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Should valedictorians play nice?

October 19, 2010

I’m not so sure.

Erin Watson used her valedictory speech to criticize the U of Winnipeg for granting MP Vic Toews an honorary degree. Ms. Watson doesn’t agree with Mr. Toews’ politics and opinions.

When I first saw this on the news, I thought that she was wrong to hijack the grad ceremony to make a political statement.  However, the granting of an honorary degree is often a political statement so a response is not completely out of order.  This is one of those situations which can be interpreted completely differently depending upon one’s own beliefs.

What if the honorary degree had been bestowed upon Ahmadinejad?  She would probably be criticized for not speaking up.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 9:47 pm

    I disagree – If Ahmadinejad received an honorary degree, then few media people would dare to criticize the move. When Canada and Israel are the only two countries out of 200 who would walk out on his speech to the UN, then that would give you the rough idea of what most people would think.

  2. Michele permalink*
    October 19, 2010 10:34 pm

    Sorry. I should have been clearer.

    If the honorary degree were being given to Ahmadinejad, then the people criticizing her now for politicizing her valedictorian speech with a criticism of Toews would expect her to criticize Ahmadinejad. I would be one of those people so I have to accept her right to comment on Toews as well.

    Does that make sense?

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