WASHINGTON, May 4, 2014 – Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State in the Bush Administration was invited to be the commencement speaker at Rutgers University.
She has stellar academic credentials and has spent half of her life in academia. She was raised in the “Jim Crow” South, fought to get an education, became a classic pianist, and Secretary of State.
She is a single, black woman who has overcome overwhelming odds to be come one of America’s leading persons. If she were a liberal, she would be on the road to canonization.
But because she is a Republican, and because she was a part of the Bush administration, a small group of Rutger’s radicals decided to raise hell about her visit.
On Monday, students had a sit in at the Administration building at Rutgers outside of President Robert L. Barchi’s office. The students were protesting Rice as a speaker due to her “connection to the war in Iraq.”
We will now sit-in and occupy the building indefinitely until our demands are met. #NoRice
— Troublesome (@TroubleRevolts) April 28, 2014
Police were called as the students, chanting “Hey ho, hey ho, Condi Rice has got to go” where met by security guards but were unable to stop the group from entering into the “Old Queens” building, location of Barchi’s office.
Barchi was not present and could not meet with the students. A window was broken in the protest; the school attempted to use passive methods – barring the delivery of food and access to washrooms – as a means to move the students from the building, but not stop the protest that, one could believe, may have continued outside the building.
The school paper The Daily Targum posted a letter to the school’s paper citing “destruction” in Iraq “at the hands of the Bush administration” as the reason for the protest.
“Rice signed off to give the CIA authority to conduct their torture tactics for gathering information from detainees as well,” the letter continues. “These are clearly human rights issues. By inviting her to speak and awarding her an honorary degree, we are encouraging and perpetuating a world that justifies torture and debases humanity.”
What happened? Nothing. Except the interesting exchange of the #NoRice postings on Twitter social media that was used by the students, and others, to discuss the protests. What is interesting is the support given to Rice and the encouragement that she should in fact speak.
— Kevin Sinclair (@unclemeat80) May 4, 2014
— Shay (@ShayKhatiri) May 4, 2014
— Elaine (@proudTexan61) May 4, 2014
— Ann-Mishoe (@AnnMishoe) May 4, 2014
— Alexandra Citro (@AlexandraRose62) May 4, 2014
— Jolene (@JoleneAL) May 4, 2014