In Defense of “Unwelcoming Condoleezza Rice”

Yesterday, the CMC Forum published an article by Adam Griffith CMC ’14 concerning plans to unwelcome Condoleezza Rice. The inflammatory, myopic article made sweeping generalizations about those involved in the protest, as well as misconstrued the intent of the peaceful teach-in.

Griffith’s article “Occupy Athenaeum” opens with a jab at Occupy Claremont, a noble effort to spread awareness of income inequality, among other things, by referring to Occupy Claremont as “a name that was the punch line to a joke long before it was an actual club.” In just the first paragraph, the author compares the work of motivated students bringing awareness to the disgusting wealth inequality in America to a joke.  Furthermore, the author errs by stating the protest is organized “in part by the club Occupy Claremont.” We encourage the author to not to make fallacious statements in his writing, particularly when trying to diminish the noble work of a group by associating it with another movement. At root, “the relationship between the teach-ins and Occupy is that there is cross pollination between the two,” says organizer Vincent Giannotti PZ ’12. Some familiar faces, entirely autonomous movements.

An example of a peaceful teach-in at Florida International University. The motivation is education rather than provocation. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Next, the article states that the motivations for the protest are that “Namely: Condoleezza Rice…is evil and CMC has nothing to learn from her.” This gross simplification of the student activist’s motivations fails to mention the purpose of the teach-in, which is to inform and stimulate discussion. If the teach-in organizers believed what Griffith says they do, the event would not be structured to educate. Anyone who attended the planning meetings for “Unwelcoming Condoleezza Rice” can testify to their explicit focus on education, not provocation. Griffith paints the activists as simple minded, and in doing so displays his condescending view of those seeking to educate.

Griffith charges on to defend CMC for hosting Rice by claiming there is some sort of educational benefit to attending her lecture. As the panel of Professor Segal and Professor Herrera, both of Pitzer College, noted, an educational opportunity could be constructed if the event were a round-table discussion with professors, students, and foreign-policy experts, but it unfortunately is not. I, for one, do not believe Rice should be paid an egregious amount to give a talk, which has a format conflicting with that of an educational talk. Griffith then makes a reference to Joe Biden’s hilarious gaffes, but seems to forget the master of idiotic, non-sensical statements: Rice’s former boss, President Bush.

The notion that the teach-ins are weakened in educational quality because anyone can lead a teach-in is inane. Inclusive dialogue is far more conducive to learning than a rigid lecture with limited involvement, and I challenge any attendee to stop by a teach-in, which will be offered before and after her lecture. The teach-ins seek to provide an empirically grounded counter-point and bring her crimes against humanity to light. The structure of the teach-in emphasizes peaceful means of gathering and informing, even featuring Vice President of Student Affairs of Pitzer College Jim Marchant speaking on 5C protest policy to ensure compliance.

Condoleezza Rice is coming to the Athenaeum as part of her book tour. Don't expect substance and education from her speech. (Photo by Raymond Hagans)

Why should students, faculty, staff, and community members help to unwelcome Condoleezza Rice? Her instrumental role in authorizing a global torture regime, her utter disregard for international law, and her mendacious statements used to justify the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi fathers, wives, sons, and daughters serve as ample reasons to attend.

“The Bush Doctrine, which Condoleezza was instrumental in crafting, is a doctrine of preventive war, and preventive war is a violation of international law,” says Pitzer College professor of Political Studies, Dana Ward, who will be hosting a teach-in at the event.

Also hosting a teach-in will be Pitzer College Professor of Anthropology Dan Segal, who stated, “As National Security Advisor, she [Rice] played a central role, with Colin Powell, in conveying and accrediting false ‘intelligence’ to the US and global publics, to gain support for the war in Iraq.” Segal will speak critically of Rice at the event “because I love both democracy and humanity.”

