The University of California Los Angeles invited controversial Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors to be this year’s keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony.
Cullors announced last month that she would be stepping down as the executive director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation following a spree of scandals; which included purchasing multiple multi-million dollar homes while refusing to give funds to BLM chapters across the country.
Newly discovered footage exposed Cullors, a self-proclaimed Marxist, calling for the destruction of Israel during a panel at Harvard University in 2015, adding to a long list of controversies surrounding the anti-police BLM co-founder.
"Palestine is our generation’s South Africa, and if we don’t step up boldly and courageously to end the imperialist project that’s called Israel, we’re doomed."
Despite weeks of pushback against UCLA’s decision to feature the controversial BLM co-founder as the keynote speaker, the university defended their decision for Cullors to address the graduates. "Respect for diversity of opinion on matters of public concern is a key tenet of the educational philosophy of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and it’s important to remember that an invitation to speak does not represent an endorsement of all past or future statements by a given speaker. We do not condone racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any form of bias," Professor Gary Segura, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Dean, said in a statement.
"The prerecorded commencement message from Patrisse Cullors is one of unity, tolerance and forgiveness. She suggests that a cooperative spirit can help heal old wounds and advance new solutions. I am confident that our graduating students will appreciate her perspective and find inspiration in her call to look forward without judgment in pursuit of a happier, more equitable society," Segura added in a statement given to Jewish Journal.