01 May 2006 Project 21 New Visions: Why Are College Professors Afraid of Dr. Condoleezza Rice?
Ideally, college professors should provide an open environment for the free exchange of ideas and promote debate free of prejudice and bias.
Tragically, on some college campuses, these ideals aren’t applied to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because she is an accomplished black female conservative. Instead, protests, petitions and prejudice are the faculty-led antics designed to demean and silence her.
Observe, for example, the recent circumstances concerning Dr. Rice and Boston College. Considering her significant accomplishments, one would think that having the Secretary of State speak at their commencement ceremony would be a privilege and an honor for the Boston College community, especially since Dr. Rice addresses only one commencement annually.
To the contrary, hundreds of students are supporting the efforts of faculty members who not only oppose Dr. Rice addressing Boston College’s Class of 2006 but also oppose the decision by College officials to award her an Honorary Doctor of Law degree. To-date, about 200 of the 1,000 faculty members have signed a petition designed to prevent Dr. Rice from speaking. A student petition demanding the invitation be rescinded has also been circulated throughout the campus.
Another example of college campus bias against Dr. Rice was exposed in March of this year at Bellevue Community College in Seattle, Washington.
Consider the wording of a practice math test question at Bellevue that read: “Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second.” The question further asks, “when will the watermelon hit the ground based on the formula provided?”
The highly-offensive inference in this question was used for several years at Bellevue Community College. Were it not for the courageous efforts of Chelsey Richardson, a student who complained to the school’s president about the racially-offensive question, the question would still be in circulation. Richardson additionally sought the intervention of community leader Reverend Wayne Perryman, who was instrumental in shining a spotlight on the issue. Their combined efforts lead to the public apology of Peter Ratener, the math instructor who wrote the exam and was initially counseled not to come forward.
Born to college-educated parents in the segregated south in 1954, Dr. Rice is an individual who has excelled in academics and is a noteworthy public servant. She knew early in life that she had to perform above and beyond in her studies. Her excellence in academics has earned her numerous honorary doctorates and the utmost respect from higher education institutions. A strong believer in faith and prayer, her determination and hard work has rewarded her with significant personal accomplishments, namely being the first black woman to hold the position of Provost at Stanford University, White House National Security Advisor and Secretary of State – the nation’s chief cabinet office.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice is one of the finest examples of a leader for people of all races, colors and creeds. Her character should not be attacked because she is not a group thinker. Those who choose to inject racist and demeaning remarks as an argument to support their way of thinking are morally wrong.
One must ask just what these liberal professors so afraid of and why are they so ardently trying to prevent Dr. Rice from addressing Boston College’s Class of 2006. Are they afraid that Dr. Rice will, in one afternoon, undo the years of brainwashing the students have endured at Boston College? Are they afraid that Dr. Rice will talk about the benefits of a free market society versus statism? Are they afraid that Dr. Rice will talk about the triumphs of liberty over oppression and how Boston College’s Class of 2006 can go into the world of opportunities with a plan by using their brain to think, and be independent, successful, responsible citizens?
Be afraid, liberal Boston College professors. Be very afraid.
Deneen Moore is senior fellow of the black leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.