Saturday, May 20, 2006

Today in People Behaving Badly

Not that anyone wasn't expecting this to happen....

Graduates at New School Heckle Speech by McCain

The jeers, boos and insults flew, as caustic as any that angry New Yorkers have hurled inside Madison Square Garden. The objects of derision yesterday, however, were not the hapless New York Knicks, but Senator John McCain, the keynote speaker at the New School graduation, and his host, Bob Kerrey, the university president.

No sooner had Mr. Kerrey welcomed the audience to the university's 70th commencement than the hoots began to rise through the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Several graduates held up a banner aimed at Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican and likely 2008 presidential candidate, declaring: "Our commencement is not your platform." Other students and faculty members waved orange fliers with the same message.

As Mr. McCain came to the lectern, dozens of students and professors stood and turned their backs on him. Many waved their fliers.

At another point, someone yelled, "We're graduating, not voting!"

The heckling continued when Mr. Kerrey returned to the lectern, with one audience member shouting, "You're a war criminal!"

Mr. Kerrey, on stage, had accused the protesters of "heckling from the audience where no bravery is required."

But one graduate, Aisha Nga, 22, of Atlanta, said protesters were not hiding in the crowd. "Bob Kerrey said we weren't very brave, but I think a lot of people who were booing would say it to his face," she said after the ceremony. Like many of her classmates, she wore an orange armband to protest Mr. McCain's presence. In an interview later, Mr. Kerrey praised students for showing restraint. "They could have done all sorts of things under the umbrella of guerilla politics to destroy the event, and they didn't," he said.

full article

Apparently those that took the time to read Senator McCain's speech beforehand skipped over this part:

"Americans deserve more than tolerance from one another, we deserve each other’s respect, whether we think each other right or wrong in our views, as long as our character and our sincerity merit respect, and as long as we share, for all our differences, for all the noisy debates that enliven our politics, a mutual devotion to the sublime idea that this nation was conceived in – that freedom is the inalienable right of mankind, and in accord with the laws of nature and nature’s Creator."

Which is a pity, because its apparently a lesson they didn't learn before graduating.