Furthermore, Rice has failed as a public-servant, operating sans respect for the rule of law or humanity. And, as noted during the panel discussion, prominent members from previous administrations often stumble into jobs in current administrations (see Larry Summers, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney), and we should not allow Rice to “fail-up” into a new post. By informing the public of her crimes and unethical actions committed in our name, her chance of stumbling into a new administration will be lessened.  Furthermore, we cannot allow the establishment of a new presidential precedent: one of being able to violate international law without any public rebuke or consequence.

Griffith’s condescending tone and his blind and biased disdain for Pitzer activists, whom he sarcastically refers to as “masterminds,” serves as further motivation for all to make this event educational and successful. His article, based on an incredibly limited experience with those he writes about, sarcastically and wrongly discards the thought put into the event, which has 130+ people committed to attend on Facebook.

Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to participate in the inclusive teach-ins. Stop by, it is sure to be educational.

UPDATE: At 2:30 pm, CMC VP for Student Affairs Jeff Huang emailed CMC students informing them that the venue for Rice’s talk has been changed to Ducey Gym. “A demonstration zone has been designated on the outdoor basketball courts,” Huang wrote. Huang cited uncertainties about non-Claremont protesters, writing, “Those individuals, whose numbers we cannot accurately estimate and whose intentions are unclear, may not care to abide by CMC’s rules or the rally organizers’ plans for a peaceful event.”

Editor’s note: For more coverage of Rice’s visit to Claremont, see our investigation into 5C pepper spray policy, background on the planned protest, and a reflection on the benefits of peaceful demonstration. Check back tomorrow for updates on the Ath talk and teach-ins.

Braden Bernards is a freshman at Pitzer College planning to major in Political Studies with a minor in Anthropology. In his free-time, he enjoys reading, running, golfing, all while drinking gross amounts of coffee. He also enjoys tweeting (@bradenbernards).




65 Responses to “In Defense of “Unwelcoming Condoleezza Rice””

  1. I'm a Liberal/Democrat... says:

    I’d like to preface my comment by saying that I agree with the “Unwelcome Condoleezza Rice” group’s charges against Dr. Rice. I agree that she was a part of a terrible and criminal administration and was an important link in the chain of destruction that was the Bush Administration.
    However.
    As a student of government, I believe that political involvement and maturity can only stem from the willingness to listen to what the ‘other side’ has to say. I believe the protest to be both immature and misguided – I think it would be far more effective/educational to hold an event/”teach-ins” the day before (today…) Dr. Rice’s talk and then to encourage the participants to attend the talk and hear what she has to say.
    By discouraging people from attending Dr. Rice’s talk, you are discouraging open discussion and education. What if a liberal political figure came to campus and conservative students organized a protest because of his/her transgressions? You would be outraged. You are obviously well within your rights as students and citizens to organize and protest. I don’t dispute that. However, your protest simply shows your lack of perspective and inability to see past your own views and educate yourself on the opinions, experiences, and perspectives of those you oppose.
    I may disagree with her actions, but I have huge respect for Dr. Rice’s experience and perspective.
    Grow up and learn to listen to those you disagree with. It can only help you strengthen your beliefs and arguements.

    • Dana Ward says:

      I attend the Ath regularly and enjoy the events, but by and large these events are intellectual entertainment, as opposed to an educational experience. For the latter to occur, there would have to be far more time allocated to someone with a different point of view, questions would have to come from any quarter, not just students, and there would have to be time to follow up on a question. In the current format, CMC is simply providing another venue, much like Fox news, for Rice to express her already well known views.

      • CMC Alum says:

        A couple of points:

        First, comparing CMC to Fox News is dishonest and, frankly, pretty ridiculous, and you know that. And are you suggesting that no educational value can be attained from hearing about someone’s views from the person themselves? You say her views are well publicized already, does that mean we need not hear from any speakers who have had a book published? Would you object to Laurence Lessig coming to speak? How about Bill Ayres… Rice will likely be asked some difficult or nuanced questions at CMC, or she would have had the event not been cut short thanks to many of your students’ actions. Hearing how she responds, even when you disagree with her can provide valuable insight. I’ve recently had the opportunity to hear her talk, I disagree with her policies, but found her engaging and insightful nonetheless. Worst case, you might spend a few hours and have a story about how unimpressive she was.

