"LaRouchiacs" an Ever-Present Element On Howard's Campus
Published: Friday, February 27, 2004
Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08
They lurk, they watch, they prey and they pounce. They meander behind unsuspecting students and brandish them with a barrage of literature and political jargon. They hang around outside the School of Business and they cajole in front of Cramton. They are Lyndon LaRouche's campaign supporters, and they attack Howard's students with a persistent fervor. They feed on opportunity and spread LaRouche literature across HU's confines. In fact, Sixth Street, (which works its way between the School of Business and Cramton Auditorium) as it does not belong to Howard University, has been a regular stomping ground for LaRouche's young supporters. However, for all their hard work, extreme persistence and badgering, the question remains: do Howard students actually listen to LaRouche's platform? "I ignore them," explains Junior Monique Jones of Howard's ever-present LaRouche element. "I believe in freedom of speech, but their tactics in trying to get Howard students to listen leave a lot to be desired. Once they don't disturb classes I guess it's ok." Nonetheless, the face of the self proclaimed "only qualified candidate for the U.S. presidency" has been as much of a fixture on Howard's Sixth Street as his political volunteers. LaRouche, who is most notable for his international notoriety as a long-term economic forecaster, is probably, in terms of political platform, the most controversial democrat of our time. He has campaigned repeatedly for the office of U.S. President, beginning 1976: six times for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. As Junior Political Science major Karee Onfroy explains, "Extreme right-wingers and extreme left-wingers are the same thing. I view the political realm as a circle and if you are too extreme then it is not good." For LaRouche, his most notable controversial standing lies within his opposition to the economic and related policy-matrices of the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and most notably, President Bush. For good measure, LaRouche has even compared himself to Franklin Roosevelt. He is driven by opportunities to oppose the status quo, a hard line also taken by his outlandish and sometimes overly effervescent volunteers. The legality of the presence of his relentless volunteers on campus has been questioned numerous times by students and professors alike. His supporters, at times, can be seen wandering beyond the outlined borders of Sixth Street onto Howard University property. Nonetheless, few students are lured and many scurry away without paying much notice. "I usually avoid them," assures Senior Shiva Orie. "LaRouche seems deluded in comparing himself to Roosevelt. I know it is harsh, but his campaign seems steps away from a cult." Recent graduate, Kela Francis, a Trinidadian by birth offered a similar response to Orie's. "I tell them not to talk to me," she adamantly states, "I am foreign and they could get me kicked out of the country. It just isn't worth it." However, it isn't just the international students who decline any involvement. As Jones continued, "I usually just take whatever literature they give me and dump it in the garbage." Nonetheless, it seems that the "LaRouchiacs" are here to stay. They continue to wander and, no matter how fruitless, attempt to sew their ideologies into the fabric that is Howard.