Tepid reception greets Biden at Morehouse College graduation ceremony

 May 20, 2024

Perhaps in an effort to bolster his sagging support among Black voters, President Joe Biden on Sunday delivered the commencement address at Atlanta's Morehouse College.

However, the reception given to the commander in chief by some in attendance was downright frosty, as the Washington Examiner reports, despite his attempts to demonstrate solidarity with the graduates and all others present.

Pro-Palestinian voices emerge

Recent weeks have seen sustained protests and encampments develop at college campuses across the country, and the anti-Israel activism also found a home at Morehouse, with the school's valedictorian using part of his speech -- delivered ahead of Biden's -- to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

As Biden began his commencement address, some of the graduates turned their chairs away so that they would not face the lectern as he spoke, according to CNN.

Another attendee brandished a Palestinian flag and held it high for all to see.

The president had little choice but to acknowledge the situation, noting, “I want to say this very clearly, I support peaceful nonviolent protest. Your voices should be heard. I promise you, I hear them.”

In an apparent attempt to find common ground with the disgruntled graduates, Biden added, “That's why I've called for an immediate ceasefire – an immediate ceasefire. Stop the fighting, bring the hostages home.”

Speech sparks criticism

As Fox News notes, Biden's appearance at Morehouse drew criticism for other reasons, particularly its heavily racially oriented themes, which some suggest amounted to craven pandering.

During his remarks, Biden told graduates, “You missed your high school graduation. You started college just as George Floyd was murdered, and there was a reckoning on race. It's natural to wonder if the 'democracy' you hear about actually works for you. What is democracy? That Black men are being killed in the street.”

“What is democracy?” Biden asked, adding, “The trail of broken promises still leaves Black communities behind. What is democracy? You have to be ten times better than anyone else to get a fair shot. Most of all, what does it mean? As you've heard before, to be a Black man who loves his country even if it doesn't love him back in equal measure.”

Writer and commentator Adam Coleman took issue with Biden's declarations, saying on X, “Imagine working hard for y\ears to graduate from college and Joe Biden shows up on your day of celebration to remind you that you're a victim and America doesn't love you because you're black.”

Libre Initiative president Daniel Garza concurred with Coleman, writing, “Biden insults us by seeing all minorities as victims, incapable of competing, and all whites as oppressors. Never mind that countless have benefitted immeasurably from American principles, our free market, and yes, democracy.”

Alarming indifference

In a seemingly foreboding sign for Biden's diminishing appeal even among traditional Democratic Party strongholds such as Atlanta, footage emerged Sunday of an embarrassingly tiny group of supporters on hand to view the presidential motorcade, as the New York Post noted.

The RNC Research X account responded with a particularly apt observation about Biden's inability to muster much in the way of voter enthusiasm, musing, “If a presidential motorcade passes through town but absolutely nobody cares – did it really pass through town?” Whether he has what it takes to turn the tide anytime soon, only time will tell.

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