Check out the following video of Barack Obama, earlier this afternoon, addressing tens of thousands of 2020 HBCU graduates – including those at Virginia HBCUs like Norfolk State University, Virginia State University, Hampton University, Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg. Among other things, Obama reminded us what it’s like to have a *real* president, who actually has wisdom to impart, who actually cares about other people, who actually is worth listening to, who actually isn’t a racist or a sociopath, etc., etc,. And yes, decades from now – if anyone’s still around – historians will attempt to figure out how in hell the United States went from one of our greatest presidents to, by far, the worst president imaginable. With that, here are a few highlights from PRESIDENT Obama’s speech to HBCU grads!
- “Now look, I know this isn’t the commencement any of you really imagined…But these aren’t normal times. You’re being asked to find your way in a world in the middle of a devastating pandemic and a terrible recession. The timing is not ideal. And let’s be honest — a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country. We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog, and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.“
- “Injustice like this isn’t new. What is new is that so much of your generation has woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing; that the old ways of doing things don’t work; and that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; that our society and democracy only works when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other. More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
Also, later this evening:
[President Obama] is also scheduled to have remarks air during a prime time special for high school graduates that starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on the major television networks. That event, “Graduate Together: High School Class of 2020 Commencement,” is organized by XQ Institute, a think tank that works with schools, in partnership with LeBron James’s foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a philanthropic organization.