Freedom Will Conquer Racism
Editor’s Note: This is the most important news story in many years. We will continue to report its ramifications for a long time to come. It’s about the silent but deadly “rot” that has infected our country for many generations since the Sulzbergers seized possession of the New York Times from its modern founder, Adolph Ochs, at his death in 1935.
We will have much more
about the ramifications of this story tomorrow.
Pinch Sulzberger Apologizes to Graduating College Students for His Failed LifePinch Sulzberger apologized to graduating college students on Sunday for his failed life and said that none of them should be in the position of having to apologize to another generation of “bright and shiny” students 30 years from now.
However, he continues the attacks on his country from the New York Times’ private U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer, who is seen almost every night telling falsehoods in an attempt to damage President Bush and the country.
However, Pinch did not tell the students the truth about his past and present life and did not even use his real name, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., apparently because he is angry at his father, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Sr., and most of his other ancestors, who he says were all homophobic. Instead, he has embraced the name of Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the person who stole the newspaper from Adolph Ochs in 1935.
Sulzberger made his confession to 900 graduates at the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he has a vacation home.
Full Text of Sulzberger Speech
is the full text of Sulzberger’s address to the graduating
students as given by him to the college. Notice the many
typos. This publisher of the most important paper in the
world (and a graduate of
+ + + + +
Good morning and my most heartfelt congratulations.
As the father of two relatively recent college graduates, I know how important this moment is to all of you. Whether mother or father, you are now breathing a huge sigh of relief. Your child has the possibility of a future and, while the bills remain to be paid, at least they’ve stopped growing.
But as much as I’d like today to be about us parents, I know it’s not. It’s about the rest of you – our children and our future. So, to all of you – well done.
is my first ever commencement speech and, depending on your
reviews, maybe my last.
So, given my lack of commencement experience I prepared for today the way good journalists are supposed to – I reported out the story. I read what generations of other commencement speakers had said and what themes they hit.
Ninety five percent of them come down to this: “Today you enter the real world. Follow your heart. Find what you love and do it.”
Who can argue with such wisdom? It’s sort of a motherhood and apple pie statement. It sounds so easy.
So let’s all tip our hat to the honesty of our favorite non-news caster, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show. Two years ago he told a graduating class at William and Mary:
“So how do you know what is the right path to choose to get the results you desire? The honest answer is this. You don’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.”
As a journalist; as a media executive; as a human being -- I come to you fully aware of the need we all have to heed Mr. Stewart's words and ease our anxieties. The vagaries of life are enormous, and it is those very vagaries about which I want to talk with you.
I’ll start with an apology.
I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and
I had just ended the war in
Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.
Our children, we vowed, would never know that.
So, well, sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
weren’t supposed to be graduating into an
You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life; the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose.
You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drives policy and environmentalists have to relentlessly fight for every gain.
You weren’t. But you are. And for that I’m sorry.
Starting today, it will be more and more up to you to decide what world you will bequeath to your children (yes, most of you will be having children – it just goes with the territory).
you continue to make the choices that define your life –
and by the way, attending and graduating from college was
a critical one – you also will be defining the world you
live in. Think of it as your personal version of what in
the scientific world (or perhaps the science fiction world)
is known as the butterfly effect. The butterfly effect holds
that the smallest of actions -- say, the flapping of the
wings of a butterfly in the mountains of
Each of you will face many crossroads, some of them seemingly small and inconsequential. You will choose at each point whether to be bold or hesitant; inclusive or elitist; generous or stingy. And each one of your choices will result not only in how people define you. Each one will help shape the world you make for the rest of us.
So I have a plea and I have a piece of advice. The advice is to focus on the small decisions, because they add up very quickly. And I don’t mean what job you take or what town you live in. Those will change as you change. I mean decisions like whether to pick up that overturned trash can or whether to stop for that stranded motorist. Those are the decisions that can change our world just as surely as a butterfly can create a hurricane.
it’s important that those of us at The New York Times have
the courage of our own convictions and defend the rights
of our journalists to protect their sources or, after much
debate and discussion, publish the news that our government
is bypassing it’s own legal systems to tap into phone calls made to and
my plea is: engage. Our world needs you. It needs your energy
and your caring; it needs your
commitment and your values. If we don’t get them our society
– all of us – will continue to aimlessly drift, failing
to make our country and our world a place that makes us
you already heard, I’m here in large part because I’m a
rock climber. I work in
It was 1941. Following what was no doubt an excessive introduction, - sort of like mine - our speaker walked to the lectern, glared out at the assembled multitude and in his trademark bark intoned: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
And then Winston Churchill sat down.
With a philosophy like that, Sir Winston would have made one hell of a rock climber. Life is relentless. When you think you’ve made the crucial move – what in climbing parlance is called The Crux – it always throws you another one. And another. And another.
These are the vagaries of which I spoke earlier in these remarks. In my experience, the only way to prepare for them is inside each of you. It is not about the job you have or the money you make. It is about commitment and courage; it’s about caring and fortitude. It’s about supporting those around you and, just as importantly, it's about letting them support you. In the parlance of the climber, trust that you’re “on belay”.
Engage; get the small decisions right; never give in and please -- please – build us a world of which we can be proud. Go make a damn difference.
None of you wants to be standing where I am 30 years from now apologizing to the next generation of bright and shiny college graduates.
Arthur H. Sulzberger
Massachusetts News®, Inc.
PO Box 688
Marlborough, MA 01752