This was my reply to David Horowitz's letter in the Spring 2007 issue of the Illinois Academe, the newsletter of the Illinois chapter of the American Association of University Professors. My response was printed in the Fall 2007 issue of the same publication.
I want to note that the editor did take out one of my quotes, probably he felt the article was to long. I had a quote from the Communist Manifesto to illustrate my point that ideas develop out of material reality. Since Horowitz was claiming that abolitionists derived their ideas from white Chrisitian men, I wanted to illustrate that abolitionism evolved out of the material conditions of the age.
The quote goes, "Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas, views and conceptions, in one word, man's consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?... When people speak of ideas that revolutionize society, they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence."