Though it may be in vogue among elite media to try and rehabilitate Bush era disgraces, Rutgers University students and faculty decided they would rather maintain their integrity than soil their hands with the blood and corruption of former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Rice was a key proponent of the catastrophic war with Iraq as well as the torture program both of which served as grounds for students and faculty at New Jersey’s state university to oppose her speaking. Her horrendous conduct and criminal activities made her unacceptable and Rice herself eventually bowed out claiming “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.”
Why the invitation was even issued remains an issue as Rice was selected without any public debate or input by the Board of Governors of Rutgers. Not soon after the official selection the protests began.
A few weeks later, petitions objecting to Rice’s selection began circulating around campus. Then, the Rutgers faculty council on the New Brunswick campus filed the first formal objection to Rice’s selection when they passed a resolution calling on the school to rescind her invitation. The professors said Rice had contributed to misleading the public about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq War and condoned the Bush Administration’s use of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques of prisoners.
“An honorary doctor of laws degree should not honor someone who participated in a political effort to circumvent the law,” the faculty resolution said.
Student protests followed including the occupation of a university administrative building. The student protests were complimented by a proposed teach-in by the Rutgers faculty on Rice’s conduct during the Bush Administration.
While some appear eager to forget the crimes of the Bush Administration it is good to see some institutions in America have yet to be corrupted by crass opportunism and transactional values. Rice participated in war crimes, she damaged America. Not the best person to speak to students about changing the world for the better.
Her example is nothing aspire to, Condoleeza Rice made the world a worse place.