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Commencement Update

May 26, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 35 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Last week in these pages (“Unfree Speech”), editorializing on the shamefully canceled commencement addresses of Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Philip Terzian noted, “Both are identifiably conservative, and therefore, so far as the left is concerned, persona non grata. .  .  . But as it broadens and proliferates, as this culture of bigotry takes root and wields power, such campus intolerance will become a problem for the left as well.”


Our colleague’s prediction struck The Scrapbook as a safe bet; little did we guess it would be vindicated within days. Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund, withdrew from her planned appearance at Smith College, in the face of student protests against the IMF’s supposed oppression of women in poor countries. Perhaps more tellingly, Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor at UC Berkeley, pulled out of his commencement speech at Haverford. Decidedly a man of the left, Birgeneau ran afoul of the thought police because on his watch, he allowed campus police to roust Berkeley students affiliated with the Occupy movement. They, in turn, were seeking a public apology and “reparations” from him. Verily, the revolution devours its children.

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