Ivanka Trump's Commencement Speech Was Canceled at WSU Tech's Graduation Ceremony
She's blaming "cancel culture" for her removal as the university's headline speaker.
As tensions continue to grow between the Trump administration and protestors fighting against police brutality amid the George Floyd tragedy, Wichita State University and WSU Tech made the decision to cancel Ivanka Trump's commencement speech at the school's virtual graduation this weekend — and the first daughter is blaming "cancel culture" as a result.
"Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia," Ivanka tweeted, after it was announced she would no longer be the university's headline speaker. "Listening to one another is important now more than ever!"
Ivanka included a video of her pre-recorded message to grads, writing: "Here is the message I recorded on May 18th for the Graduates of WSU-Tech. I know that all of these talented graduates will dream big and aspire to make the world a better place!"
Earlier this week, WSU Tech President Dr. Sheree Utash revealed Ivanka was being removed from the program, and cited "social justice issues" as the reasoning.
"In light of the social justice issues brought forth by George Floyd's death, I understand and take responsibility that the timing of the announcement was insensitive," Utash said in her statement. "For this, I'm sorry. That was never the intent, and I want you to know I have heard you and we are responding."
She added, "I respect and understand the sharply divided reaction to today's announcement. The college stands with those who fight injustice and advocate for social equity, and we're profoundly proud of the diversity and social change being brought forth by our students, alumni, faculty, and staff."
Following Floyd's murder, President Trump has been widely criticized for his inflammatory commentary, including tweets in which he compared protestors to "thugs" and one that read, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Most recently, Trump was accused of dividing the nation further by his former Defense Secretary, General James Mattis.
"Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try," Mattis told the media on Wednesday. "Instead he tries to divide us."