        Secondly, and I know you’ll hate this comparison (admittedly part of why I’m using it), but you sound a little like the groups promoting the teaching of creationism in public schools. “We need to teach both sides of the issue!” No. We don’t. Part of growing up and developing intellectually is learning to digest a singular viewpoint and then analyze it for it’s strengths, weakness, biases, etc. I don’t need to hear Condi, followed immediately by Hillary. My fragile mind can make the determination on my own. Rawls and Rand don’t need to be read together. The Ath should be viewed as a starting point for an educational experience, not one in and of itself.

        To your complaint about professors not being allowed to ask questions (I’m inferring you’re complaining because you want to ask questions). You are allowed to ask a question, just after students ask them. The college is there for the students, not for you. While you may think this cheapens the intellectual discourse, I feel there is a broader educational value in giving students the opportunity to ask questions of smart people in a public venue. It’s a skill, and one which is in short supply in many workplaces. I have been complimented at work for being able to ask clear, concise and nuanced questions of speakers, executives, and my colleagues. I know that my ability comes, in part, from learning how to do so at the Ath. You ask a dumb question, people notice and you learn to ask better ones.

        • SA says:

          You mind would not be capable of distinguishing between the two perspectives unless you’ve heard both of them previously. Your logic rests on the premise that the students have had legitimate exposure to both sides of the issue. We’re presenting the perspective that is ignored by the conglomerated media.

          Likening PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION to teaching CREATIONISM is a specious claim; the first is the exercise of the first amendment and a defense of liberty. The second is a religiously-based falsehood that can be easily falsified.

          • CMC Alum says:

            Re your first paragraph:

            No. You say one has to have had previous exposure before they can fully distinguish a perspective on an issue; that is incorrect. I’d never been exposed to architectural philosophy before I attended an Ath talk, but during it, I was able to develop an opinion based on hearing one perspective. If only to begin to say, “No, I don’t think that makes sense”. Might I grow more? Absolutely. But I don’t feel like I need to be protected from opposing viewpoints, a view you seem to hold. I feel confident that, even on topics with which I am unfamiliar, I can think for myself. That I can see flaws of logic or questions that need more answering and that I wont simply take a talk or opinion at face value.

            Re your second paragraph:

            My analogy to the creationist camp was not in relation to the planned protest (I never actually address the protest). I was addressing Prof. Ward’s complaints on the format of the Ath series. Specifically, it was drawn from this statement: ” For [an educational experience] to occur, there would have to be far more time allocated to someone with a different point of view [for the event to be educational]“. I disagree. I think an event can have educational value whether it presents one, two, or more differing views on an issue.

            Sidebar: I love how you used the phrase, “We’re presenting the perspective that is ignored by the conglomerated media.” Sounds just like something a creationist would say… (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

      • Really? says:

        You seem to be suggesting that there is little to be learned from athenaeum talks, since they have only have given you “intellectual entertainment”. In my time here, CMC has brought in a wide range of people with a different experiences and areas of expertise. I have certainly learned from many of the talks I’ve attended. You also seem to think that CMC’s hosting Rice is less of an educational experience because CMC has restricted attendance to the actual event (but not the leave streaming of the talk) to the CMC community. Why do you think this detracts from the event, since CMC is hosting the event, shouldn’t the students who attend this school get priority? It is just as ignorant to suggest that CMC students would not be asking questions from a different point of view as it is to dismiss Pitzer’s efforts.

      • SA says:

        To the “Liberal/Democrat”: Let’s not make this a partisan issue. When it becomes a discussion about bias and factions, we lose sight of the ISSUES.

        I’m a socialist libertarian, as anti-state a possible, but also holding the view that workers should own the means of production; traditionally liberal and conservative stances. What box do I fit into? I have no confidence in Obama or any of the GOP (save for perhaps Ron Paul). This is not an issue for the Hegelian dialectic–it’s a matter of authoritarian oppression by the state. Most politicians (of either party) are now the enemies of liberty.

