What Would George Mason Say About GMU Protest?

by Kerry Dougherty

We’re about to enter graduation season and you know what that means.

Protests will break out at any college that dares to invite a conservative speaker. Not that many do. It’s become an annual rite of spring.

Invite a speaker who’s wrapped in a rainbow flag, insists that women can have penises, and who’s a climate disciple and you’re good. But invite someone who wants to talk about patriotism, free markets and traditional American values and you’re asking for trouble.

If you think woke nuts only inhabit California universities and the Ivies, think again. Triggered students at George Mason University in Fairfax recently objected to the presence of Gov. Glenn Youngkin at graduation on May 18. They launched a petition drive to keep the governor off the campus.

Yep, snotty kids who attend a state school, underwritten in part by Virginia taxpayers, want to stick their fingers in their ears rather than hear what the governor has to say.

How enlightened.

To be fair, it was only about 7,000 of the 36,000-member student body who developed a case of the vapors at the thought of listening to a 20-minute speech by someone who doesn’t share their radical agenda.

Kudos to the president of GMU, Greg Washington, who stood by the commencement invitation in a statement to the students:

As president of the largest and most diverse public university in our state, I support those students who are making their voices heard, and I applaud their courage and commitment to advocate for themselves and their communities.

That being said, I don’t believe that we should silence the voices of those with whom we disagree, especially in this forum where there is no imminent threat present as a result of the disagreements.

Mason has a long tradition of supporting free speech. That support extends to each person who gives a commencement speech. And no speaker can take away from our diversity. At Mason, diversity is about more than just looking different, it’s about believing differently, thinking differently, expressing differently, and having the environment in which to do so. At Mason, that environment extends to every student, staff and faculty member. It also extends to Governors.

Gosh, an academic who truly believes diversity extends to diversity of thought. Imagine that!

Most others see commencement as a last chance to douse the grads with their far-left agenda. Few schools invite conservative speakers. A 2022 survey of commencement speakers by Young America’s Foundation found that only three conservatives were invited to speak at the top 100 colleges and universities.

The trio included Youngkin, who spoke at Virginia Tech; Tim Tebow, who gave the address at his alma mater, the University of Florida; and Greek president Kyriakos Mitsotakis who spoke at Boston University.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Van Jones, Nancy Pelosi, Samantha Power and even Taylor Swift, who reportedly urged New York University grads to “embrace the cringe,” received warm receptions from the little lefties at a variety of schools.

It might be nice if every student at GMU was forced to study the philosophy of the namesake of their institution before being granted degrees. After all, George Mason is the Founder credited with the Bill of Rights, which enshrines the principle of free speech.

Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.