By Chris Stigall
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- What's that "R" logo really stand for, Rutgers?
Just asking now that it's official that a handful of malcontent students and faculty chased former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice away as their commencement speaker this year.
Because she votes Republican. Because she worked for George W. Bush. Because her politics aren't what they're SUPPOSED to be for a black woman in this country.
Rutgers – the university that's made a bunch of news in recent years about their quest for TOLERANCE and INCLUSIVENESS and ANTI-BULLYING – has now become the antithesis of all of those things.
A Rutgers student kills himself after being caught on a webcam kissing another man, and a national dialogue broke out on tolerance, respect, harassment, etc.
A Rutgers basketball coach is caught on tape verbally and physically roughing up his players. He's fired, and a national dialogue broke out on bullying, respect, abuse, etc.
Now, a bunch of goon students and faculty are caught with torches and pitchforks harassing, name calling, and demanding one of our nation's most successful, prominent, black women step down as their commencement speaker and not a whimper of national dialogue.
No lesson to be learned here. Nope. You see, you can harass, besmirch, bully, taunt, and heckle a black woman in this country as long as she's affiliated with the Republican Party. Not only can you do it. You can get away with it.
For defenders of Rutgers who say "Rice is the one who cancelled! She didn't get kicked out!" That's true. She maintained a class, dignity, and respect for a student and faculty body that had none for her.
She reminded these losers in her letter to withdraw as commencement speaker that she brought with her a powerful resume of accomplishment. And in her own classy way she reminded them what they would be missing out on while offering respect for their "special day." Rice wrote:
"I am honored to have served my country. I have defended America's belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here. As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as its former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way."
There's not a week in history since Barack Obama declared his candidacy for, and ultimately became President that those of us who criticize him haven't been tagged as closet racists. Not a single week. President Obama himself routinely reminds us about the "undercurrent" of race and racism in any host of stories or issues he can exploit.
Illegal immigration, the Trayvon Martin case, the professor Skip Gates case, and on and on I could go.
There's always a lesson to be learned about race and race relations when someone on the left or in the Democrat Party sees a real or perceived injustice. Hours upon days of news coverage and cable specials about "Race in America" are bound to follow.
But chase an accomplished black woman out of a commencement speech at an elitist, left wing university on the East coast? Silence. Because, you see, she's on the wrong side of the press and pop culture's politics. Her critics are on "the right side."
Congratulations, Rutgers. You're the Donald Sterling of universities. You were even caught on tape hurling insults at this accomplished black woman just as he was.
Might as well hand out white robes and pointed caps in lieu of caps and gowns. Too bad you couldn't just chase Dr. Rice off campus with a fire hose. That would've made you feel really accomplished in your feat!
Oh, I know. That's not fair! We're supposed to understand that your criticism of her is rooted only in policy. As though that's better?
Of course, what you're not saying is you believe there is only one way for a black woman to think and speak. And if she doesn't, you'll run her out of town. So it's not just her skin color, it's topped with a healthy dose of fascism, too.
Yes, whenever I see that bright red Rutgers "R" – I'll always remember this story. And that "R" will have a whole new meaning.
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