Joe Biden tells class of 2021 graduates that systemic racism is one of ‘the greatest crises of our time’
President Joe Biden told recent graduates that systemic racism is one of the “greatest crises of our time” and said it was an “inflection point” akin to the Vietnam War.
Biden’s short video message to graduates was released by the White House under his @POTUS address as the coronavirus pandemic has affected kick-off ceremonies.
Comparing today’s students to those who graduated during the era of the civil rights and anti-war protest movements, Biden encouraged them to seize the moment to tackle climate change and systemic racism, which he described as one of “the great crises of our time’.
During a video address aimed at the Class of 2021, President Joe Biden called systemic racism one of “the great crises of our time”
Biden tweeted his congratulations to the Class of 2021 along with a video
Talking about his own experience, Biden said that shortly after graduating, his generation faced a turning point as the Vietnam War divided the nation coupled with fights for civil, women’s and environmental rights.
“And now you’re at another inflection point,” he said. “As we move beyond this pandemic, rebuild our economy, eradicate systemic racism and tackle climate change, we are tackling the major crises of our time with greater purpose than before.
“And thanks to you, your generation, I have never been more optimistic about the future than I am now,” he added.
“Just three years after I stood where you are, two of my political heroes, Dr. King and Robert Kennedy, shot.
“The Vietnam War divided the nation and divided families. We are in the midst of a major civil, women’s and environmental rights movement.
“We — we were at a — an inflection point, and we tried our best to seize that moment, because things changed so quickly, and now you’re at another inflection point.”
Biden told the graduates that only once every few generations does a class enter history at a point “where it actually has a chance to change the trajectory of the country,” as he said they will.
Biden made comments during graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, pictured last month, but has no other opening comments planned this year.
President Joseph Biden delivered keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy in May
Biden struck a tone of optimism during his Saturday address in which he described the graduates as “one of the most gifted, talented and educated generations in American history.”
“You’re going to see more change in the next 10 years than you’ve seen and we’ve seen in the last 50 years,” Biden predicted.
“It’s up to you to translate that unprecedented change into greater happiness and prosperity, not just for you and our nation, but for the world around you, and I know you will.”
Biden has spoken several times about his belief in systemic racism, but with the caveat that he does not believe that Americans themselves are not racist.
“You graduate at a turning point in our nation’s history — and you have a real opportunity to change the trajectory of our country,” he said.
President Biden pictured during Coast Guard Academy graduation last month
A former Jefferson County Public Schools student, dressed in cap and gown, sits while other graduates trail behind during their graduation ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky. The make-up ceremony was held to celebrate the students whose graduations were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic last year (file photo)
“No, I don’t think the American people are racist, but I think after 400 years African Americans have been left in a position where they are so far behind in education, health, in terms of opportunity,” Biden said in a statement. April.
Biden made comments during graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut last month, but has no other opening remarks planned this year.
Biden also told graduates there that “the world is changing. We are at a major turning point,” as he spotlighted “disruptive countries” such as China and Russia as a top challenge for the US
Biden delivered the keynote address at the Coast Guard Academy during the 140th commencement exercises in May. The Coast Guard Academy saw 240 new officers graduate
Biden compared the current “inflection point” to when he graduated around the time of the Vietnam War. In the photo, wounded American soldiers are being evacuated by helicopter after a battle during the Vietnam War in 1967