As much as I'm daily protesting Schwarzenegger in my own ways, I don't believe holding signs and interfering with what is basically a family event is appropriate. I also don't think it's a way to win friends and supporters to your cause. But, blessedly, this is America, so do what you want.
Then there's CSU Hayward's speaker who bowed out after students threatened to boycott over his views:
Rodriguez, author of the acclaimed memoir "Hunger of Memory," drew criticism from some students for his views against bilingual education and affirmative action.One of many ironic aspects of the story is that despite Rodriguez's absence, at least 28 protesting students (and you wonder if that's the total out of 5000 graduates with the beef) will continue with plans to hold their own alternative ceremony. The speaker at that event will be a supporter of bilingual education.
"I'm a bilingual educator," said student Leah Perez, 32, who is graduating with a master's degree in urban teacher leadership and protested Rodriguez's presence at the graduation. "He believes in assimilation and rejection of one's cultural identity, and we don't feel that is what we stand for in our program, and we don't want him representing us." . . .
"It is a sad situation. You hear about this at other universities," [campus spokesman] Huggett said. "We are a university that has always prided itself on the expression of free ideas. The sad part is people doing this based on a book they haven't read."
And were I a Hayward voter, I'd be concerned about the logic exhibited by one school board member and CSU professor:
Sarah Gonzales, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, said it was unfair to give Rodriguez a platform and captive audience for his views.God bless my liberal arts education at a school where the prevailing philosophy was "you don't agree with this? Good, we don't want you to, so let's have a good fight about it, and then drink heavily together later." Over at my other blogging-outlet, there have been a few items on both free-speech-vs.-offensiveness and liberal bias in education lately. When a university has clearly failed to teach its students the value of open discourse, one wonders how valuable the earned degree really is.
"We need to teach our students to be able to listen to diverse opinions, but they also need to be able to respond," said Gonzales, who is also a school board member in Hayward. "As a commencement speaker, he gets free air time."