Following the controversy over convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal being chosen to give the commencement speech at Goddard College, Megyn Kelly hosted a representative from the small Vermont college, as well as the widow of the officer killed by Abu-Jamal, on Tuesday’s edition of The Kelly File.
Abu-Jamal was convicted for the 1981 shooting death of Officer Daniel Faulkner. Faulkner’s widow Maureen tells Kelly she is “absolutely outraged that they would have such a hate-filled murderer on as a commencement speaker.”
When Kelly calls on Goddard College representative Dustin Byerly to explain the college allowing Abu-Jamal to give the commencement address, Byerly claims that the school’s students chose Abu-Jamal as a speaker and that the school advocates a complicated dialogue.
Kelly continues questioning Byerly, asking for a reason why the college feels it is appropriate for the convicted cop killer to speak at the college’s commencement ceremony. Byerly suggests Abu-Jamal’s speech is an opportunity for a discussion on race relations, alluding to the recent controversy at Ferguson.
Kelly delivered a passionate response to the college representative, which is shown further ahead in the video:
It’s not about race relations, it’s about cop killing, and whether that man who was sentenced — he was sentenced to death, he got off death row on a technicality, now he is serving a life imprisonment, has the right to have this sort of a pulpit to talk about revolution — this is what he said in another speech he gave recently — and talk about how he believes yet again that the police — let me get it — white juries are still sending blacks to prison and cops are still treating black life as a cheap commodity. He is the one who treated life as a cheap commodity. He is.
Conservatives have long been concerned with the threat of liberal indoctrination in higher education. But the kind of radicalism practiced by this college is worrying not necessarily for its ideology, but for its utter lack of humanity.
The way many colleges teach that the “system” is responsible for all evil and inhumanity, rather than the choices that individuals make, is what eventually transforms flesh-and-blood human beings into automatic “oppressors” and “symbols” of the system in the minds of intellectually vulnerable students. This type of dehumanization leads to hatred and radicalization, even eventually encouraging some people to perpetrate crimes and atrocities.
As Kelly notes, no one is questioning the college’s right to choose who speaks at the commencement ceremony. The question is why would the college host a commencement speaker — normally a position of honor — who brutally took the life of another person and caused so much pain to others?
When Kelly incredulously asks “Why?”, she’s really asking, “Aren’t you human?” This goes beyond politics, beyond ideology, and into matters of decency, civility, humanity, and compassion.