        The issue is that Ms. Rice authorized torture, aided in the erosion of American civil rights (PATRIOT Act), and brought us into a PREEMPTIVE war of aggression. She, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kristol, Powell, et al., in the Project for A New American Century, promulgated a policy of Pax Americana by achieving “Full Spectrum Dominance” militarily. We’ve got 700 bases in almost every country in the world, and hundreds of thousands dead in the Middle East.

        The time for listening to disinformation is over. We know Ms. Rice’s platform well. If McNamara, Kissinger, Brzezinski, even Himmler or Goebbels (or any other maniacal political puppeteer) were on a book tour, would you chastise demonstrators for stifling their right to free speech, and for being “disrespectful”? This is not a matter of respect, it’s a matter of accountability. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

        The status quo-placated apologists who contend that we should quietly listen to Rice’s revisionist history and self-glorification are doing their country a disservice. If you haven’t already heard Ms. Rice’s defense, buy her book.

        Protest is patriotism. In an age where the consolidated media makes a mockery of the democratic prerequisite of a free press, we must take to the streets in direct action. The protestors at the Occupy sites are being met with brutality, but this is to be expected from the state, that entity with a legitimate (?) monopoly on the use of violence. Nevertheless, people are waking up at an incredible rate; it’s only a matter of time before the trumpets of revolution sound. In the words of a one of the greatest movements of US History: We shall overcome.

        I was disappointed, not because we had lost the war but because our people had allowed it to go on for so many years, instead of heeding the few voices of protest against all that mass insanity and slaughter.
        -George Grosz

  2. James Madison says:

    I stopped reading when you called Occupy Claremont “a noble effort.” But you’re right, no one would know more about the disgusting wealth inequality of America than Pitzer students, all of whom sit on top of very comfortable trust funds and high school diplomas from elite private and boarding schools.

    Beyond that, the very notion that Occupy Claremont has ANY degree of impact on the “movement” as a whole is a total farce. It is masturbatory at best to think that the biweekly circlejerks of half-baked socialist rhetoric serve as anything more than a partisan pep rally.

    Thanks for the lolz!

    • James Madison says:

      And I’m sure you, dear author and self-described “golf enthusiast,” know a LOT about income disparity. But you probably spent a month or two “serving” (read: taking pictures with your iPhone and playing soccer with local kids) in a village in Africa, so who am I to criticize?

        • James Madison says:

          Show me the impact, and I’ll show you my respect. Congratulations, y’all got on the mainstream news…the very same medium you attack as a biased propaganda machine controlled by the secretive and cabal-like 1%. I guess they slipped up on their master grip around America’s throat.

          • SA says:

            I hope you realize that Madison defined the task of the Continental Congress explicitly when said that the convention’s purpose was ‘to secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction (i.e., a democratic faction), and that at the same time preserve the spirit and form of popular government.”

            In effect, to create a facade of liberty. Madison and Hamilton were puppets of the Rothschild banking dynasty. Wake up.

            • James Madison says:

              And it is because of that facade of liberty that you and I can even have this discussion on the internet. Please let me know when you find a nation blessed with more freedom than the United States.

              • James Madison says:

                (sorry, “facade of liberty” should really have been in quotes. The biggest hinderances on liberty I see these days are those imposed by overbearing economic regulation, but I guess that doesn’t fit in with your definition of freedom)

    • Dana Ward says:

      Thanks for displaying such ignorance. It simply motivates us more. By the way, half of Pitzer’s students are on financial aid, which one does not get if one is the beneficiary of “comfortable trust funds”, but then smug condescension never requires a factual basis.

      • James Madison says:

        I apologize. Only half of your students are able to afford paying the full $56,000+ per year to attend out of their own pockets (which puts them in the top infinitesimal minority of the U.S.). The other 50% of you come from households with mere six-figure incomes. How dare I be so rude.

