A small but loud minority at the University of Minnesota is appalled by the fact that their University is allowing a conservative with divergent views to speak on campus and is now looking to force the school to block the appearance.
When a liberal disagrees with the business choices of a popular corporation, they protest it. When a liberal disagrees with the views of a talk radio host they look to use the power of the FCC to chip away the reach of that host. When a liberal disagrees with a speaker at a college, they do all they can to block the appearance. Silencing opposing voices is key in all of these examples.
The group of anti-Rice protestors are upset about the role that Condi Rice played in the U.S. invasions of Irag and Afghanistan. Rice was the National Security Advisor to President Bush and eventually became his Secretary of State. She now — ironically — spends much of her time on a college campus. Rice is a professor at Stanford now.
Rice is slated to give a speech about civil rights as part of the “Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series.”
The Star Tribune reported on the men who are behind the protest; Nick Theis a student and a balding math professor named William Messing:
“The anti-Rice campaign was started by Theis, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, a revival of a 1960s antiwar group that promotes “liberal and radical” causes. He approached Messing, asking if he would introduce the resolution at the Faculty Senate. Messing agreed; this week, members decided to put it to a vote of the full University Senate, which includes faculty, staff and student representatives.”
In Messing’s resoultion that he introduced to the faculty senate, he specifically condemns the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding in addition to the invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So this is what this entire debacle boils down to. A white math professor essentially leading the charge to block the first African-American Secretary of State from giving a major civil rights speech because he disagrees with the Bush administration’s foreign policy and the practice of waterboarding.
Luckily, not everyone is supporting this nonsense. The chair of the Student Senate, Prahath Chakka, has said he is troubled by the attempts to silence Mrs. Rice. In an interview with the Daily Caller, Chakka said, “I will be vehemently speaking out against this resolution.” He continued, “As an open-minded university, we should value diversity of thought and never deny students the chance to gain an alternative perspective.” Chakka went on to add, “While there may be some protesting from the ill-named Students for a Democratic Society, student opinion is on the side of letting Rice speak.”
That’s encouraging. Let’s hope he’s right.
(h/t: Daily Caller, Star Tribune)