Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, was selected by the Board of Governors to be the commencement speaker at Rutgers University. However, the New Brunswick Faculty Council has passed a resolution urging the school to rescind Rice’s invitation due to her “controversial career”.
According to Rutgers School Newspaper, The Daily Targum, the students joined in the efforts by the faculty in making the case for why Condoleezza Rice is not an appropriate choice for their commencement speaker. But first they highlighted her accomplishments in what seems like an effort to show their quasi-diversity.
“First of all, it’s awesome that Rutgers is getting a woman of such high status and with such an impressive career background to come as a speaker. It says a lot about the prestige of our University. Rice was the first black woman in her position, and as someone who was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama in the racially divided 1960s, she overcame a lot of discrimination and adversity to reach her position. It’s great that the University is upholding its values of diversity. Rutgers is known to be a generally liberal school and often invites speakers in line with those particular political and social stances, so we applaud them for branching out and inviting a Republican speaker.”
Then they back peddle their accolade for the former Secretary of State here:
“But Rice is a former politician, and we can’t really ignore her controversial career. Do the positive aspects of her personal accomplishments really outweigh the destruction of war she contributed to during her political career? She was a major proponent of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which has been arguably the worst and most destructive decision in the history of U.S. foreign policy… The point is, we just don’t feel comfortable having politicians as commencement speakers at all. A commencement speaker is meant to be someone who has made some extraordinary and meaningful accomplishments in their lives to inspire a generation of college graduates. Rice probably has a lot of advice on perseverance, dedication and hard work that she can offer to this year’s graduating class, but what she chose to do with those qualities is certainly questionable to us.”
A University that upholds tolerant and open-minded education is trying to rescind a former politician because they disagree with her politics. Can we use the term hypocrite here or dare say even a bit racist? Oh, but of course it has nothing to do with the color of her skin. No, they simply disagree with her foreign and political policies.
Welcome to the world of politics and the American Republic, Rutgers University! Where many highly educated citizens of this country may or may not agree or even elect a politician based solely on their political decisions and not on their race, background or career accomplishments. According to Merriam-Webster, diversity is the inclusion of different types of people. I guess according to Rutgers University this doesn’t include different political points of view.
Oh, and in the future if President Barack Obama is selected as the next speaker, remember that you are just not “comfortable with politicians as commencement speakers”.