        • Emma French says:

          I don’t understand why you’re making this argument, almost everyone at the Claremont Colleges pays a ridiculous tuition. Obviously we have chosen to do that because values the education they’re getting enough to make that exchange. But the fact that you and I may fall into the same socioeconomic bracket in no way indicates that we think similarly, as you have so clearly eluded with your snark attack on the Occupy movement. I dare you to come to city hall and talk to the people you are ridiculing so adamantly, rather than dissing us the over the internet like a little bitch.

          • James Madison says:

            A) Pitzer has an overwhelmingly higher proportion of students paying tuition than every single other campus. Most of us here pay nowhere near what the average Pitzer student pays.

            B) You’re right; in theory we both value education. But the Occupy movement’s thirst to put partisanship over an amazing educational opportunity screams otherwise. It’s as if one group wants to make noise to make itself feel important, and one group actually wants to learn from a real world leader, rather than similarly poorly informed students.

            C) I am NOT in any way of a shared socioeconomic class with you. Half my life I lived far below the poverty line. Just because I don’t align myself with your supposed “99%” doesn’t make me less economically disadvantaged, it simply makes me a realist, and someone who actually understands things like economics.

            D) The Occupy Movement isn’t a place for me to speak my mind. It’s the definition of hivemind, a place for people who already agree to come and discuss how very wise they are and how they are destined to change this cruel, cruel world. No, I will let you all be, despite the fact that you have ruined what could have been a wonderful event on my campus. I’m sorry that I’m a “little bitch” because I don’t believe in disrupting other people’s events.

            TL;DR–your argument lacks any support and your rebuttal was puerile at best.

            • SA says:

              The Occupy Movement is not partisan; that’s the point–not to be co-opted as the Tea Party was.

              The Condoleezza Event is not an occupy movement, nor is it partisan. I wouldn’t vote for any Democrat or Republican.

              Don’t assume you are at all superior in your understanding of economics. The primary reason the US economy is in such disarray is due to a lack of AGGREGATE DEMAND, because the 99% CAN’T AFFORD TO CONSUME ANYMORE. Study the populist movement.

              • James Madison says:

                I apologize. Instead of “partisan,” I should have said “steeped in a dangerous degree of groupthink and hivemindedness.”

                The Condoleezza Event is being put together by Occupy Claremont, as many of the flyers have indicated. It has the same organizers, the same professors.

                Typing IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS and using BASIC ECONOMIC TERMS doesn’t actually STRENGTHEN YOUR ARGUMENT.

                Study the populist movement?! Please tell me you support a return to the gold standard. That would just make this fantastic.

    • Avery says:

      Wait, are you related to the original?

  3. Condoleezza Griffith says:

    Just to clarify… is this article about Condoleezza Rice or Adam Griffith?

  4. Teddy Roosevelt says:

    “I, for one, do not believe Rice should be paid an egregious amount to give a talk” This is the key issue here. Who gives a FUCK what you think? You do not go to CMC, your money is not going to support her visit, you are a third party who is trying to push your political beliefs on another student body.

    • James Madison says:

      Not to mention the fact that the quote is an EGREGIOUS use of the word EGREGIOUS.

      For the author’s sake, I have included it below:

      1) Outstandingly bad; shocking.
      2) Remarkably good.

      • SA says:

        It’s an “outstandingly bad” use of that money. Think about how many STARVING people could be fed with that fee?

        And it’s an Op-Ed article, chill out.

        • James Madison says:

          It’s not defining how the money is used, that was a clear misuse of the word to mean “exorbitant.” Only that’s not what egregious means. Also, your tuition dollars could probably be better spent feeding hungry people as well. Or anything you spend money on that’s for your own benefit. No need to shame yourself, though.

          And I’m a commenter on an Op-Ed article. Chill out.

  5. CMC Alum says:

    This might be one of the worst articles I’ve ever read.

  6. Sam Stone says:

    Although I’m inclined to agree with the author’s criticism’s of Condoleezza Rice, I have two issues with this article. First, Braden’s tone is unnecessarily mean spirited. Passive-aggressive insults (“We encourage the author to not to make fallacious statements in his writing”) and personal attacks (“biased disdain for Pitzer activists”) don’t contribute to an informed and articulate discussion about Secretary Rice’s actions and behavior. For an article criticizing Adam’s tone, I would have appreciated a more journalist approach to the piece.

