Nearly 200 U of M professors object to Condoleezza Rice’s inclusion in civil-rights lecture series

Condoleezza Rice

Nearly 200 University of Minnesota professors have joined the controversy over a scheduled speech on Thursday by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying in a public letter that they don’t think the Humphrey School lecture series is an appropriate forum for her talk.

The speech at the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs is part of the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series, which, this year, focuses on civil rights.

Students and others have been protesting the appearance of Rice, who was involved in many of the Bush administration’s controversial human-rights decisions before and during the Iraq War, on such issues as prisoner renditions, torture, the detention of militants at Guantanamo Bay, and others.

The professors signing the letter say they support Rice’s right to free speech, and would like to hear her talk about her foreign-policy decisions and experiences, but they don’t feel the civil-rights lecture series is the right time or place.

“We aren’t requesting that they rescind the invitation, but we’re suggesting that the parameters of the invitation were not well thought through,” said Barbara Frey, director of the Human Rights Program at the University’s Institute for Global Studies.

“We want to be on the record, in opposition not to her speaking, but of the framework of her presentation. And we hope [Humprey School] Dean [Eric] Schwartz, when he’s introducing her, might take cues from the letter of the kinds of questions that he might ask.”

Schwartz said Tuesday in a statement:

The Humphrey School welcomes the conversations this invitation has generated; we value public discussion and dialogue. We strongly believe that our School’s namesake, Hubert Humphrey, would feel the same way. 

Dr. Rice is one of about 20 speakers of differing perspectives that the Humphrey School will have hosted over the course of the year to reflect on progress achieved and challenges ahead in this 50th anniversary year of the Civil Rights Act.

Another professor, who helped organize the letter but asked not to be named, said two issues prompted the protest letter:

  • The lecture series is focusing on civil rights this year, and she’s not really a civil-rights expert, they said. She’s famous for her foreign-policy work, which was very controversial.
  • And the website announcement of her speech identified her as a spreader of democracy around the world, which didn’t ring true to the signers.

Says the letter:

While Dr. Rice is an accomplished African-American woman, the advancement of civil rights — the theme of this year’s lecture series — is not central to her legacy. Indeed, as a leading national security official during the entirety of the Bush administration, she bears responsibility for substantial violations of civil liberties and civil rights that were carried out in the name of prosecuting the War on Terror.

Some organizers also said there was concern about her $150,000 speaking fee, which is being paid by private sources, not from university funds.

“That seems wildly inappropriate for any speaker, especially in a civil-rights/economic-justice situation,” said the professor.

The letter includes specifics about Rice’s record in the Bush administration:

Dr. Rice is welcome to speak on the University of Minnesota campus, but let’s not ignore her record. As National Security Adviser in the critical period of 2001-05, Dr. Rice played a central role in the design and implementation of the Administration’s policies, which legitimized the use of torture by redefining it to include only practices so severe as to induce organ failure. By this logic, “enhanced interrogation techniques” that had previously been defined as torture, such as waterboarding, were no longer defined as such and became standard practice in the War on Terror. Since the end of her tenure, Dr. Rice has defended the use of torture and has not publicly distanced herself from these decisions that violated both US and international law and resulted in severe violations of human rights.

Dr. Rice also supported the Administration’s policy of rendition, whereby individuals were abducted and delivered by US authorities to “black sites” in third countries such as Egypt and Syria, countries that were known to subject prisoners to torture. This practice violated due process, since these individuals were detained without being given the opportunity to defend themselves. They were effectively found guilty without trial. And they were tortured. Since some detainees died while in custody, this practice was, in many circumstances, tantamount to authorizing extrajudicial execution.

University President Eric Kaler has said said that free-speech issues dictate that the speech must go on.

The letter and faculty members’ signatures can be seen here.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (48)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/15/2014 - 05:10 pm.

    Is anyone surprised?

    Ah, the intellectual freedom that is today’s college campus.

    What’s the matter boys, afraid you might learn something from a black woman?

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/15/2014 - 05:20 pm.

    Kaler obviously hs no idea

    what free speech refers to.
    As more knowledgeable members of his faculty pointed out, the issue is not whether she has a right to make whatever statements she wishes to (within legally established limits); it is whether she is an appropriate speaker for that particular forum.

    And $150,000 is hardly free.

  3. Submitted by Peter Swanson on 04/15/2014 - 07:15 pm.

    Off Topic

    Of course these professors are not seeking to silence Dr. Rice. They took the step of creating a petition to ensure that the Carlson Distinguished Lecture Series would not stray off topic. Good for them.

