But when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative African-American appointed by a Republican, is chosen to speak at a commencement, there's a good chance that "scholars of conscience" will raise hell about it. That happened in 2008 when Thomas was asked to return to his native Georgia to an even higher ranked national institution, the University of Georgia.
So let's be clear about how this works. An idiot like Snookie can impart "wisdom" to Rutgers students. But when a woman with a Ph.D., who has studied at both Harvard and Stanford, and rose to the position of U.S. Secretary of State, is deemed unworthy of sharing her likely general observations about life to a group of 22-year-olds, the potential speech is met with protest.
This is not only racism but it is truly what I call "the honoring of ignorance."
Sure, I get it. Everyone wants to hear the wisdom of rapper Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs at Howard University's graduation ceremony this year or listen to fashion designer Tory Burch at Babson College's commencement. But Lord help us if a learned woman who served as National Security Advisor and head of our State Department wants to share a thought or two.
Let's be blunt. Accomplished leaders such as Thomas and Rice "somehow" become embroiled in controversies that manage to receive immense publicity from the mainstream media and are never forgotten by the "intellectual" community. Could that be because they are African-Americans who are hit with the vilest of labels -- being so-called "Uncle Toms"? Even though their real sin is to be of a more conservative degree of political philosophy or, "even worse," a past appointee of a Republican president.
The Rutgers debacle is nothing new, and the school should not be singled out for the event. Instead, it serves as a reminder of how our nation's "intellectual elite" often end up paying homage to their own ignorance ... and racism.