"Too Political"

Perennial candidate for IVC's commencement speaker (but one never chosen,) Gustavo Arellano delivered the commencement speech at Long Beach City College yesterday.

During this year's deliberations on the IVC commencement speaker committee, it was said to Rebel Girl that Gustavo, like all of her nominees apparently, is well, a little "too political" to be an appropriate choice as speaker. This came from another faculty member on the committee who later suggested that if Rebel Girl wanted "these kind of people" to come to campus there was money for that and that "these people" could then speak to the denizens of Humanities and Languages where, apparently, they would be appreciated.

Instead the committee forwarded a trio of guys in suits because apparently if you're a guy in a suit, your money transcends your politics. Everyone knows that. Guys in suits don't have politics. Only brown people in guayaberas or hijabs do.

Rebel Girl thinks the implication was that the wider campus community would then be spared the views of "these people."


There's a word for that, several words perhaps, but let's just stick to the story at hand. Gustavo Arellano, too scruffy and political, maybe too brown for IVC, but a perfect fit for Long Beach City.

How could LBCC be so wrong?

Here's what Gustavo had to say to their graduating class of 2012:

Gracias for having me here, Vikings.... 
 Society at large laughs at community colleges, but especially the students. We are the forgotten ones, the ones ridiculed for not having the money or grades or supposed drive to immediately enroll in a four-year university out of high school. Once here, we're derided as part-timers, as forever students stuck in a vortex we'll never get out of because it's just not in our station in life to succeed. We are the Land of Nodding Off, of excuses for missed finals, of teens sharing auditoriums with adults that have a foolish notion of going back to school. But that's not the community college student body I know. 
I know people with various academic backgrounds, and it's those of us who went through the gauntlet of community college that tend to take on life better prepared than others. It's community college that has historically accepted anyone regardless your background, a show of social grace much needed in this country. Community college forces people to become scholars, to grow up quickly, and doesn't look kindly on laggers. You can drop out of a four-year school and survive; if you can't cut it in a community college, then you're going to have a hell of a time with life. 
A pervasive Glennitude
Contrary to popular opinion, community college is not easy at all. Yet the community college student rises to the challenge, again and again--look at all of you! I'd love to know your stories, if only to add to the tales I already know of community college success stories. I know the stories of middle-aged mothers who work full time, take care of a family, and take course after course, year after year, to qualify for a professional license--that was my mother. I know the stories of undocumented college students who scraped by with no federal or state financial aid and under the threat of deportation yet excelled and went on to a university--that was my former radio producer Julio Salgado, who continues to proudly call himself a Viking. I know the stories of regular folks, of old, young, white, black, Latino, Asian, native, queer, straight, a mix of some or all of them, who enrolled in community college and emerged a better person. 
And I know the story of a perennial underachiever, someone who couldn't be convinced to give a damn about high school, who was in danger of becoming a statistic like so many of his peers, whose eyes were forever opened to the glories of the studious life by the community college experience: by the generosity of perpetually stressed counselors and teachers who nevertheless made time for clueless students, by peers who had harder paths than him, yet pushed him to bigger and better things. 
That underachiever was me. I have never forgotten what the community college system gave me--and nor should you. ...
To read his speech (which he obviously wrote himself especially for the occasion) in its entirety, click here

As you can see, the Mexican's rhetoric was incendiary and inappropriate for the audience and the occasion.   Gustavo certainly exploited the opportunity to push his far-left agenda championing the transformative power of a community college education and the sacrifices of the people who work there. Scandalous.


(Photo stolen from Gustavo's Facebook page .  It will be returned once Rebel Girl finds a more suitable one.  You know those Mexicans.  Always stealing things. Can't trust them.)

Gustavo's address begins at about 22:45


Anonymous said…
Silly Rebel Girl! Don't you know that guys in suits with money don't have politics anymore?
Anonymous said…
And the Air Force chaplain didn't have any "politics" either....
Anonymous said…
I'd like to know who said that people like Arellano were not suitable as commencement speakers for IVC.
Anonymous said…
How would they know who or what they're getting? Do they have to submit their draft to the committee? A few years ago we were stuck with that black woman, ya know the highly political one who inserted the the "glorious BHO" into everything she said. A political lose canon.

