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Academia, Over the Edge

Goddard College in Vermont has invited Mumia Abu Jamal, convicted cop killer and former death row inmate, to give the commencement address.  The story is here.

Question:  What would happen if Darren Wilson, the not-even-criminally-charged killer of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., were invited to give the commencement address at any college or university in the United States?

Possible answers:

1)  The media would congratulate the students for independence of mind.

2)  We would hear a lot about the First Amendment.

3)  The NYT would remind us that Wilson is innocent until proven guilty.

4)  The head of the student organization that issued the invitation would be brought before the Honor Council for insensitivity to the feelings of African American students and expelled.

We report, you decide.

P.S.  I thought I had heard it all when Columbia hired Kathy Boudin as a professor.  I confess error.


Absolutely outrageous.

Yet the former Secretary of State who served the country for years (breaking down barriers along the way) is too controversial to serve as a commencement speaker. Nuts, just plain nuts.

Personally, I think commencement speeches are lame. I can't even remember who did mine for undergrad or law school. I most certainly would not invite any convicted murderer. But in fairness, ineffective members of the Clinton / Bush / Obama administrations wouldn't be on the top of my list either.

I'd keep it lighthearted and invite someone funny like Harvard did a few years back with Sacha Cohen as Ali G.

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