Thursday, November 30, 2023

President Joe Biden at Howard U: Let Us Not Forget, It Is 2023, Not 1963.

May 22, 2023 by  
Filed under BM, Education, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Nestled within the nation’s capital, the historic Howard University stands, its hallowed halls echoing with the pulsating hopes and dreams of a generation eager to carve out their niche in the world. This illustrious institution, a historically Black university, has always been a beacon, a lighthouse guiding ambitious, capable minds to the shores of success. In its classrooms, future engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and industry titans are forged, eager to script their unique narratives in the annals of American history.

When President Joe Biden took to the podium at Howard’s 2023 commencement, one would have reasonably expected him to inspire, to offer words soaked in wisdom and insight, to breathe life into visions of a future shimmering with promise. Yet, the president chose a different path, deciding to dwell on race — a significant yet singular aspect of our shared experience as a nation.

President Joe Biden at Howard U

There is no denying that race forms an integral part of our national tapestry, but it is not the whole picture. The young men and women at Howard are not just “Black” students. They are, first and foremost, individuals, each with a distinct set of aspirations, a unique set of challenges to overcome and a personal catalogue of triumphs. They are America’s next generation of leaders, a diverse cohort whose interests and concerns span far beyond the confines of race. As such, their graduation ceremony shouldn’t be about race; it shouldn’t be marred by the president of the United States declaring “white supremacy” as the “most dangerous terrorist threat” to the nation. Remarks that categorize individuals as threats based on their race, ethnicity or beliefs are not suitable for a graduation event — a time meant for rejoicing in accomplishments, rather than delving into divisive topics.

By placing such an unwavering focus on race, we risk minimizing these young people to a single facet of their identity. We subtly imply that their most pressing concern should be the color of their skin, rather than the weight of their thoughts, the grandeur of their dreams and the potential impact of their actions. We seem to forget the variety of subjects that could, and should, be addressed: economic policy, global diplomacy, technological advancements, climate change. These are the challenges and opportunities of their era, the real concerns that need addressing.

Let us not forget, it is 2023, not 1963. The world around us continues to transform, and our conversations need to reflect this evolution. We must acknowledge the complexity and diversity of thought that exists within the African American community, and not confine them within the walls of an oversimplified narrative that fixates on their race.

As we step into the future, our demands from our leaders must grow. We must demand an acknowledgment and appreciation of the full range of our experiences, the richness of our dreams and the diversity of our identities. We must strive for a discourse that values us not just for the color of our skin but for the quality of our ideas, the depth of our character and the breadth of our potential.

The horizon is just opening up for the Class of 2023. Each one of them is embarking on a journey that is unique, challenging and filled with promise. To them, I say: You are more than a label. You are more than the color of your skin. You are the embodiment of the American Dream. This Dream is as varied, as complex and as wonderfully unique as each one of you.

Each one of you carries within you the power to effect change, the potential to shape the future and the capacity to redefine the narrative. And that narrative should not be one that is confined by the color of your skin. It should be a narrative that is shaped by the breadth of your ideas, the depth of your insights and the strength of your resolve.

The world is waiting to hear your stories. So, go out there, challenge the status quo, break the stereotypes and rewrite the narrative. Show the world that you are more than just a label, that you are a force to be reckoned with. And in doing so, remember that your journey is not defined by your race but by the power of your intellect, the tenacity of your spirit and the purity of your ambition. It’s not your color that determines your value, but your values themselves, your commitment to excellence and your willingness to stand for what is right.

Written by Armstrong Williams

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2 Responses to “President Joe Biden at Howard U: Let Us Not Forget, It Is 2023, Not 1963.”
  1. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    Who the hell are you to think that you can critique the performance of the President of the United States of America? In what world do you live ? Do you think that you know a better topic for Biden to discuss with future leaders of America, and possibly the whole world than Joe Biden ? You speak English which is a white cultured language.The majority of every bit of important information about any thing you get from white people.President Joe Biden helps engineer the futures of millions of American citizens, and he does this with seamless magnificence every single day.We need to listen, and pay close attention when President Joe Biden talks to our future African American leaders.

  2. ZaSu Pitts says:

    We have had a recent shooting by a crazy guy claiming to be a Nazi and another nutcase tried to ram a U-haul into the White House then ran around with a Nazi flag until tackled, but neither are “White” guys.
    Larry Elder is the face if White Supremacy to oeople like Biden as is Judge Thomas and Sen. Tim Scott.
    It really seems the White Supremists are having identity issues?
    The ones in the news just aren’t “white” are they? Maybe that old joke about KKK meetings being filled with undercovers is true and quite a few of those White Supremists nowadays are just FBI agents as well as just anyone who disagrees with the senile old cracke….coot?
    Those true inbred racists are not who he was actually yelling about but were just the millions who believe he needs to retire to a porch somewhere to yell at kids about his grass.

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