So he behaved in LB. How would they know about this guy, what if he went off on MECHA or Laraza at our event? Perhaps the demographics between LB and Irvine would prompt different speeches?
Anonymous said…
10:56, so your assumption is that because we don't know what Gustavo or "that black woman" will say in their speech, we therefore should not have them speak at all? And, presumably, because the LBCC student population is not as Caucausian as IVC's, that it makes more sense for him to speak at the former? You illustrate nicely the precise problem RG was pointing towards: xenophobia. The darker the skin, the more unpredictably political the speech. Congratulations! You have all the necessary requirements to serve as an IVC administrator.
Anonymous said…
10:56, you are dumb.

How do we know the conservative white people we ask to speak at commencement won't go off and make us pray? How do we know they won't don a cape and hood? How do we know they won't use the N word?
Anonymous said…
I don't know. You dems started all this labeling of people and programs like affirmative action that grant preferences in admissions, thereby lowering academic standards. You tell me, Einstien.
Anonymous said…
2:00, "You dems"? Who's doing the labeling? This has nothing to do with affirmative action or academic standards. This has to do with your fear of darker-skinned people. You can unlearn such dreadful habits.
Anonymous said…

WHO are you?

IVC has had only ONE female commencement speaker in the last 20 years - Dean Sharon Salinger from UCI, an American female of European descent.
Anonymous said…
I am sure Tom Fuentes had something to do with the directive to not have Arellano as a speaker, don't you think?
Anonymous said…
The committee was under a lot of pressure.
Anonymous said…
Only ONE female commencement speaker in 20 years? There's your scandal.
Anonymous said…
Glen would never do anything to cross Fuentes. Choosing Gustavo would be more than crossing Fuentes. PLUS Glen still has this old idea of what and who OC is - even those what it has become is standing right in front of him everyday. Did he tell people what he wanted? He didn't have to. people do what he wants just like he does what his overlords want. He wants to be Chancellor after Poertner moves on. So.
Anonymous said…
I heard that among the finalists - which either Glen overlooked or was unable to obtain - were the president of Disneyland and the CEO of some video game company. No doubt they couldn't be bothered. No surprise there.

I thought we were trying to choose more local and more, uh, academic speakers. What happened to that?

It had been working well the last few years - what happened? Gustavo would have been great. Soon we will be the only college he has NOT spoken at in OC.
Anonymous said…
I remember a female author speaking one year, many years ago.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Jody Hoy brought Maxine Hong Kingston to campus many years ago, before Rebel Girl's time - say about 25 years ago.

So there's been TWO women in 25 years. Ladies you should just shut up and stop complaining otherwise we'll start calling you names.
Anonymous said…
OK - 2 women in 23 years.

What's your point?

Just because women make up the majority of graduates, why should they have equitable representation?
Anonymous said…
Stop the asinine contrarionism, young fellow.
Anonymous said…
wow - Saddleback had a democrat as a commencement speaker in '89 - John Vasconcellos!

Who sits on the IVC committee and recommends the "prayer" every year? Can we get new people on that committee?
Anonymous said…
Eh women, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
Anonymous said…
Clearly a wonderful address that Arellano gave at Long Beach. God, I'd love to have him speak at our own Commencement at the U. of Redlands.

Only minority politics is "too political;" only unconventional moral stances are "emotional arguments;" only the status quo is "neutral" and "objective." These are deeply pernicious errors even when people sincerely believe them. And, of course, often people *don't* really believe them, in which case they are simply covers for xenophobia or a cowardly avoidance of the unconventional or the authentically critical.

Thanks for keeping the issue alive, RG.

Anonymous said…
2:12 must work for Gustavo. That's all Laraza rhetoric; our supposed "fear of dark skined people."

Thanks for giving us a retro-insight on how Gustavo's speech would have gone at IVC.
Anonymous said…
The thing with Glen is this:

He tries to please his superiors at the expense of his own judgement - he does what they say or even worse, what he IMAGINES they want. he's done this with Fuentes, Raghu and others now Craig even though Craig is beneath him. But he's afraid of Craig.

As a result, few respect him - whether they are his "superiors" or staff or faculty. When has he ever taken a stand? Instead he just takes photo-ops.
Anonymous said…
He needs to grow a pair, then hopefully hair will sprout on them. I doubt it though.

Popular Posts