President of the US Joe Biden | Credits: Wireimage

Morehouse Graduates Turn Backs on Biden’s Speech

United States: President Joe Biden spoke at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Sunday, May 19, delivering his speech at the black male college and receiving an honor from the institution in the form of a degree. He was demonstrably interrupted by several Morehouse College students protesting for the Palestinian cause to be acknowledged: some of them turned their backs during the President’sPresident’s speech, and some other students walked out of the event. Those who objected, the students who protested, did so due to more ongoing policy decisions where Israel is at war with Gaza.

In the same manner, there was a Morehouse College valedictorian, DeAngelo Fletcher, who delivered the Morehouse College speech before Biden’s speech to call for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire in the Gaza strip,” of which there was thumping, and Biden even shook the hands of the valedictorian. “Men, women, and children in so many nations lose their fathers, brothers sis,ters, and others, and so we sit in our homes and watch a record number of civilians cry for the release of hostages,” Fletcher claimed.

The audience also involved Morehouse alumni who shouted Biden’s name while he was at the ceremony and stood up for President President as he reached the stage, as shown in videos uploaded from the occasion. On the other hand, some graduates who wore keffiyeh scarves and waved Palestinian flags decided to sit with their backs towards Biden and the podium for the extent of his speech, as reported in the New York Times. Some others left the venue as a form of boycott, while the Times also points out that the walk-out did not fully interrupt Joe Biden’s speech. After he was through with his performance, the celebrities in the VIP area were heard singing “Four More Years”.

”Besides, I believe in exercising my First Amendment rights, and I endorse peaceful, non-violent protest,” Biden said to students. “I made sure your voices are given an opportunity to be heard, and I would like to assure all of you that I listen. He also said that he is earning a living day and night “for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The youth from colleges stood out and showed their dissatisfaction with the war by demonstrating all over the country. The pro-Palestine students are insisting that their school reveal information and withdraw any funds that they have with links to companies that support the organizations that are affiliated to IAF [Israel Aerospace Forces].

Specifically, after the college’s administration stated that Morehouse was going to host Biden as the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony this year, as well as award the former vice president an honorary degree of the historically Black college, current students and alumni, the school’s members also called for changing the decision made by the administration of Morehouse. In one open letter addressed to faculty of the Morehouse, an organization identified as the Atlanta University Center Students for Justice in Palestine, Alumnus Dr. Marlon Millner—class of 1995—wrote that he “implores Morehouse ‘not to award an honorary degree to someone morally complicit in a war in Gaza. ’”

[Morehouse alumni Martin Luther King Jr.] challenged a historically courageous [Lyndon B. Johnson] in Vietnam after the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. That’s moral courage, not moral complicity or moral complacency,” Millner wrote. “Morehouse does produce businessmen, but let’s not fail to produce better men. Morehouse does produce politicians, but let’s not fail to produce men of principle. This is a defining moment where actions, not accolades, will matter,” as reported by Teen Vogue. 

A black-and-white image conveyed a message in one of the War on Gaza videos. Up to the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel, the fatalities were 1,200 people; Israel’s attacks killed more than 35,000 persons in Gaza, the AP reported. According to the outlet last week, the Biden administration signed a deal to supply another USD 1 billion in arms and ammunition to Israel.

Failed promises such as Build Back Better plus the State of the Union Address may possibly overshadow these incidents for quite only slightly, however, support Joe Biden receives in the states like Georgia will become critically important as the 2024 election campaign gets closer. That would allow the Biden administration to highlight how it is responding to the conflict as it prepares for a rematch with former President Donald Trump in the 2024 campaign.

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