BY: DANIEL PETERSON
However knowledgeable you might be, there is one important thing in democratic society that you shouldn’t ignore. “The majority have it.”
If you want to prove this, ask Senator John Cornyn.
A Houston-based university decided to cancel an upcoming commencement speech, by R-Texas’s Sen. John Cornyn, just some days after protesters booed the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos—at another graduation in a historically black university.
Over 800 people had signed a petition to protest the decision by Texas Southern University to invite Cornyn, (the Senate’s second-ranking Republican), to speak at its forthcoming commencement ceremony. But the University realized this in time and the ‘Houston Chronicle’ reported that the speech was officially off.
“Every consideration is made to make sure that the graduation day of our student is a celebratory event and one that they’ll positively remember for years to come,” read the university’s statement posted on their Facebook page. “We asked Sen. Cornyn to instead visit our students again at a future date so as to keep the attention on graduates and their families.”
The ‘Houston Chronicle’ reported that the senator “respected the Administration’s decision and he looks forward to continuing engaging the University in the future.”
The online petition was initiated by a student named, Rebecca Trevino, who later wrote that having Cornyn speak at Texas Southern University would be insulting all historically black universities and colleges. The petition notes Cornyn’s support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions and DeVos, his opposition to sanctuary cities, his vote in favor of voter ID laws, and his unfavorable stand against the lawyer—after whom TSU’s law school was named.
“This’s our graduation,” Trevino wrote adding. “We’ve got the right to decide if we want to sit and listen or refuse to listen to the words of a politician who uses his political power in ways which continually harm the oppressed and marginalized people.”
A petition of similar kind followed the announcement by Bethune-Cookman University’s that DeVos, who made controversial comments about HBCUs, would be their commencement keynote speaker. The Protesters say that they gathered 50,000 signatures to prevent the speech at the school, in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Eventually, DeVos managed to give the keynote address, but students in the audience repeatedly interrupted and turned their backs on her—with loud booing.
TSU didn’t immediately respond to the question about whether its decision to cancel Cornyn’s speech was influenced by DeVos’ reception at Bethune-Cookman.
U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green, both Texas Democrats—will give presentations at the TSU’s commencement, according to TSU’s calendar.
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