Fighting global warming is this generation’s “revolution,” according to Michelle Obama, and it’s just like Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights struggle during the 1960s.
The first lady told Oberlin College graduates over Memorial Day weekend that issues like global warming, marriage equality and economic inequality were the “revolutions” of our time. She added that newly-minted graduates have a “ responsibility” to promote such causes.
“You see, in his speech to those Oberlin graduates 50 years ago, Dr. King urged them,” Obama said, “not to sleep through the civil rights revolution that was raging across this country.”
“And, graduates, climate change, economic inequality, human rights, criminal justice -– these are the revolutions of your time,” she said. “And you have as much responsibility and just as much power to wake up and play your part in our great American story. Because it is absolutely still possible to make a difference. The great moments of our history are not decades in our past; they’re happening right now, today, in our lifetimes.”
Obama also used the commencement speech to make a plug for her husband’s presidential legacy. She lumped fighting global warming in with things like Obamacare and increasing student financial aid.
“And finally, think about how even with all the gridlock and polarization in Washington, we have made so much change these past six years: 12 million new jobs,” she said. “Sixteen million people who finally have health insurance. Historic agreements to fight climate change. Epic increases in college financial aid.”
“More progress on LGBT rights than any time in our history,” Obama said. “And today, it is no longer remarkable to see two beautiful black girls walking their dogs on the South Lawn of the White House lawn. That’s just the way things are now.”
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