By Brent Bozell at Townhall.com
It’s graduation time. Many college students are preparing for their commencement ceremonies. On some campuses, some students are playing a game of what we might call “Dump the Speaker.” Conservative speakers chosen to deliver commencement addresses are being howled off campus by leftist student organizations and faculty as well. It’s either a left-wing speaker — or none.
Rutgers University recently faced this by inviting Condoleezza Rice and refused to budge. But Brandeis University has just knuckled under to student and faculty protests over its announced speaker, author Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She was disinvited.
You’d think a human rights advocate would be cheered by these liberals. You’d think they’d positively swoon at a human rights advocate for women! But, no. She is a conservative.
The Muslim students and their “allies” didn’t want to hear anything Ali had to say about honor killings or female gender mutilation. Explaining why 86 faculty members signed a demand the invitation be revoked, professor Bernadette Brooten offered an empty justification: Non-Muslims commit violence, too.
“We stressed that we recognize the harm of female genital cutting, forced marriages, and honor killings, but that this selection obscures the violence against women than happens among non-Muslims.” Brandeis then announced Ali was a “compelling” women’s advocate, “but we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values. For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.”
Aha. Past statements. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education rightfully declared that a Brandeis “core value” is hypocrisy: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu received an honorary degree from the university in spite of earlier comments comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and stating that Zionism has many parallels with racism. Dr. Alan Guttmacher received an honorary degree in 1970 despite having served as vice-president of the American Eugenics Society.”
Then there is the radical gay playwright Tony Kushner, honored by Brandeis at the 2006 commencement. Here is Kushner’s opinion of God, as spoken by a Mormon statue in his play “Angels in America”: “God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly, then plunges a huge filthy hand in. He grabs hold of your bloody tubes. You might slip to evade His grasp, but He squeezes hard, He insists. He pulls and pulls, till all your innards are yanked out. And the pain … can’t even talk about it. And then He stuffs it back. Dirty, tangled, torn. It’s up to you to do the stitching.”
God is a monster. But that was just dandy for Brandeis.