    Good for them for keeping tradition. In the 1980s, among the liberal speakers, conservatives like Amb. Jeane Kirkpatrick and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush were heckled throughout their speeches on campus. No doubt they similarly failed to match that year’s topic for the Carlson Distinguished Lecture Series.

  4. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/15/2014 - 08:45 pm.

    Faux outrage on the right

    I’ve said from the beginning of this pathetic situation that Dr. Rice should be allowed to speak.

    The right wing is currently having a field day on twitter because of this petition. The petition makes clear that it is not advocating that Dr. Rice be “disinvited” or whatever ugly term one wishes to use.

    So the right’s position is that these crazy liberal profs are trying to stifle Dr. Rice’s freedom of speech.

    Not so and they know it.

    What they resent the most is that people are pointing out the undeniable connection of Dr. Rice to torture and the denial of civil rights of what were effectively prisoners of war. The faculty also points out the sleight of hand being used to invite Dr. Rice as some sort of civil rights expert.

    The mistake was to invite Dr. Rice in the first place. Now that the deed has been done, at a university there is no alternative but to let her speak. Just ask the folks at Brandeis.

    You can’t whine that Dr. Rice’s speech is being stifled and then turn around and tell the faculty to shut up. Not unless you are of a certain political persuasion.

    Case closed.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2014 - 09:56 am.

      Not really….

      I think you’re giving right wing twitter too much credit… they’re just playing debate and they’re being too clever by half.

  5. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/15/2014 - 08:45 pm.

    It is hard to believe that

    The first black woman to this
    The first black woman to that
    The first woman to this
    The first conservative black woman that
    Could possibly know anything about civil rights.

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/15/2014 - 09:09 pm.

    Is it freedom of speech when you will only speak when paid?

  7. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/16/2014 - 06:05 am.

    Forums

    What I thought was interesting was that the U was selling the prestige of a University appearance to “private sources”.

  8. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/16/2014 - 07:51 am.

    Should we consider someone a civil rights advocate when…

    …they do not respect basic human rights ??

    • Submitted by Rod Loper on 04/16/2014 - 08:30 am.

      Careful.

      This is Bush’s national security chief speaking, not Rosa Parks, folks. The topic is civil rights and the fee is an outrage.

      • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/16/2014 - 09:11 am.

        It is clear Ms. Rice subordinated human rights…

        …to the power of the state in her policies and actions while on the job for Bush.

        In light of this, what could Ms. Rice teach us about civil rights ??

        • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 04/16/2014 - 10:47 am.

          She could teach you

          what it was like to grow up black in Birmingham, Alabama during the 1950s. But I suppose you know more about that than she would.

          • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/16/2014 - 12:32 pm.

            Here you go, Mr. Tester

            Do a little reading, please

            Condi Rice’s Disdain for the Civil Rights Movement
            The Black Commentator
            link http://ow.ly/vRqCl

            “Mr. Robinson wrote that the parents of Ms. Rice did their best to shelter their only daughter from Jim Crow racism. The truth is they did a helluva lot more than shelter Ms. Rice. They misled her about the justice of the civil rights movement, misled her about the courage of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, misled her about the greatness of Rev. Martin King and misled her about all the dedicated people risking their lives in the streets and jails in Birmingham. Ms. Rice and most upper middle class blacks in Birmingham were misled in the 1960s about the black struggle and they were taught that the civil rights movement represented what black folks should not do.”

            “Ms. Rice’s father, a prominent pastor in Birmingham, looked down on Shuttlesworth and his small working class congregation, and publicly called them “uneducated, misguided Negroes.” But, in 2005, a life-size statute of Shuttlesworth stands majestically for all the ages in front of the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum. Rev. Rice’s monument is his daughter’s high position in a Republican administration that has 2% support in black America. That is poetic justice personified. ”

            • Submitted by Samuel Kent on 04/17/2014 - 06:40 am.

