Editors note: Mystic Post rarely wades into political waters but for some reason President Obama’s recent “virtual commencement speech” really bothered me…I won’t make this a habit. God Bless everyone – Stephen Ryan
Dear President Obama,
You seem to think that you are still relevant and can try to manipulate the American people. You aren’t and you can’t.
Your recent remarks during your “virtual” commencement highlight your need to make everything about race. You see, our country isn’t racist, it is people like you who keep referencing the color of our fellow Americans skin. It is the media, who feeds off of headlines like black man, white man, and even more inflammatory “white cop”, who keep racism alive in our country. I am NOT saying that there aren’t people in our country who aren’t racist. There are black people, who hate white people because of the color of their skin, just like there are white people, who hate black people becasue the color of their skin. Heartbreaking that anyone could hate another person because of the color of their skin. However, you seem to bring up race whenever you are given the opportunity. Sadly, you chose your 2020 commencement speech to “spotlight” race and the “inequalities” of the “black communities”.
I have a few questions for you-
1) Why was your commencement speech to historically”black colleges and universities? What about the graduates from “historically” white colleges? Are they irrelevant to you? Or could you just not find a way to give a speech that didn’t fit into your personal agenda to all 2020 graduates, not just black graduates?
You had an opportunity to speak from your heart and empathize with their disappointment at not being able to participate in an actual graduation, a chance to walk and be proud of their accomplishments. To cherish their moment in the sun. Instead, you did what you “historically” do best. You made their graduation about you and your need to divide our country. You just had to go there; (referencing COVID which has claimed a disproportionately large number of African Americans) you made it racist. You said COVID, “spotlights the underlying and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country.” COVID is not racist, it is a virus and yet, you made it a racist virus.
You had a platform to tell these amazing people, who had just earned their college degrees, to go out into the world and make a difference, to follow their dreams, to live their lives as decent people. To break the barriers and treat every person they meet as their equal. To not judge anyone because they are different or have different beliefs. It doesn’t matter if someone wears clothes that are different than they do, speaks a different language (and Yes, I talking to you deep southerners with your accents that no one can understand! ?) or people who look different than we do. Break the barriers.
2) Did you forget that the ONLY reason you are giving your virtual commencement speech is because of the pandemic that our country is trying to deal with? Specifically, the 2020 graduates that you are speaking to? You know, the ones who are listening to you and looking for words of encouragement at a time in their lives when everyone in America is wondering what the future holds.
Again, you had the chance to inspire these graduates and encourage them to think about how they can make a difference in not only their future but the future of our country. They shouldn’t look back on their college graduation as something they missed out on but something they should be proud of because it has made them who their future selves will be. Men and women who will make the best of a difficult situation. Men and women who have had to learn that life doesn’t guarantee anything, not a graduation ceremony, not an easy life or a perfect life. Because they graduated in 2020 they have a head start that no other graduating class has every had, the ability to adapt and cope with whatever life throws at them. They are the ones who are going to make a difference in life and in the future of our country. They are the lucky ones, they will succeed because they know how to make the best of what life gives them.
3) Why do you feel the need to make everything about race? You could have said, “a man went for a jog.” Instead, you made it about race. “A black man went for a jog.” First of all, how is this even part of your graduate commencement speech?? How is a mans death a topic to discuss at a graduation commencement? Isnt it time we stop identifying people by the color of their skin.
Fun fact- I was always telling people about a friend of mine, Kate, who was a lawyer, had an awesome marriage, her daughter, who was a star athlete, etc… Kate and I were having lunch one day and I ran into an acquaintance of mine. I introduced her to Kate. Days later I ran into that same acquaintance and she was SHOCKED that I had never mentioned that Kate was black. You see, I was confused because I don’t preference the color of skin of my friends when I talk about them. They are just my friends, people just like you and me. You see, President Obama, the color of Kate’s skin wasn’t relevant, at least not to me. WHO she is, is what is relevant. I pray that one day you will learn that using the color of a persons skin is racist and irrelevant, everyone is just a friend or a person just like you and me.
President Obama, you were given an opportunity to take the “high road, when others go low.” You had an opportunity to inspire and encourage these college graduates, who are the future of America, who will be one day be faced with the difficult decisions on how to keep our country as our forefathers laid out. And yet, you chose to tow the diehard liberal line and make this about politics and race. You went low, when you should have taken the high road.