Biden Tells Black Graduates Republicans ‘Don’t See You in The Future of America’ and Slams Right-Wing ‘Extremists’

By: Georgia | Published: May 20, 2024

During a commencement speech at Morehouse College, President Joe Biden highlighted a stark division in how different political factions see America’s future. 

He stated, “Republicans don’t see you in the future of America,” addressing the graduating seniors without directly naming any political figures or parties, hinting at former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Biden’s Speech Amidst Historical Context

President Biden delivered his speech at Morehouse College, a historically black, all-male institution known for its significant role in American history. 

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A view of a historic brick building at Morehouse College. The building has multiple stories, large windows, and a central clock tower

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While he did not explicitly name Donald Trump or the Republican Party, his references to the events of January 6 made it clear who he was discussing, adding a layer of historical significance to his address.

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Defining Patriots and Critiquing Actions

President Biden strongly criticized the actions of those involved in the January 6 insurrection, particularly noting their use of Confederate flags. 

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A crowd of protestors, many carrying American flags and Trump banners, gathered outside the Capitol building

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He declared, “Insurrectionists who stormed the capitol with Confederate flags are called patriots by some. Not in my house.” 

Acknowledging the Defenders of Democracy

In his address, President Biden paid tribute to the black police officers and veterans who defended the Capitol during the January 6 events. 

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Police officers in riot gear standing behind barriers in front of the Capitol building at night. The scene is illuminated by the building's lights and flashlights, showing the tense atmosphere during the January 6 events

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He highlighted the racial abuse they endured, emphasizing the contrast between their heroic actions and the derogatory terms used against them.

The Impact of Extremism on Opportunities

The president accused extremists of closing doors of opportunity for black Americans, particularly criticizing their efforts to dismantle affirmative action and undermine values of diversity, equality, and inclusion. 

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President Joe Biden standing with three Morehouse College officials on a stage during a commencement ceremony. All are smiling and dressed in ceremonial academic robes, with the college banner in the background

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He reassured the graduates by saying, “They don’t see you in the future of America, but they’re wrong.” 

Emphasizing the Role of Black History in America

In his speech, President Biden made a strong statement about the integral role of black Americans in the nation’s history and future, asserting, “We know black history is American history. We know black men are going to lead us into the future.” 

A large group of Morehouse College graduates dressed in black robes and adorned with various stoles and cords, celebrating their commencement on an outdoor campus setting with historic buildings in the background

Source: Morehouse/X

This assertion was meant to inspire the graduates and recognize their potential impact.

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Biden’s Stance Against Book Bans

Addressing current educational controversies, President Biden expressed his concerns about national efforts to ban books, aiming to erase rather than correct historical narratives.

President Joe Biden standing at a podium with multiple American flags in the background, smiling broadly during a press conference. He is dressed in a dark suit and blue tie

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 “I never thought I would be president at a time when there’s a national effort to ban books. Not to right history but to erase history,” he remarked.

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Connecting Personal Loss to National Resilience

President Biden shared his personal experiences of loss, referring to them as his “Saturdays,” a time of despair similar to the despair felt by Christ’s disciples before the resurrection. 

President Joe Biden outdoors wearing sunglasses and a blue blazer over a blue striped shirt, smiling in a sunlit setting at a public event. A sign regarding climate action is slightly visible in the background

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He connected these personal moments to broader national challenges, illustrating resilience in the face of adversity.

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Addressing Global Issues

During the ceremony, while celebrating the graduates’ achievements, Biden acknowledged ongoing global conflicts

President Joe Biden delivering a speech at Morehouse College's commencement ceremony, wearing a maroon academic robe. He is standing at a podium with the college's name in the background

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President Biden described the situation as ‘heartbreaking’ and reaffirmed his commitment to finding a peaceful solution, emphasizing the global implications of local events.

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Subtle Demonstrations of Solidarity at Commencement

As the graduates participated in the commencement, some displayed subtle signs of support for civilians caught in the crossfire of the conflict.

A crowd of Morehouse College graduates cheering and celebrating at their commencement ceremony. The graduates, dressed in black robes and colorful stoles, are clapping and smiling broadly

Source: Morehouse/X

These gestures indicated a broader awareness and concern among the students about global issues.

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Presidential Engagement with Morehouse College

Before delivering his speech, President Biden met with Morehouse staff and students.

President Joe Biden speaking at Morehouse College's commencement, standing at a podium with faculty members seated behind him

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These interactions highlighted the administration’s focus on direct engagement with educational institutions and their students.

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Reflections on the Significance of the Day

Despite the celebratory nature of the day, there was an undercurrent of concern that political figures might overshadow the graduates’ achievements.

A close-up view of President Joe Biden speaking at a podium during the Morehouse College commencement ceremony. He is dressed in a maroon robe with the presidential seal visible on the podium.

Source: MrReynolds52/X

However, Biden aimed to keep the focus on the graduates, emphasizing the importance of their success and contributions to American society. “It’s not about me, it’s about the alternative as well,” he stated during the address.

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