              Rice is very qualified to address the Civil Rights Movement

              This insistence by white liberals and those of the mindset representing The Black Commentator that blacks are not to be treated as normal, capable members of society has got to go. It is a despicable form of racism and yes, it keeps blacks on the liberal plantation. Condoleezza Rice obviously grew up in a normal, happy, healthy and loving home. White liberals want blacks to be chained to history; they and too many blacks engage in the constant drumbeat of bad memories and events that no sane mind and informed individual would ever condone. Those who continue to immerse themselves in the past will never have a future, and they deny those like Rice, who might be raised in an environment of self-confidence and love, that same healthy future. Slavery was always a by-product of war and human aggression. It was standard practice among Native Americans. Slavery extends back through history among all cultures be it Greek, Roman, or Sumerian and the victims were white, black, and oriental. The only way to counter the drumbeat of this white liberal sickness and black self-indulgence is to spread the behavior of treating others with kindness, friendliness and love. And I truly think that those who actually suffered the indignities of slavery would agree. Think about it!

              • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/17/2014 - 07:52 am.

                Samuel Kent-

                “This insistence by white liberals and those of the mindset representing The Black Commentator that blacks are not to be treated as normal, capable members of society has got to go.”

                This is a deliberate distortion of what I have written.

                It is pretty obvious.

                To pretend that “white liberals” and only a few misguided blacks believe that there are numerous problems with inviting a speaker who has advocated/allowed torture to speak as an expert on the civil rights is preposterous.

                If you don’t like “The Black Commentator” then please read the open letter to Dr. Rice by Samuel L. Meyers, Jr. of the Humphrey Center who is more than qualified to speak on such matters;

                “I believe that it demeans you, as a distinguished academic, and others who have worked as hard as you have to suggest, as some of the organizers of this event do, that it is appropriate to link your engagement to the larger theme of the year-long celebration of the Civil Rights Act. The argument is that you are black and a woman and that even though you have expressed opposing views long held by the mainstream supporters of equal opportunity and fairness, and you are not an academic expert on the topic, your visit should be supported because, well, you are black and a woman! You should be offended.”

                An open letter to Condoleezza Rice
                FRIDAY, 11 APRIL 2014 11:53 SAMUEL L. MYERS, JR., ROY WILKINS PROFESSOR OF HUMAN RELATIONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE • HUBERT H. HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS • UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

                link: http://ow.ly/vT6rr

              • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/17/2014 - 10:41 am.

                Civil Rights or Torture: pick one, you can’t advocate both.

                Ms. Rice holds human rights in contempt by virtue of condoning and promoting torture and thereby does not have a credible voice in the subordinate matter of civil rights.

                Do you understand that without human rights, there are no civil rights ? It is not possible to be an advocate of both torture and civil rights. Pick one. Together, they make no sense.

                And by the way, your suggestion of spreading “kindness, friendliness and love.” is very fine, but it is already diminished by your preceding villifications in “white liberal sickness and black self-indulgence”. You have suggested a cure, but fail to apply it yourself.

  9. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/16/2014 - 08:41 am.

    Speaking fees

    The payment of high speaking fees to politicians is always suspect.

  10. Submitted by mark wallek on 04/16/2014 - 09:07 am.

    Go all the way

    If Rice is thought to deserve a place on this panel, then you might as well invite Dick Cheney as well to make a real joke out of the proceedings.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2014 - 09:59 am.

    And let’s not forget the domestic front…

    We had thousands of US citizens temporarily detained and spied on, and thousands immigrants deported, and the concept of racial profiling was taken to whole new level.

  12. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/16/2014 - 11:32 am.

    Civil Rights?

    (quote)

    “This is not about politics. This is not about facilitating an educational discussion via controversial speakers. This IS about criminality and whether our country is willing to follow the rule of law or make exceptions for past (or in fact, future) leaders’ actions.

    “Despite efforts to keep the facts secret, enough truth has come out to establish that beginning in 2002, Rice convened dozens of top secret meetings of the National Security Council’s ‘Principals Committee’ (whose members also included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet and John Ashcroft). The ‘Principals’ planned and approved the use of various tortures, even choreographing some, to include near drowning (waterboarding), sleep deprivation, physical assault, subjection to extremely cold temperatures to cause hypothermia and use of stress positions.

    “At one point Attorney General Ashcroft even questioned the group, ‘Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly.’

    “It was Rice herself who personally conveyed this White House group’s order to the CIA to commence waterboarding of prisoners, telling the CIA: ‘Go do it. It’s your baby’ in July of 2002, even before [Bush administration] lawyer John Yoo was tasked with writing his famously faulty ‘torture memo’ to ‘legalize’ what they were doing. The torture memos were an attempt to provide what a later Department of Justice lawyer would label a ‘golden shield’ from future criminal accountability for everyone involved. Other lawyers aptly describe Yoo’s memos as a kind of ‘get out of jail free’ card.

