First Daughter and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump condemned “cancel culture” after the Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech) in Wichita, Kansas, removed her as the headline commencement speaker.
“Our nations campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia,” she said while releasing her prerecorded speech on Twitter. “Listening to one another is important now more than ever!”
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!
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) June 5, 2020
The graduates will still be able to view Trumps prepared video messages among those from 30 others, including community members, WSU Tech President Sheree Utash said in a statement on Thursday.
WSU Tech declared her removal, citing George Floyds death, within one day after the initial announcement that Ivanka Trump would be the speaker at the colleges virtual commencement ceremony scheduled on Saturday.
“The invitation was extended in February and Ms. Trump offered to record a congratulatory message to graduates to be played during our event,” Utash stated. “In light of the social justice issues brought forth by George Floyds death, I understand and take responsibility that the timing of the announcement was insensitive.”
Utash indicated that the invitation had caused controversy on the campus amidst the aftermath of Floyds death and he “stands with those who fight injustice and advocate for social equity.”
The commencement will focus on the graduates and their accomplishments, he said.