In a video address of fewer than three minutes shared from his Twitter account, President Joe Biden spoke to all 2021 graduates this weekend.
The most startling portion claimed that systemic racism is one of “the great crises of our time.” Biden also encouraged graduates to tackle so-called climate change.
“Few classes, once in every few generations, enters at a point in our history where it actually has a chance to change the trajectory of the country,” he said. “And now you face another inflection point. As we put this pandemic behind us, rebuild our economy, root out systemic racism and tackle climate change, we’re addressing the great crises of our time with a greater sense of purpose than before.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2021. You’re graduating at an inflection point in our nation’s history – and you have a genuine opportunity to change the trajectory of our country. Seize this moment. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish. pic.twitter.com/pl3Or74lxg
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 5, 2021
Biden explained that shortly after he graduated from college, his generation also faced an “inflection point” with the Vietnam War on the horizon. He compared today’s students to those who graduated more than a half-century ago.
“And because of you, your generation, I’ve never been more optimistic about the future than I am today,” he added. “The Vietnam War divided the nation and divided families. We’re in the midst of a great movement for civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental rights.”
In a commencement speech three weeks ago at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, Biden also touched on racial and gender politics.
“You’ve already done some important work as a class, including with a class-wide equity walk and discussion groups in the wake of George Floyd’s murder,” he said.
“We can’t be different than attempting to continue to have that arc move toward justice,” Biden added. “You understand in your bones that our diversity is one of the enduring advantages and inherent strengths to America.”
That speech was far from perfect, but better than Saturday’s, which came across fulsome, with too much centered around partisan talking points. Biden focused on his generation but never mentioned sacrifices from the Greatest Generation, which would have been appropriate on D-Day’s anniversary.
“Instead of dwelling on the past, Biden should have brought real inspiration to the forefront,” Karen Townsend wrote at HotAir. “After acknowledging how tough the last year has been, especially on students, he could have gone on to highlight some real successes that have occurred during the pandemic, despite the pandemic. Advancements have been made in space exploration, for example, and he could have encouraged students to pursue careers in various fields of science. He could have encouraged them to go into the medical field and work towards preparing for the next pandemic. He could have suggested they do volunteer work in their communities and their churches.”
It’s long been observed, even by left-leaning journalists, that conservatives give superior graduation speeches. As the past month proved again, conservatives are more likely to speak to graduates as individuals, rather than broadly fawning over members of a generation — as Biden did.
A.J. Kaufman is an Alpha News columnist. His work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Indianapolis Star, Israel National News, Orange County Register, St. Cloud Times, Star-Tribune, and across AIM Media Midwest and the Internet. Kaufman previously worked as a school teacher and military historian.