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/03/misguided-honor-for-condi-rice/

    (end quote)

  13. Submitted by frank watson on 04/16/2014 - 11:34 am.

    I can’t remember

    I’m unable to recall what then Senator Hillary Clinton and John Kerry votes were on using force in Iraq? If you’re going to hold Rice accountable for her actions what about our fine leaders who authorized this in the first place. I know, its Bush’s fault.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/16/2014 - 12:49 pm.

      I think you’ve missed the point that the problem with Dr Rice

      is her authorization of waterboarding that is considered torture under international law.

      To wit:

      “A video meant to be presented at yesterday’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum featured Condoleezza Rice defending the decision to torture detainees. The clip was obtained by Foreign Policy and is featured below.

      This should come as no surprise: many of the senior officials involved in the decision to torture have been vocal advocates of torture since leaving office. In addition to serving as secretary of state and national security advisor, Rice chaired the National Security Council when the CIA asked the council to approve the use of specific interrogation techniques on specific detainees. The council, as we know, said yes.

      What comes as a bit of a shock, perhaps, is how candid Rice is about the role of President Bush himself in authorizing torture. We already know from his autobiography that he took pride in his decision to authorize waterboarding. Now Rice has confirmed that President Bush himself was involved in vetting the CIA’s request for approval to torture.”

      link: http://ow.ly/vRtIZ

      MARK COLVIN: There’s no question that in international law waterboarding is torture?

      JUAN MENDEZ: I don’t think there is any question, any serious question. I mean it’s a question of severity. If you think that waterboarding is not severe mistreatment you don’t really know what waterboarding is.

      link: http://ow.ly/vRu6r

  14. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/16/2014 - 02:27 pm.

    I’m unable to recall what then Senator Hillary Clinton and John Kerry votes were on using force in Iraq?

    As I recall both of them voted for war in Iraq, which is obviously a problem for Mrs Clinton going forward. Giving Hillary a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to speak at the U is an even worse idea than giving the money to Ms. Rice.

  15. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/16/2014 - 02:30 pm.

    Welcome Dr. Rice

    It is humorous seeing these highly subsidized,” tolerant, open minded, intellectual” professors squeal at the thought of a dissenting voice.

    The only thing better would be for C. Rice to announce that she will be donating 10% of her fees to pro-life causes.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 04/16/2014 - 03:22 pm.

      Don’t hold your breath

      Rice supports the basic libertarian idea that it is up to a woman to decide whether to have an abortion, and she is against getting the government involved.

      On the Isssues – Condoleeza Rice on Abortion
      link: http://ow.ly/vRPxQ

      • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/16/2014 - 08:26 pm.

        Also….

        “she opposes late-term abortions and Medicaid payments for abortion and wants parental notification and consent where a minor is involved”

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2014 - 03:35 pm.

      The better thing

      Because nothing is more conducive to discourse in a democracy than getting other people mad, right? Politics as a cage match is exactly what the Founders had in mind.

  16. Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/16/2014 - 06:50 pm.

    Would our sitting President be Welcome to Speak?

    If so, why?

    From the Huffington Post,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-engelhardt/obama-drone-strikes_b_4802488.html

    An excerpt:

    Now, top officials connected to the White House proudly leak details about their ongoing efforts to use drones to assassinate obscure suspected terrorists in the backlands of the planet. They take pride in comparing their activities to a religious calling. They want the public to know that they and the president spend significant time and effort on such “targeted killings.” The most recent case to see the light of day is the prospective assassination of an American citizen and suspected “al-Qaeda facilitator,” evidently in the tribal borderlands of Pakistan. When it comes to this possible future assassination, they seem eager to emphasize via leaks the care they are taking in preparing the way.”

    While referred to as “targeted strikes”, civilians, including children, die too. The counts vary, but they are considerable.

    • Submitted by jason myron on 04/16/2014 - 11:32 pm.

      If Bush

      had current drone technology back in the day, you people would be waving flags and keeping score. The reality is, you couldn’t give a rip about the people getting killed, just that it isn’t your guy pulling the trigger.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/17/2014 - 10:06 am.

        Unfamiliar with drone technology?

        “you people”? To whom are you talking?

        President Bush certainly used drones, but on a far smaller scale than President Obama. It seems the people that “give a rip about the people getting killed” don’t care that there President is on a killing spree, and that some of those killed are U.S. citizens. If you care, take this opportunity to speak out.

