‘Reckoning On Race’: Biden Invokes George Floyd, Attempts Appeal To Black Voters During Commencement Speech


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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President Joe Biden attempted to appeal to black voters Sunday during his commencement speech at Morehouse College by invoking the memory of George Floyd, however, some students could be seen silently protesting.

Biden appeared at the historically black private university for men in Atlanta as the 2024’s graduating classes’ commencement speaker. The president had been discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the graduating students, as many were unable to have a traditional high school graduation, before additionally noting that they had started their four years with the death of George Floyd. (RELATED: ‘Extremely Alarmed’: Strategists Break Down Major Red Flag For Democrats In Latest Polling)

“You started college just as George Floyd was murdered and there was a reckoning on race. It is not to the wonder, democracy you hear about actually works for you. What is democracy? If black men are being killed on the street, what is democracy? A trail of broken promises still leaving black communities behind, what is democracy? You have to be 10 times better than anyone else to get a fair shot. Most of all, what does it mean as we’ve heard before, to be a black man who loves his country, even if it doesn’t love him back in equal measure,” Biden stated.

The president continued to discuss the death of his son Beau Biden, who died in 2015 due to brain cancer, stating that during Beau’s last days he had made Biden promise to “stay engaged.” As Biden discussed how he stood with Floyd’s family and how his administration has helped “break down doors” for black communities, some students in the audience could be seen with their backs turned to the president.

In one clip, a student towards the front of the stage wearing a black and blue graduation gown could be seen turning her back towards Biden while raising a fist in the air as the president spoke.

“Faith asks you to hold on to hope, to move heaven and earth, and to make better days. That is my commitment to you. To show you democracy, democracy, democracy is still the way. If black men are being killed in the street we bear witness. For me, that means to call out the poison of white supremacy, to root out systemic racism. I stood up for George Floyd’s family to help create a country, where you don’t need to have ‘that talk’ with your son or grandson as they get pulled over. Instead of a trail of broken promises, we are investing more money than ever in black families and in black communities,” Biden stated.

“We are connecting black neighborhoods cut off by old highways and decades of disinvestment where no one cared about the community. They delivered checks and pockets to reduce black child poverty, the lowest rate in history. Removing every lead pipe in America so that every child can drink clean water without fear of brain damage and can’t afford to remove the lead pipes themselves. We are delivering affordable high-speed internet so no child has to sit in a parent’s car and do their homework in a parking lot outside McDonald’s. Instead of forcing you to prove you are 10 times better, we are breaking down doors so that you have 100 times more opportunities.”

Biden carried on with discussing how he is not only relieving student debt even after the Supreme Court halted his first attempt, but that his administration would be investing an additional $16 billion into HBCUs on top of the $7 billion already committed.

New poll numbers emerged last week from The New York Times/Siena College, showing that Biden appearing to lose in a head to head match with former President Donald Trump in major key swing states like Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania, but he is also losing portions of his key voting blocs. Young voters, black voters, and hispanics, according to the data, were all found to want fundamental change, but many are not confident in Biden’s ability to make those changes if reelected.

Data from the poll shows that Trump could potentially be winning over 20% of black voters, which would be the highest level for Republicans since the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to The New York Times.

Democrats have attempted to send warnings to the Biden campaign as November grows closer, with some saying that issues like the rescheduling of marijuana will not suffice for black voters or young voters as their concerns revolve over larger issues like the economy. The New York Times White House correspondent Zolan Kanno-Youngs told CNN Friday that black voters and many Americans across the country are more concerned with “frustrations around affordability.”