BSA was joined by the Black Law Students Association and the Dubois Graduate Society in extending the invitation, Ali said.

Ali said the event is part of a year long celebration of Black culture sponsored by the BSA.

"We invited several speakers throughout the year and Dr. Jeffries happens to be one of those speakers," Ali said. "We're a very diverse group and we're exploring diverse perspectives on Black history and Black culture."

But news of the CUNY professor's appearance prompted sharply negative responses from several Harvard students and faculty yesterday.

"I think it's really important to note just how serious bigotry and anti-Semitism are on Harvard's campus," said Crimson editor J. Eliot Morgan '92, an extension school student who charged Jeffries with threat- ening his life during an interview in New Yorklate last year.

"The motivation [of the BSA] is, I would say,the Black student-intellectuals' fascination withracial mythology and their insensitivity towardother oppressed peoples," Morgan said.

Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz, a vocalcritic of Jeffries, said he believes theinvitation is offensive to members of the Harvardcommunity.

"I think it's disgraceful and irresponsible toinvite to Harvard a thug and a criminal who shouldbe in jail for having threatened to kill a Harvardstudent," Dershowitz said.

"He certainly has freedom of speech and theright to speak, but the idea that a responsiblestudent group at Harvard would invite thisextortionist thug and give him the imprimatur of aHarvard group is utterlyirresponsible," he added. "It's clearly motivatedby a desire to stick it to the Jews."

But Hillel Chair Shai A. Held '93 said he wouldnot speculate on the BSA's motivations forinviting Jeffries.

"I trust that this is not being done inintention of offending anyone," he said. "However,the fact of his being here will obviously still beoffensive to a great many people."

"My hope and goal is to ensure that it won'taffect the developing dialogue and cooperationbetween our organizations," Held added.

BSA President Art A. Hall '93 said theinvitation was not intended as offensive.

"By inviting any Black speaker there is thepotential of offending somebody because of thefact that these are Back individuals who aremaking statements that not everybody within theBlack community agrees with," Hall said.

"Even the fact that a Black individual issucceeding, that in itself has been seen in thepast as offensive to some people," he added.

Hall said that the BSA does not endorseJeffries' comments.

"We endorse his Blackness as a Black individualand a Black intellectual, but as far as agreementwith his viewpoints, that's another side of theissue," he said.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 said hehopes Jeffries' appearance will not harm relationsbetween campus groups, saying, "It'spossible...that his being invited here will createa controversy between groups, and that would betoo bad," Jewett said.

Last week, a CUNY official announced that theschool probably would not reappoint Jeffries aschair

"The motivation [of the BSA] is, I would say,the Black student-intellectuals' fascination withracial mythology and their insensitivity towardother oppressed peoples," Morgan said.

Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz, a vocalcritic of Jeffries, said he believes theinvitation is offensive to members of the Harvardcommunity.

"I think it's disgraceful and irresponsible toinvite to Harvard a thug and a criminal who shouldbe in jail for having threatened to kill a Harvardstudent," Dershowitz said.

"He certainly has freedom of speech and theright to speak, but the idea that a responsiblestudent group at Harvard would invite thisextortionist thug and give him the imprimatur of aHarvard group is utterlyirresponsible," he added. "It's clearly motivatedby a desire to stick it to the Jews."

But Hillel Chair Shai A. Held '93 said he wouldnot speculate on the BSA's motivations forinviting Jeffries.

"I trust that this is not being done inintention of offending anyone," he said. "However,the fact of his being here will obviously still beoffensive to a great many people."

"My hope and goal is to ensure that it won'taffect the developing dialogue and cooperationbetween our organizations," Held added.

BSA President Art A. Hall '93 said theinvitation was not intended as offensive.

"By inviting any Black speaker there is thepotential of offending somebody because of thefact that these are Back individuals who aremaking statements that not everybody within theBlack community agrees with," Hall said.

"Even the fact that a Black individual issucceeding, that in itself has been seen in thepast as offensive to some people," he added.

Hall said that the BSA does not endorseJeffries' comments.

"We endorse his Blackness as a Black individualand a Black intellectual, but as far as agreementwith his viewpoints, that's another side of theissue," he said.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 said hehopes Jeffries' appearance will not harm relationsbetween campus groups, saying, "It'spossible...that his being invited here will createa controversy between groups, and that would betoo bad," Jewett said.

Last week, a CUNY official announced that theschool probably would not reappoint Jeffries aschair

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