Barbara Pierce Bush, a global health activist, social justice champion, and daughter of President George W. Bush, headlined the 2015 Elizabeth Hubert Malott Public Affairs Program March 24 at Scripps College’s Garrison Theater.
The Malott program has sought to bring speakers to campus who hold “a range of opinions about the world – especially opinions with which we may not agree, or think we do not agree.” The last three guest lectureships were given by syndicated conservative columnists Charles Krauthammer, Peggy Noonan, and George Will.
According to an unnamed source within the Scripps administration, the Bush talk this year was such a success, that the college is planning to alter the mission statement of the Malott Program for future lectures. The new goal of the speaker series will reportedly be to bring speakers to campus who are “the close relatives of those with a range of opinions about the world – especially opinions with which we may not agree, or think we do not agree.”
“Rather than expanding the intellectual horizons of Scripps students by inviting speakers to challenge their widely held, preconceived political notions, as the program has done in previous years, the new Malott Public Affairs Program will try to teach Scripps students how to cope with their conservative family members by inviting the close relations of prominent conservatives to speak on campus,” Scripps President Lori Bettison-Varga said in an internal memo obtained by the Independent. “I cannot think of a more exemplary inaugural speaker for the new direction of the Malott speaker series than Barbara Pierce Bush, daughter of that racist George W. Bush.”
Several members of the Scripps administration told the Independent that they support the decision to take the Malott speaker series in a new direction.
“I think the change to the Malott program is a step in the right direction,” Women’s Studies Chair Rosie Theriveter-Steinem said in an interview with the Independent. “Rather than introducing Scripps students to conservative principles and ideology – in order to force them to think about their own beliefs in a more critical light – I think it’s more important that Scripps students understand how to grapple mentally and emotionally with the fact that they have conservative family members.”
“After all, what’s the point of bringing conservatives to campus when students already won’t take them seriously?” Scripps Vice President for Social Deconstruction Betty Wolf-Woolf-Wollstonecraft-Dunham said in an interview with the Independent. “I mean, I really don’t think it would create an effective dialogue, anyway, because most students would be too upset even to listen, so why bother?”
“Even thinking that there’s a conservative in close proximity – or that people with such beliefs actually exist – is pretty triggering to most students at Scripps,” one cousellor at Monsour Counselling and Psychological Services told the Independent in an email. “But we can learn a lot about how to cope with that trauma from those who actually had to live under the same roof as one.”
The Independent also obtained a list of potential candidates that the Scripps administration plans to invite for the Malott speaker series in upcoming years. The list is included in its entirety below:
- Ron Reagan, National Dog Show host on Animal Planet
- Christopher Buckley, writer
- Bob Krauthammer, accountant
- Doesn’t George Will have a cousin? Like, John Will, or something? I think he’s in real estate.
- Liz and Mary Cheney (already invited them)
- Kate Upton, model, niece of Sen. Fred Upton (R – Mich.)
- Tom Branson (from Downton Abbey)
At press time, Scripps students were still demanding the administration apologize for inviting a white speaker to campus to talk about global health issues.
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