Students at Michigan State University are up in arms over the school’s invitation of syndicated columnist George Will to be a commencement speaker at the school’s December commencement, reports The College Fix. They’re planning a major commencement protest to object to what they call his “boneheaded” views on sexual assault.
A Facebook page for the protest lists about 600 people who plan to attend next Saturday’s protest at 8 a.m., two hours before the commencement starts. Organizers urge demonstrators to “remind victims of campus sexual assault that MSU’s student body doesn’t hold the backwards and hurtful values that George Will does.”
Sexual assault activists have been especially irate with Will ever since a column he wrote earlier last June which criticized colleges for overreacting to alleged sexual assaults. Most controversially, Will argued that when school’s “make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate,” a remark critics say demeaned the suffering of rape victims while falsely suggesting that many women fabricate rape accusations for attention. Will has stuck to his guns, however, insisting that by favoring criminal prosecutions for accused rapists rather than campus tribunals, he is merely treating sexual assault with the seriousness it deserves as a major felony.
Will’s column has already provoked a furor on other campuses. Two months ago, he was uninvited to an event at Scripps College that was designed to allow students to hear conservative voices. Shortly afterwards, a speech at Miami University drew several dozen protesters, although Will was able to address the crowd without interruption.
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Notably, the College Fix observed that Will’s counterpart at Saturday’s graduation, filmmaker Michael Moore, has aroused no notable opposition. Moore, famous for left-wing documentaries such as Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11, has at times drawn charges of hypocrisy for promoting blue-collar politics while using non-union film crews and living an opulent lifestyle on a $50 million fortune.
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