Phi Beta Cons

Coleman in the Stocking

The Michigan Review slams the University of Michigan’s political opportunism on the death of Gerald Ford:

It is said that it is impolite to speak ill of the dead. Perhaps the second-worst offense involves invoking politics less than 24 hours after an individual’s death. Someone should notify Mary Sue Coleman.
At the website, the University has set up a memorial to the late president, who was an alumnus and former star on the football team. The site contains obituaries, as well as statements from University officials, among other things.
As expected, President Mary Sue Coleman memorializes Ford in a statement. She praises his commitment to the University community, and his impact on campus, especially in the school of public policy. She finishes her statement, though, by writing, “In recent years and perhaps most importantly, President Ford was outspoken in his support for our diversity programs through our defense of affirmative action to the Supreme Court.”
Shame on Mary Sue Coleman for invoking her political agenda so adroitly after the death of President Ford. Of all the things she could highlight about Ford, and his relationship to the University, what was most important to President Coleman was that Ford supported her politicking for diversity. During a national period of mourning for a former president, our president is still most concerned with “diversity.”
We at the Review have been wondering whether President Coleman is able to make a public statement without invoking “diversity.” That’s appearing increasingly doubtful. May Gerald Ford rest in peace, and may Mary Sue Coleman rest her mouth.

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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