New York University alumnus and as of June 1 professor at Northwestern, Steven William Thrasher called President Trump a "fascist" and labeled Israel an “apartheid” state in his speech on Monday.
The commencement speaker praised the student activists for their resistance against “the fascist in the White House” and then commended the NYU’s Students for Justice in Palestine group for showing support for the BDS movement “against the apartheid state government in Israel."
"Many of us have been together at Occupy Wall Street, and at Black Lives Matter protests, and at marches against that fascist in the White House that would not allow 56 different countries to cross borders and be together in a setting like this," Thrasher announced.
"I am so proud, so proud of NYU's chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and of Jewish Voice for Peace, and of GSOC, and of the NYU student government, and of my colleagues in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis for supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against the apartheid state government in Israel — because this is what we are called to do, this is our NYU legacy," he added.
Other graduates showed their support to Thrasher's speech with applause and cheers. Steven William Thrasher is a journalist and will start teaching at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. He has written for media giants such as the New York Times, Buzzfeed, the Guardian, the Atlantic, and Esquire.
Furthermore, NYU President Andrew Hamilton apologized for Thrasher's speech and informed the public that the speech he submitted for approval did not include his comments about BDS.
"We are sorry that the audience had to experience these inappropriate remarks. Graduation should be a shared, inclusive event; the speaker's words – one-sided and tendentious – indefensibly made some in the audience feel unwelcome and excluded," he said in a statement.