Rutgers Profs Protest Condi Rice As Graduation Speaker

Handing a ready-made controversy to Fox News?

At NewsWorks, Chris Satullo notes that profs at Rutgers’ New Brunswick and Newark campuses are protesting the decision to host Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush’s national security advisor and secretary of state, as this year’s commencement speaker.

H. Bruce Franklin, an English prof on the Newark campus, put this point pungently (maybe a little too pungently): “What we’re doing is awarding an honorary degree and having a commencement speech from someone who is a war criminal.”

Mr. Franklin and I could probably agree that during the Iraq War the United States did things that violated our constitutional values, as well as Christian morals and common sense. And, yes, Condi Rice was in high office while that went on.

Unhappy that Rice is speaking?  Arrange a teach-in on the conduct of the Iraq and Afghanistan war; come up with a plan for a dignified protest at commencement, something that  will make the point without spoiling the day for grads and their families.

Rice is still expected to speak at the May 18 ceremony in Piscataway.