        Now, there is a bipartisan effort to force some transparency and accountability on the President’s civil rights atrocities.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/02/drone-transparency_n_5079508.html

        • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/17/2014 - 11:00 am.

          Our President, when speaking of civil rights on the one hand,…

          …and on the other, drones and torture, must speak out of BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH. It is necessary.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/17/2014 - 11:26 am.

            Then too it is necessary …

            Then too it is necessary to petition against the President once his term is completed and he comes to town to speak. And, don’t forget to rail against his speaking fee.

            Otherwise it is just too easy to see through the cheese-cloth veneered political agenda, the one so popular at the U of M.

            • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/17/2014 - 09:15 pm.

              President Obama may well find he is dogged by protesters…

              …when he is out of the White House and out making money on speaking tours (like Ms. Rice).

              He has plenty to answer for, surely even more than Ms. Rice. I don’t agree with the folks here who’ve commented in the vein that first, we must hold the right-wingers to account for destruction of civil liberties, and only then ponder the crimes of those who are of the left and center. They should ALL be held to account, no matter their political party, race, or creed.

              Is it any better for the public if Obama strips us of the right of privacy, compared with if Bush or Cheney did so ? Is Obama less culpable ? What’s the difference when in either case, your privacy is shot ?

              These “leaders” all drink the security state’s Kool Aid and are never the same afterwards. It has nothing to do with political persuasion.

        • Submitted by jason myron on 04/17/2014 - 02:33 pm.

          I’m talking to you.

          Bush did use drones and would have used them even more had today’s technological advancements to the program existed in the mid 2000’s. As I stated quite clearly, the right didn’t care about the body count until a democratic president was pulling the trigger. Spare me your sudden sense of morality and empathy for people that prior to 2009, you and your ilk considered the enemy. Obama is using the same legal justification that Bush signed of on after 9/11.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/17/2014 - 03:25 pm.

            So, I am a people? Something to add to my resume’.

            It is your ilk that is selectively protesting speakers at the U of M, arbitrarily deciding who is and who is not a civil rights violator. I made no statements of empathy nor morality, so spare me your assumptions.

            Military drones have been around; they are nothing new. Drones flew missions in the first Gulf War (1991). Bush had them, yet showed some restraint in their use. That is what he did; you are speculating what he would have done had he only had something that he had at his disposal.

            President Obama has used drones to kill about 2400 in the past five years. Here is a chilling excerpt of the justification of human right violations, reported by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

            “In April 2013 a leaked Department of Justice memo outlined the administration’s legal justification for such killings: the US has the right to kill US citizens if they pose an imminent threat, it said. It added that determining a citizen poses an imminent threat ‘does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future’. Jameel Jaffer of the American Civil Liberties Union described the memo as a ‘chilling document’.”

            http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2014/01/23/more-than-2400-dead-as-obamas-drone-campaign-marks-five-years/

            • Submitted by jason myron on 04/17/2014 - 04:17 pm.

              I dont have to assume

              you’ve made your hypocrisy stand out quite clearly. Your sudden devotion to “human rights violations” is amusing when you stood silent as the previous administration got us into two unjustified wars costing the lives of thousands of America’s finest and hundreds of thousands in civilian casualties, not to mention destabilizing the region and costing us trillions. Mission accomplished! You want to bring Obama up on war crimes?…Right after Bush,Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/17/2014 - 04:51 pm.

                Devotion?

                Quote me where I accused anyone of human rights violations. And where I mentioned war crimes? Your fabrications.

                I am totally down with President Obama and Condoleeza Rice being included in a civil rights lecture series. Voices from the Left, lacking the self awareness that their house is glass, take up stones.

                You may have seen a journalist being water boarded to experience what it is like, and to report about it. To date, no journalist has volunteered to be the object of a targeted drone strike. Following that experiment, no firsthand account would be available.

                Offered the choice, which would be your’s?

  17. Submitted by Tom Bergerson on 04/17/2014 - 10:18 am.

    Condoleeza Rice

    So if Mr. Obama comes to the U MN to speak, will this same group write a letter suggesting his arrest for using drones to kill American Citizens abroad? No? I thought not.

    The right answer to speech you do not like is more speech. The wrong answer to speech you do not like is not to prevent speech. Else the intolerant cannot expect tolerance when it is their view on trial.

    • Submitted by chuck turchick on 04/22/2014 - 03:08 pm.

