RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

Excerpt: "Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War."

Rutgers student protests have forced Condoleezza Rice to pull out of the universities commencement address. (photo: PR Photos)
Rutgers student protests have forced Condoleezza Rice to pull out of giving the university's commencement address. (photo: PR Photos)

Protests Force Condoleezza Rice to Withdraw From Rutgers Commencement Address

By Associated Press

03 May 14

ormer Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War.

Rice said in a statement Saturday that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation to speak at the graduation.

"Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families," Rice said. "Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time."

The school's board of governors had voted to pay $35,000 to the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser for her appearance at the May 18 ceremony. Rutgers was also planning to bestow Rice with an honorary doctorate.

But some students and faculty at New Jersey's flagship university had protested, staging sit-ins and saying Rice bore some responsibility for the Iraq War as a member of the Bush administration. Barchi and other school leaders had resisted the calls to disinvite Rice, saying the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.

The news of Rice's decision came a day after Barchi spoke with students protesting Rice's planned speech and told them the board of governors would not rescind its invitation.

In her statement, Rice defended her record, saying that she was honored to serve her country and that she had "defended America's belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas." But she said she didn't want to detract from the spirit of the commencement ceremony.

Barchi said Saturday in a statement that Rutgers stands "fully behind the invitation" it issued to Rice. But he said school officials respect her decision.

"Now is the time to focus on our commencement, a day to celebrate the accomplishments and promising futures of our graduates," Barchi said.

The university said it would provide details in the coming days on who would replace Rice as commencement speaker. She is now a professor of political science at Stanford University. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+48 # Activista 2014-05-03 19:28
professor of political science? or professor of political propaganda?
+1 # Nominae 2014-05-08 23:08
Quoting Activista:
professor of political science? or professor of political propaganda?

Got THAT right !

Condoleezza "Mushroom Cloud" Rice.
+57 # RMDC 2014-05-03 21:10
Excellent. This is how all Bush operatives should be treated. For as long as she lives, she should know that we have not forgotten her crimes against humanity. Maybe there will not be a court trial for her crimes, but the people of the world know what she's responsible for. She's not welcome anywhere --except maybe some republican stronghold.

I certainly know that if I were graduating and some Satanic spawn like Condolezza got up to speak, I would walk out.
+47 # ReconFire 2014-05-03 21:16
Good for the students.I'd hate to know my child was being taught politics by this lyer, or any other member of shrub's cabinet.
+15 # jsluka 2014-05-04 02:54
Yes, good for the students! But note that they didn't actually achieve her cancellation directly - she CHOSE to withdraw herself (probably to avoid the spectacle of protests such as walkouts during her speech)- and if she had not chosen to do so, the corrupt administration of Rutger's University would have certainly had her speak regardless of student protests. How stupid, and as I said - corrupt - is that? University administrations are part of the problem, not part of the solution; they are huge supporters of the status quo and the oligarchical rule of the 1%. For example, note the other current student protests at I believe its Harvard and Washington University about their investments.
-41 # kbarrand 2014-05-03 21:34
I am totally opposed to the Bush administration' s criminal enterprise know as the Iraq war, but I thinks she should have been allowed to speak.
+46 # CTPatriot 2014-05-03 22:26
Would you have said the same about Ted Bundy? How about the Unibomber? We're not talking about stifling a free exchange of ideas here, we're talking about not acting in a manner that condones war crimes. Rice should be on trial at the Hague rather than smiling her way around Stanford.
+23 # dquandle 2014-05-04 02:41
She's been lying viciously for at least 20 years. Thats quite enough.
+13 # jsluka 2014-05-04 02:58
She would have been allowed to speak if she had the guts to do so, but she chose to withdraw; she knew that it would, in fact, have seriously disrupted the graduation ceremony which is supposed to be a celebration (a "happy occasion"). She had the "right" to speak, but so do students and their families to protest if she did so, including walking out when she stood to speak. The "free speech" right works both ways - criminals like Rice have the "right" to speak, and everyone else has the "right" to speak against her. And don't be confused, protesting is a right of free speech as much speaking is.
+17 # Artemis 2014-05-04 05:44
Kbarrand - Your political correctness is somewhat naive.
This would not have been a lecture during normal classes, but a commencement address, thus an honor. It also means there could be no discussion about the Iraq war, her policies and the way she sees America's role in the world.
I, for one, will NEVER forgive the US for destroying Iraq, a country I visited in the 70s.
+13 # futhark 2014-05-04 05:44
Never allow a politician of any persuasion to use a commencement ceremony as a platform. One time in my 32-year career as a high school teacher our retiring congressman was invited to speak at commencement. The windbag took up half an hour of the time and didn't say a thing that was worth hearing. Politicians are habitual self-promoters and are not likely to say anything generous or useful.
+5 # Sweet Pea 2014-05-04 07:13
Perhaps it would have been good if she had been allowed to speak with a lot of anti-military-i nvasion-protest ors. It would have received a lot of news coverage showing that the American people are tired of spending money on increasing the income of the huge military arms investors.
+1 # jsluka 2014-05-04 15:02
Again, she WAS ALLOWED to speak - she CHOSE NOT TO. They are two totally different things. Please pay attention.
+25 # Far Left vanishing point 2014-05-03 21:44
She thinks she served her country?
+25 # candida 2014-05-03 23:44
Quoting Far Left vanishing point:
She thinks she served her country?

