Activists protest U of M speech by Condoleezza Rice, who defends war on terror

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was welcomed by a crowd of about 2,700 people in a packed auditorium at the University of Minnesota Thursday as about 200 paraded outside in protest of her appearance.

Rice spoke for about 45 minutes about her life, her childhood in segregated Birmingham, Ala., and about how education was key to escaping poverty, the Star Tribune reports.

Her speech was part of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series called “Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice.” The series comes on the 50th anniversary year of the American Civil Rights Act.

The Star Tribune reports that Rice, now a professor at Stanford University, also referenced controversy related to “things we were involved in. I understand that." She also noted: “We kept the nation safe,” the newspaper reported.

About 200 faculty had signed a petition objecting to Rice's appearance, citing her involvement in the wartime presidency of George W. Bush, and the fact that she was speaking about human rights.

The petition says, "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."

A few protesters wore orange jumpsuits and black sacks over their heads in a reference to Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Minnesota Daily, the student newspaper, reported. Minnesota Daily said the protesters numbered 200; FOX 9 called it "more than 100."

Protester Cathy Murphy of St. Louis Park told KSTP, "I just think that giving this kind of platform with someone who has her background and trying to justify torture and what we did in the Middle East is not something the University should do." KSTP has a slideshow of the protest.

University officials had noted that Rice was one of the 20 or so speakers who would offer a perspective on civil rights as part of the series.

Canceling Rice's speech would have been inconsistent with the university’s goal of promoting dialogue, Andrea Cournoyer, a spokeswoman for the Humphrey School, had told the Star Tribune.

Rice received $150,000 for the appearance, which also included reception and a meeting with students. U of M officials have said the fee was paid by private donor funds.

Next Up

Chris Hovan

Charges: Ex-Viking Chris Hovan drove drunk with child in the vehicle

His blood-alcohol concentration was more than three times the legal limit, charges say.

Gov. Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz to address Minnesotans about COVID-19 on Friday

The number of COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities have been increasing after outbreaks at the facilities slowed 'significantly' over the summer.

124906958_401361401236047_6293747214536025849_o

Pandemic pushes need for cybersecurity and I.T. professionals to forefront

University of Wisconsin-Superior is helping meet demand with online master’s programs

Screen Shot 2020-12-03 at 5.01.58 PM

Body found floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

Efforts to identify the deceased are underway.

Hennepin County Government Center

Judge finds suspect guilty in 1991 murder of young Minneapolis woman

A 58-year-old man from South St. Paul, who was 29 at the time, has been found guilty of stabbing a 20-year-old woman

northfield community education center

Northfield school fires employee who allegedly gave melatonin to infant

It's against district policies to give a child anything without a parents' permission.

state hockey tournament, mshsl

MSHSL approves 3 calendars to start winter sports as soon as Dec. 21

The start date will depend on whether the state shutdown is lifted.

hydrocodon-DEA

Drug overdose deaths up 31% in the first half of 2020

Overdose deaths started to increase sharply in March, which coincides with the state-ordered lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.

los ocampos

Video: Vehicle crashes into St. Paul restaurant

The fire department is on scene addressing a gas leak.

covid-19, coronavirus

Latest county infection rates are sky-high throughout Minnesota

Kandiyohi County is one of the hardest hit counties in the state.

Related