On Rob Portman and the 2011 Michigan Law School Commencement Protest

Turtle Talk usually looks forward only, but on a few rare occasions we look back into the archives to dig up interesting tidbits. Recall the post we did in 2011 on the silent protest from one-third of the Michigan Law School Class of 2011 of the law school’s selection of Rob Portman as the commencement speaker (60 percent of the graduating class wore rainbow buttons). Many of my spring 2011 Federal Indian Law students organized and took part in the protest. A proud moment, in my view.

An excerpt from the news report:

A small group of the seniors had an audience with the senator on Saturday morning, but in the end, the walkout still went down and it was even bigger than Andrew Selbst, unoffical spokesman for the protesting seniors, had hoped. His conservative estimate was that about 40 students would walk out, but more than 100 students joined him in the lobby while Portman spoke. About 60 percent of the graduates wore rainbow buttons or ribbons on their gowns or rainbow tassels on their caps.

This was a silent protest. The University was prepared for a loud protest. Just inside Hill Auditorium, seconds after guests were handed the pamphlet and the rainbow ribbon, they were handed the official program, which contained a baby blue insert addressing the protest.

Said Selbst, among 100 of his fellow graduates in the hallway during Portman’s speech: “I think we made our point.”

Now that Portman has changed his views, I find this protest even more inspiring, and prescient.

Of course, SBM blog, in its continuing efforts at snidely sarcasm, finds the whole thing worthy of mockery. Who are those people?

This entry was posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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