Obama Delivers Uninspiring, Politically-Charged Virtual Commencement Speech

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Posted: May 16, 2020 8:00 PM
Obama Delivers Uninspiring, Politically-Charged Virtual Commencement Speech

Source: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Barrack Obama gave a virtual commencement speech on Saturday in which the former president criticized the Trump administration's leadership amid the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Obama addressed over 27,000 students at 78 historically black colleges and universities. The former president couldn't fill the graduation speech up with just "hope and change," so graduates had to suffer through partisan attacks.

Obama told the graduates their "timing is not ideal" before lamenting the "inequalities and extra burdens" blacks currently face, such as the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on black communities and the recent shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. Not exactly the most inspiring message to give young graduates. 

"You're being asked to find your way in a world in the middle of a devastating pandemic and a terrible recession," Obama noted. "The timing is not ideal. And let's be honest: a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this county. We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes or a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he does not submit to their question."

Obama then accused "the folks in charge" of not knowing what they're doing. 

"More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing," Obama said. "A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge."

The former president's criticism was likely aimed at the Trump administration, but it really hits home with the Biden campaign. After initially attacking Trump's travel ban on China, credited with saving countless lives, Biden has now decided he supports the ban after all. On April 5, Biden called on President Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act; seemingly unaware that Trump had already invoked the Defense Production Act on numerous occasions, the first time back on March 18th. Biden also can't remember who briefs him on the coronavirus every day, which state he's in, which woman is his wife and which one is his sister, when the camera is on, and the second half of many sentences the candidate never finishes. 

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