Condoleezza Rice Takes the High Road

Condoleezza Rice(photo credit)

Jeff - icon sizeBy Jeff Rutherford

Almost two months ago I posted this article giving Juan Williams credit for calling out the intolerance of the Rutgers University Faculty Council for passing a resolution calling on the Rutgers Board of Governors to rescind an invitation for Condoleezza Rice to be the school’s commencement speaker this year.  Williams said, “I am not a conservative but I have spoken out for years against the staggering amount of blind hatred directed at black conservatives by liberals.”

Today I am following up to relate how this matter turned out, and it wasn’t good…if you value open-mindedness and tolerance for different viewpoints.

During the intervening weeks, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has admirably been ignoring the Faculty Council’s demands to cancel Condoleezza Rice’s invitation to speak at the school’s commencement this month, and receive an honorary degree.  Barchi said the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.

Then on April 28th, fifty students staged a protest at a Rutgers administration building to denounce the University’s continued intention to feature Rice as the 2014 Commencement Speaker.  Holding up signs calling Rice a war criminal, they broke a glass door at the building, requiring police to respond.

Finally, this morning, Rice closed the matter by officially declining the invitation, with the following written statement:

”Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.  I am honored to have served my country. I have defended America’s belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here.  As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as it’s [sic] former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way. Good luck to the graduates and congratulations to the families, friends and loved ones who will gather to honor them.”

Ms. Rice displayed maturity and class.  Mr. Barchi displayed academic integrity.

Juan Williams displayed journalistic fairness.  I have seen no follow-up commentary from Williams yet, but will be keeping an eye out.

As for Rutgers…well, it truly saddens me that this is how America’s future generations of potential leaders are being educated, or should I say indoctrinated, by the Rutgers faculty.  To teach, through their actions, that opposing views in a free society will go away just by declaring you don’t want to hear them, is a pretty pathetic lesson plan.

Just take 2 minutes to listen to the words of Harvard Professor of Government, Harvey Mansfield, who finishes with this observation:

“The mission of [a] university should be to open minds, and not to close them.  It shouldn’t declare that certain people are prejudiced and shouldn’t be listened to and can be easily dismissed.  That’s the way of political correctness, and that’s not the way of a proper university.”


About Necessary and Proper

Jeff believes in the Individual's ability to excel when liberty and freedom of choice are protected. Also believes in the Community's ability to take care of the vast majority of its own issues and needs when the federal government leaves the Community's resources and sphere of control alone. State and local choice produce better results than centralized federal control.
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One Response to Condoleezza Rice Takes the High Road

  1. tannngl says:

    This protest was caused by Rutgers professors who encouraged the small group of students who acted in protest. Bullies. A minority of bullies. Because they think they are better than anyone else and know better than anyone else.
    There are 41,500 students at Rutgers. 50 protested at the president’s office. Do the percentage…

    I kind of wish Rice had not decided to decline the invitation. I get weary of these small groups stopping the speech of conservatives, even center right conservatives.

    So glad they are in the minority.


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