To give its commencement address, Texas Southern University invited Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and two other Democratic lawmakers. However, the college wasted no time in disinviting Cornyn after liberals launched a petition on change.org.
According to Campus Reform, TSU, which is a historically black college, canceled Senator Cornyn’s invitation following a protest by liberals who opposed Cornyn’s scheduled speech. What’s noteworthy is that the petition did not take any issues up with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) being invited to deliver speeches at the event.
“We are voicing our stark opposition to the decision of having Senator John Cornyn speak at the TSU Commencement on May 13,” the online petition read.
“The decision to host Mr. Cornyn, as a keynote speaker sends the message that the policies and views he has advocated and supported, including both discriminatory policies and politicians, are acceptable by the university and subsequently the student body,” the petition continued.
The petition mentioned quite a few reasons for opposing Cornyn’s appearance at the event. Cornyn voting for Jeff Sessions’ appointment as attorney general and Betsy DeVos’ appointment as secretary of education was among the primary reasons for the opposition.
“These are just a few examples of Cornyn’s support of discriminatory policies and politicians,” the petition read. “Having a politician such as him speak at our institution is an insult to the students, to TSU, and to all [historically black colleges and universities].”
Announcing the cancellation of Cornyn’s invitation, a TSU representative stated that “it was done to ensure that our students and families enjoyed their special day,” the Texas Tribune reported.
“Commencement exercises are special moments for our students, their families and the entire university. Every consideration is made to ensure that our student’s graduation day is a celebratory occasion and one they will remember positively for years to come,” the statement read
Responding to TSU’s decision of not inviting the senator to speak its commencement, Cornyn’s office responded, saying, “Senator Cornyn was honored to be invited to address TSU’s graduates, but he respects the Administration’s decision and looks forward to continuing to engage with the University in the future.”
Both Jackson-Lee and Al Green delivered speeches at the ceremony.