    Second (and this is a more broad critique), I think that in principle alone, “unwelcoming” someone to CMC’s campus is a terrible idea. The point of the Athenaeum is not to bring in speakers that students necessarily agree with, but rather to promote discourse and civil conversation. A protest in itself doesn’t necessarily affect this, but it has the unintended consequence of discouraging future potential speakers, and in most cases drastically affects the tone of the visit.

    If the Portside is as big of an advocate for free speech as it likes to think, it should be encouraging students to support Ms. Rice’s visit, give the former Secretary of State the polite welcome she deserves, and listen to her remarks with an open mind. There’s a reason we leave time for Q & A at the conclusion of the talk.

    Keep it classy Claremont,
    Sam Stone
    CMC ’14

    • Exactly says:

      I would also have more respect for Braden if he did not respond to Griffith’s article with the same type of language and behavior he criticizes.

  7. Aseem Chipalkatti says:

    As someone who leans towards the left myself, I understand some of the criticism towards Condoleezza Rice’s policies and actions during her time as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in the Bush Administration. However, that’s no reason to be as overwhelmingly against her visit as some people are. The fact remains that Rice is not only one of the smarter diplomatic minds of our generation, but someone who made political strides in a way that few, if any women or black people had done before her. Her status as one of the first minorities to have made a significant stride into the Executive Branch alone merits her place at the Atheneum tomorrow.

    More importantly, however, it is important to realize that even though you may disagree with a person’s politics or policies, there’s no reason to try and keep them from visiting CMC. She’s an incredibly intelligent woman, who just happens to have some different views on politics than other people. The fact is that her presence on campus tomorrow brings us a chance to learn more about another perspective on the world, albeit one from someone who’s had more political experience that all of CMC combined. When Columbia invited Ahmadinejad to come speak on their campus, it provided their students a chance to interact and hear from an influential world figure. Granted, most people, myself included, don’t agree with most, if any, of the things that he believes in, but nonetheless it was a new perspective, a chance to interact with someone whose name means something to millions of people.

    Disagree with Rice’s policies as much as you want – I know I don’t like a lot of them myself, but that’s no reason to protest her visit.

    Aseem Chipalkatti
    CMC ’15

    • SA says:

      It doesn’t matter if you’re a black woman; if you got to the upper echelon and decided to authorize torture and mass slaughter, you do not deserve the respect of anyone.

      FUCK political experience–what is politics today? Exploitation and imperialism on every level. What’s to admire?

  8. Spare US All says:

    This article is the exact reason why so many people have sarcastically roasted the “Occupy” movement. They have a good basic education, which allows them to (generally) appropriately use big words and complex arguments. However, the level of offense taken to an article in a CMC OPINION article is downright silly. Not to mention that the language in this rebuttal, which seems to attack a student-author more than appropriately explain anything other than that the protestors “are well-educated, fair, and peaceful”. I still don’t know why they are in such a tizzy about this. I haven’t heard anything about Condy in years until she happened to make a stop here, at which point it seems people needed something to protest and selected this visit. Ya’ll would probably rather have Ahmadinejad (didn’t spell check that one) speak than Rice. Hey, he denies the Holocaust to his people! He also denies the existance of gays in Iran!
    See what happens when one makes sweeping and irrational generalizations? At least those can be specifically cited and quoted.

    This quasi-communist rhetoric really rubs me the wrong way. There are wealthy and poor people in every normally-functioning capitalist society, with the overwhelming majority falling somewhere in between. There are lots of equally-poor people and a few disproportionately rich rulers in communist/socialist societes.

    Come back with a legitimate argument (backed by fact rather than wild gesticulation), purpose, and clearly-defined goal, and I will be much more captivated. Until then, go stand on the basketball courts and keep quiet.

