We mostly heard about Rohe's bravery from Rohe -- and, really, who is in a better position to judge? As Rohe herself put it: "If there's one thing that I know about myself, it is that I care for people, and in that sense I have a great deal of character."
According to her posted biography, Rohe "grew up singing and performing folk music with her family. Jean spent a year at Smith College followed by a summer at the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba on scholarship where she honed her Spanish skills, learned about Cuban history, culture and politics, and made some of her dearest friends" -- mostly while waiting in line for hours and hours each day to get toilet paper.
In other words, Rohe is just a typical all-American girl, right down to a stint in Castro's Cuba.
In an unintentionally ironic article about her brave decision to attack the commencement speaker, Rohe describes going around campus the day before her speech and discovering how overwhelmingly popular it would be to attack McCain. At two graduation ceremonies a day earlier, attacks on McCain brought wild cheers from the audience.
See, where I come from, sucking up to the audience is not called "courageous." It's called "toadying."
Every place Rohe went that day she ran into students and faculty fashioning armbands and preparing their protests. As she said: "The situation seemed pretty serious."
Literally every person Rohe talked to the day before the ceremony opposed the war in Iraq and hated McCain with blind fury. Her mother -- the one who tortured the children by making them sing folk songs -- wept when Rohe read her illiterate speech over the phone.
Rohe's resolve to tell the audience what it wanted to hear, guaranteeing wild standing ovations for herself, was only hardened when she was told there would be media at the event.
While some might say it was gutless to suck up to the audience by insulting an invited guest, they didn't understand the incredible risks Rohe was taking by attacking a Republican at the New School: You'll be a pariah in the West Village! You'll never sing in a jazz club on the Lower East Side again! And don't even think about setting foot on the Upper West Side!
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