      It’s not her views; it’s her conduct

      For me, this has absolutely nothing to do with free speech. When someone against whom there is credible evidence of war crimes is invited to campus, welcomed and honored by having the school’s president and chair of the Board of Regents sit on the stage for her talk, and given immunity by a complicit Obama administration, we all ought to be asking questions. Would it have been okay to have invited Augusto Pinochet to deliver a Distinguished Carlson Lecture? He was never convicted of a crime. How about Omar al-Bashir or Joseph Kony? Their views aside, it’s their conduct that is the issue.

    • Submitted by chuck turchick on 04/22/2014 - 03:11 pm.

      Protesting against President Obama

      And yes, I have protested against President Obama when he spoke at the University of Minnesota during the last election campaign and again when he spoke to a closed gathering at a downtown Minneapolis restaurant.

  18. Submitted by Joe Fleming on 04/17/2014 - 11:27 am.

    Appalling

    I am truly appalled at the racism being exhibited by these students and faculty. It’s troubling that the UofM has produced such closed-minded students. It’s ironic that Ms. Rice will be talking about the bigotry she faced in Alabama, at a university where she will be facing some of the same prejudices. Truly shameful.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2014 - 10:35 am.

      What bigotry?

      Is Dr. Rice supposed to be given a pass on her human rights violations because she is African American?

      I eagerly await your comparable outrage at the “racism” exhibited by the tea party’s reflexive opposition to anything done by President Obama.

      • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/18/2014 - 10:55 am.

        Yes, if you criticize Dr. Rice, you are a racist.

        That’s his thesis, all right.

        Why ?? Well, in this guy’s world, what other basis for criticism of Dr. Rice could there be, other than she is black ?? Surely it has nothing to do with being an architect of torture policies – who would care about that ??

        If you were to criticize her piano-playing, or her theories on how to improve the NFL (she has said NFL Commissioner would be her dream job), it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you were branded a racist because of those criticisms, too.

        Playing the race card can be habit-forming. You can see it here on MinnPost quite a bit.

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/18/2014 - 11:21 am.

        So, it would follow …

        If the tea party’s reflexive opposition to anything done by President Obama is due to racism, then it would follow that the left’s reflexive opposition to anything done by President Bush must also be due to racism.

        Opposition to President Obama could not be due to his policies, his actions, his lack of promised transparency, his broken promises. Cuz, nonathat happened!

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2014 - 11:41 am.

          So, it would follow . . .

          Opposition to Dr. Rice could not be due to her implementation of outlaw policies, her actions, her lies, her refusal to admit responsibility. Cuz, nonathat happened!

          Incidentally, I never said that the tea party’s reflexive opposition to anything done by President Obama is due to racism. It would be a mistake to rule out mule-headedness, avarice, and stupidity.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/18/2014 - 06:22 pm.

            Actually, you did.

            Your words, “I eagerly await your comparable outrage at the “racism” exhibited by the tea party’s reflexive opposition to anything done by President Obama.”

            Arguably (see comments above), the human right violations of Ms. Rice pale in comparison to those of our sitting President. Yet, no organized protests from the Left when the President visits town. Human rights are clearly second fiddle to politics. Regarding human rights, the cartoon bubble floating over your head, clearly states “blah-blah-blah”.

            Given the choice between being water-boarded or vaporized by a drone which would you prefer?

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/21/2014 - 09:51 am.

              Nope

              Putting “racism” in quotes was meant to show irony. I didn’t think I needed to spell that out.

              “Arguably (see comments above), the human right violations of Ms. Rice pale in comparison to those of our sitting President.” Well, no, they do not. Torture is very clearly against international law (the US ratified the Convention Against Torture in 1994). I do not condone drone strikes (news flash–Republicans are the ones who are required to give unflinching support to their elected brethren. The rest of the citizenry is exempt from that stricture). While the morality of drone strikes is not up for debate, there status as a violation of international law is less clear.

              Someday, I would like to know why drone strikes are worse than aerial bombing from a manned aircraft. That discussion will have to wait until Dr. Kissinger comes to town, I suppose.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/21/2014 - 04:48 pm.

                Sort of like Doctor Evil with ‘The Laser.’”

                If that was irony, I think it does require explanation.

                The issue in not ” unflinching support”, it is passing over larger and current crimes to getting shrill regarding lesser crimes of yesteryear. It is somehow congruent to call out Ms. Rice for civil rights violations, but to cheer the President in spite of his. But, no one can explain the calculus.

                Though you didn’t answer the question, we know your choice.

Leave a Reply