    • SA says:

      The overwhelming majority of the US population does not fall “somewhere in the middle” of the economic spectrum. See: the GINI Index.

      Communism and Socialism are not the answer, as they are inaccurately defined in today’s colloquialism. I don’t endorse strengthening the STATE in communism, but non-governmental, WORKER’s ownership of the means of production is the more ethical enterprise.

  9. Paul Jeffrey says:

    Having read your article and the one posted on the Forum, your claim that the article is inflammatory and myopic demonstrates a degree of ignorance that rivals only the organizers of the “unwelcome” protest. I am no avowed fan of Dr. Rice, but as the forum article clearly intends to convey, the opportunity to hear her talk is valuable from a multitude of perspectives. For those that agree with her, they get to hear someone they look up to, for those of us who don’t, it is an opportunity to hear a learned and accomplished woman speak. Even for those that can’t stand her, we can learn from her polished speaking skills and what she does say how best to argue against those we disagree with – AKA precisely the opposite of your own rantings.

    If the other author was condescending, I’m not sure what word would describe your writing… perhaps “terrible” will suffice.

    • Paul Jeffrey says:

      I will say props to the Portside for letting that comment be posted. The Claremont Independent didn’t do the same for a recent article about as frustrating as this one.

  10. Pitzer Alum says:

    Condi should be allowed to speak unfettered and her presence protested mightily. This is the beauty of the Consortium. Condi has progressive view on feminism and civil rights; she’s pro choice and pro affirmative action. Does she thus get a pass on water boarding? If no, then should the left also trash Obama for killing Americans exercising free speech in Yemen with the same vigor as we trash Bush and Condi for Iraq? Not simple, is it?

    • Paul says:

      I appreciate that you recognize her right to speak, but differ as to the fact that she should face hostile protesting here while trying to present at an open forum. The issue isn’t that whether she is worthy of criticism, the concern is how that criticism is carried out.The very title, an “unwelcome party” belies the idea that we want to discuss these issues. Will Dr. Rice care about the fact that there was protesting? Probably not, but if so only to the extent that it makes it more difficult to get high profile and controversial speakers in the future. You want to debate Condi’s actions, then do so through discourse, not by sending the message that she is here on trial, rather than here to present her side and receive the questions and comments of our students.

      The part of this article criticizing Rice would have been fine as its own piece, but it stands instead defending a movement that opposes the college bringing anyone controversial here to speak. What, should we marginalize ourselves to the topics of debate we can all agree on. The sky is some shade of blue I suppose. Now we have to move the speech to the considerably less inviting gymnasium because protesters, largely not from CMC, want to grandstand in a counter-productive way rather than foster meaningful debate.

  11. Jillian Raftery says:

    Okay, I support the “efforts” of the Occupy movements because I believe people have a right express their views.

    However… that means you have to face criticism. And that means that if you defend yourself poorly it reflects poorly on any groups/movements with which you may be associated.

    Sorry, but nothing excuses bad writing and bad journalism.

    Try to sound less inflammatory and biased and maybe people will actually get something out of what you have to say… which actually might have been significant.

  12. Mark says:

    The issue of free speech does not apply when rich and powerful people speak at Universities. We have had their corporate, one-sided opinions shoved down our throat for too long. Denying them the opportunity to continually underline their position is not denying free speech. After all, we have heard their speech ad nauseum.
    Free speech allows those who are never heard, to speak.

    • Spare US All says:

      That last sentence is very fragmented by poor, comma use.
      All of this crazed, wealth-fearing rhetoric is astonishing. Do you not realize how much it costs for you to attend whatever school you are at (presumably Pitzer)?
      In the global, grand scheme of things, we Americans are ALL the 1%. But someone has to be. It is beyond unreasonable to expect that the entire world will ever be on a level playing field.
      We have heard your “Occupy” shenanigans, that is free speech for ya. Free speech is Rice presenting to students who can learn much from her dedication and ascent to power and your petty protests demonstrating water boarding. Neither one was impeded through government intervention, as is the case in nations which lack free speech.

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