The Rutgers University students, faculty and alumni protesting the plan to have Condoleezza Rice deliver the commencement address cited her role in the Iraq War and her policies regarding waterboarding ["Facing protests, Rice drops graduation talk," News, May 4].

Interestingly, there was no suggestion that their objections were based on anything but their consciences. In contrast, those who object to President Barack Obama's policies are often vilified and dismissed as racist, this despite his role overseeing drone strikes and the still operational Guantánamo Bay detention camp.

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Would these same students and faculty protest Obama as a commencement speaker? Perhaps freedom of speech is only a right if you are on the left.

Debra Smith, Setauket