Yeah...on a plate to Halliburton and their ilk. Rice leaves destruction in her wake wherever she Stanford and then in the White House. Always the willing pawn in oligarchical, white men's games. Pathetic if she weren't so dangerous and vile.
+33 # ishmael 2014-05-03 23:04
Evidently it is OK to rain murder on wedding parties and innocent children, men and women in Iraq but not to detract from the spirit of a graduation ceremony in the US.

And what about the "promising futures" of the children whose lives were snuffed out so brutally in Iraq?
+1 # dquandle 2014-05-04 02:43
Years of vicious US influence had insured their futures wouldn't have been promising anyway, so its alright….
+23 # tm7devils 2014-05-03 23:17
If I was enrolled at Stanford, and needed that treasonist b****'s class in order to graduate, I would switch schools. In fact I would not even enroll at a school that had her on the staff.
If I was "king for a day", I would have had Bush, his entire cabinet - including his advisors, brought up on charges of treason, tried and convicted, then put against the wall and shot.
What that group did to America, and especially to the sovereign nation of Iraq - both the currently suffering and the dead - was the highest crime against humanity, and, when our current president deemed it unnecessary to hold them accountable for that crime, America received a black mark that will never be erased and the office of 'president' lost its esteem. Morality and ethics are now just "catch phrases"...
+13 # dquandle 2014-05-04 02:45
While "Liberal" CUNY hired the mass murderer Petraeus to play the same filthy role...
+8 # Artemis 2014-05-04 05:49
Yes, why are universities doing this? Is it because they want their ambitious students to connect to government and military, moral or not.
The least they could do - and I hope they are - is questioning the mindset of such people in their political warmongering and imperialism and lying.....
+16 # babaregi 2014-05-04 00:03
Criticism rolls off her back like water on a duck. It will not change her world view an iota and we should not expect it to.

The criticism is meant to sway the moderates out there that have enough free attention to recognize that there is some truth to it and make them curious to know more.

When enough people start piercing through the propaganda there will be a critical mass that starts to tip the scales towards balance.
+6 # Dale 2014-05-04 07:24
I received an MA in Sociology and a Ph.d. in Social Theory and Economic Development from Stanford back in the 1960s. In those days it was not exactly a bastion of liberal education and the right-wing Hoover Institution was active on campus. Stanford was and remains a west coast emulator of the Ivy League for the offspring of the neveau riche of the West. Under the pressure of the movements of the 1960s Stanford gave a little. They brought in the world famous Marxist, Paul Baran to the Economics Department. They created a vaguely progressive Sociology Department that paid me generously to be a student there rather than go to U.C. Berkely. They allowed the very progressive Latin American Institute to exist for several years. I am sure Charles Drekmeir, outstanding Professor of Political Science (a member of my interdisciplina ry Ph.d. committee together with Paul Baran)would, if he could, rise from his grave to protest a Department that would appoint an Undistinguised Professor of the ilk of Rice. Would that Stanford would award the Rice with a Excellence in War Crimes honor.
+8 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-05-04 08:11
Rutgers U thus = War Crimes Advocate. Good work, Students: if only the rest of the USA would wake up....
+3 # myungbluth 2014-05-04 16:07
I will enjoy Condi's silence.
+3 # ericlane 2014-05-04 20:37
I refused to go to my 40th college reunion because I found out Condolezza Rice was going to be a speaker on campus. In my book, she is a war criminal. Period.

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.