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SavoirFaire's avatar

What do you think of Rutgers students protesting Condoleezza Rice as their commencement speaker?

Asked by SavoirFaire (20083 points ) May 3rd, 2014

The Reuters story can be found here. There are plenty of other articles available as well. In short, students and faculty at Rutgers protested the choice of Condoleezza Rice as their commencement speaker over her role in the Iraq War. On the one hand, it’s their graduation ceremony. On the other, it’s a relatively small number of people who are opposed to someone many would see as a prime choice for commencement speaker.

Thoughts?

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23 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

I am appalled that she was invited. She is responsible for killing more Americans than bin Laden, Plus tens of thousands of Iraqis.

The Hague is her appropriate venue, not Rutgers.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s just media hype. The pope could give that speech and people would protest.

Crazydawg's avatar

I applaud each and everyone of those students who had the courage to let it be known that they do no want their scholastic hard work to be sullied by a sock puppet who allowed herself to be used and manipulated to hide out and out lies by the by the Obama administration.

ragingloli's avatar

She, and all her cohorts should be in jail, not giving speeches or painting bad knockoffs.

flutherother's avatar

She has a nerve. Condoleeza Rice should be ashamed to speak in public of her role in the Iraq war.

janbb's avatar

I think it’s great that some students care enough to protest against something.

Jaxk's avatar

The smartest, most influential lady of my lifetime. Rutgers blew an opportunity out of ignorance.

hearkat's avatar

I live a few miles away from Rutgers’ main campus, so this has been in the local news for months. The professors were also protesting, not just the students. My son is the same age as most who are graduating college this year, and while he might recognize her name, I doubt he is much aware of what went on politically when he was a young child, just as I didn’t know much about the war in Viet Nam when I was growing up, or when I was in college or grad school. I’d bet that some of the kids at Rutgers only researched who she was after the controversy was stirred up, and some protested just because it’s cool to be an ‘activist’ at that age.

As for Ms. Rice herself, I have mixed feelings. I came of age in the Reagan years and have never liked Republicans of this era. For me, a Republican who is anything other than a white male is a an oxymoron. I respect that she certainly had to overcome a lot in order to get as far as she did within the party, but the flip side of that same coin is that she has been used by the party as a puppet to try to appeal to females and non-whites. I know people who have met her and say that she is warm and gracious as well as intelligent, and I am sure that I would like her in a one-on-one situation.

I did not have a side when it came to this issue. I did like Ms. Rice’s statement explaining her reasons for bowing-out, but I bet those kids will hardly hear a word that is said during the ceremony regardless of whom is speaking. I didn’t pay any attention to the speaker at my commencement, and I’m not sure if the name I remember is even correct – and this was before mobile technology.

FlyingWolf's avatar

I agree with @Jaxk, she is an incredibly smart woman who exerted plenty of influence in the 21st century. She is also to be respected for her career success, drive, and perseverance as an African American woman growing up in the Jim Crow south. Unfortunately Ms. Rice used her gifts to propagate war rather than peace. Policies she spearheaded or endorsed are responsible for untold death and suffering with pretty much no purpose or benefit.

I think it is awesome that this small group made their feelings known and that Rice had the good sense to step aside. Although I am a bit ambivalent because I think it is as essential to hear what people have to say, even when we disagree. To paraphrase Michael Corleone paraphrasing Sun Tzu, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

I defy anyone to read this woman’s bio and still say what so many of the hateful people who answered this question say.

If this woman was a Democrat she would constantly be put out there as a perfect example of how a Democrat black woman could rise in this country.

Her history of being raised in Alabama during the 1960’s yet becoming a College Professor, not to mention what she has achieved in her lifetime should be praised.

So many people here should be ashamed but sadly people like I have read here is the main reason websites like this one have come into existence. low education and shoot at the hip comments from people who seem to live their lives on a computer.

Ms. Rice has more class than many of you will never have in your lifetime.

http://www.biography.com/people/condoleezza-rice-9456857#awesm=~oDjjp3M5Pbcv4X

ragingloli's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat
Frankly I do not give a fly’s shit on a window about how she grew up.
What counts is her political legacy, a war criminal’s legacy drenched in blood.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat she used her talent for evil instead of good. Her success is to be noted, but her choices, specifically being a key player in the decisions to attack Afghanistan and invade Iraq under false premises. Her brains and persistence are to be lauded, the end result is not. If she was a democrat it is less likely that her legacy would be one of war. No need to flame people who judge her on the legacy she created for herself.

hearkat's avatar

If anyone is interested, this article summarizes the timeline of the events.

@BeenThereSaidThat – Only 4 or 5 people on this thread thus far have expressed disapproval of Ms. Rice’s political activities. Being Secretary of State is as tough a job as it gets – a fact to which Hillary Clinton can certainly attest. And just as many Republicans feel Ms. Clinton is responsible for what happened overseas while she held that office, Democrats feel Ms. Rice should be held equally accountable for what happened overseas while she was in office. I suspect that had a lot to do with the motivation for the faculty to protest Ms. Rice’s appearance in the first place.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m disappointed that she backed out.

She should have been there and given the speech and told them that in life, you need to listen to other views and draw their own conclusions. And live with the consequences of not getting your way.

SHE (Rice) failed in not having a spine.

RUTGERS failed in that they clearly have not educated their students in a liberal and open-minded way.

Multiple disappointments here.

LostInParadise's avatar

Choice of a commencement speaker is mostly a symbolic act. You choose someone who you feel represents the ideals of the school. The Vietnam War may be the least popular war in American history. The lies behind it became apparent when, after losing, none of the catastrophes that its backers prophesied took place. There was no domino effect.

Rice’s deep involvement in the Vietnam fiasco makes her a poor choice of speaker. Rutgers is my alma mater. I was there during the war and well remember the travesty of the lottery to determine which students would be losing their deferrals. I feel a sense of pride in the opposition voiced by the current students and faculty.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@LostInParadise – Condi was 15 years old at the time of Vietnam. Did you mean the Iraq war?

LostInParadise's avatar

Yes, a bit of a mental lapse. The Rutgers association triggered my memories of the Vietnam era.

I still think the protest was valid. The Iraq War was not a shining moment for this country either.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@LostInParadise – no argument there

Jaxk's avatar

Hopefully Rutgers will still have time to book Snooki instead. Yes you Rutgers fans must be proud.

Crazydawg's avatar

@Jaxk At least Condi commanded $3,000 grand more than Snookums

SavoirFaire's avatar

@hearkat Though they managed to make a mess out of that one, too, as explained in the article. At least they did the right thing in the end and reinstated their invitation to LeGrande.

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