A University of North Carolina Board of Governors member is in hot water after a speech he gave during a commencement ceremony earlier this month a UNC Wilmington that offended some students and faculty members.
Wilmington’s WECT reports:
Thomas Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, was expected to deliver greetings to the Class of 2019 on behalf of the board.
In emails obtained from the university, WECT learned Fetzer went off script.
…. Fetzer spoke for more than six minutes on topics including continuing education, personal advice on finances, and technology.
Here’s what Fetzer said that caused the uproar (bolded emphasis added by me):
“Let me just cut to the chase young ladies, there are only two things in this world you should borrow money for. Your continuing education and a house. Pay cash for everything else because it’s a depreciating asset and you will end up owing more than it is worth. And that is the road to ruin. Those are the parents clapping. Young men, I will add one thing to the list for which you may borrow money. A diamond ring. Because it will appreciate, and so will she.”
That’s it. Yep. He made a diamond ring joke. For that, Fetzer has been branded as a sexist pig.
Here were some of the email complaints from professors about Fetzer’s comments:
“I have heard from several students and parents who were both disappointed and offended by the Board of Governor’s representative, Mr. Fetzer’s long and sexist speech at graduation. Traditionally this speech has just been a “greeting” of a few sentences. Mr. Fetzer took the position of keynote speaker, much of his content was unnecessary, some of it entirely inappropriate. To advise students “Gentleman… you must invest in a diamond for your lady” was something right out of 1965…to say it was insulting to women who have just received their degree is an understatement.”
Two other professors also echoed concerns in response to the professor’s initial email.
“I would like to echo [her] concerns about the speech given by Mr. Fetzer on Saturday. It was, to say the least, disappointing, at the worst, belittling and denigrating to swaths of our population and counter to UNCW’s purported commitment to honoring inclusion and all peoples,” wrote a professor from a separate department.
A third professor responded to the email writing, “Thank you… for articulating a reaction that I am sure was widely shared. I disagree with only one part of your comments: I’d say the speech was right out of 1865. Whatever its vintage, it was completely inappropriate.”
You know, it’s one thing if the main issue was that the speech wasn’t vetted. It’s understandable for a university to want to approve of what a speaker is going to say before they say it. But even saying that, if Fetzer had “gone off script” and blasted Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly over the “bathroom bill” and other issues liberals have with them, he would have been applauded and celebrated by these same professors.
But he didn’t. He made a timeless joke about the cost of a diamond ring and how a woman would appreciate over time just like the ring did. And for that, he’s the scum of the earth?
I was searching for the right comments to use to respond to this absurd nonsense and came across those of UNCW Sociology and Criminology Professor Mike Adams, who has had (and won) some major free speech battles with the university in the past. Here’s what he tweeted about the Fetzer controversy:
Tom Fetzer did not give a sexist graduation speech. If feminists were offended by it they only managed to reinforce the stereotype that they are perpetually angry. Of course, some stereotypes are true. Many UNCW feminists are just emotionally volatile unhappy people.
— Mike S. Adams (@MikeSAdams) May 20, 2019
(Hat tip: Campus Reform)
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–