Twitter users pointed out Ivanka Trumpâ€™s rank hypocrisy when it comes to free speech after she railed against being removed as a main speaker at WSU Tech in Kansasâ€™ virtual commencement on Saturday.
â€œOur nationâ€™s campuses should be bastions of free speech,â€ tweeted President Donald Trumpâ€™s daughter and adviser on Friday.
â€œCancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia,â€ she added. â€œListening to one another is important now more than ever.â€
Critics, however, reminded Trump of her fatherâ€™s violent and divisive rhetoric about anti-racism demonstrators who are protesting nationwide.
Many noted her reported involvement when federal authorities on Monday used tear gas to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House so that the president could pose with a Bible in front of St. Johnâ€™s Church:
WSU Tech drew backlash from students and faculty members on Thursday after announcing it would broadcast a pre-recorded message from Ivanka Trump during its commencement, being held online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
An open letter condemning her involvementÂ in the ceremony garnered almost 500 signatures. â€œIvanka Trump, obviously, represents her fatherâ€™s administration as one of his closest advisors,â€ it read. â€œTo many Americans, that administration has come to signify the worst of our country, particularly in its recent actions toward those peacefully protesting against racist police brutality.â€
Wichita State University and WSU Tech jointly announced late Thursday that the WSU Tech commencement plans had been â€œrefocused more centrally on students.â€ Instead, a â€œpractical nursing graduate, will now be the only commencement speaker during the ceremony.â€
Dr. Sheree Utash, the president of WSU Tech, explained in a separate statement howÂ the invitation to Ivanka Trump has been â€œextended in Februaryâ€ to â€œrecord a congratulatory message to graduates to be played during our event.â€
â€œIn light of the social justice issues brought forth by George Floydâ€™s death, I understand and take responsibility that the time of the announcement was insensitive,â€ said Utash. â€œFor this, Iâ€™m sorry that was never the intent and I want you to know I have heard you and we are responding.â€
â€œOur graduates will also be invited to separately view congratulatory messages from over 30 voices, including Ms. Trump and community members,â€ Utash added.
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