Thursday, June 18, 2009
Note to Dolores Huerta: your commencement at CSUB bombed because it wasn't about the kids
The fallout over Dolores Huerta's commencement speech this weekend at Cal State Bakersfield continues with The Californian filling its Opinion pages today with letters criticizing it as nothing more than a rally for the United Farm Workers. You be the judge for yourself, but I gave a listen and have to agree: it was just awful. Horrible topic, bad delivery, uninspired, full of class warfare rhetoric. And that's too bad, because the day your son or daughter graduates from college is one of the great special days for families-a brief shining moment that should be recognized by a well prepared speaker. The best commencement speeches (and there are many) are aimed at the students themselves. Some are funny, some dry, but they all talk about the future and the accomplishments these kids have made to reach this point. Dolores simply dusted off her standard stump speech full of UFW platitudes and predictable drivel that had absolutely nothing to do with the graduates. At least that's the way I see it. Here's a hint to Dolores: next time someone asks you to do a commencement, spend more than three minutes preparing and think about the kids, not you. Let me repeat that: it's not about you! And to CSUB: the fact that someone is in the news should not be the sole criteria for having them give a commencement. Look for someone to be uplifting and forward looking and please, focus on the kids.