A commencement speech was given to graduating students of Howard University of President Joe Biden warned: “The most dangerous threat to our homeland is white supremacy.”
“And I’m not saying this because I’m at a Black HBCU,” he said from Washington, D.C.’s Capitol One Arena, adding, “I say it wherever I go.”
Biden drew a sobering picture of the national political landscape with his address, touching on the threats to American democracy, threats to suppress Black history, and threats of violence — including the recent bomb scares made to HBCUs, or historically Black colleges and universities.
“I thought, when I graduated, we could defeat hate,” Biden said. He earned his law degree in 1968 from Syracuse. “But it never goes away. It only hides under the rocks.”
“He added” “And when it’s given oxygen, it comes out from under that rock. That’s why we know this truth as well: Silence is complicity.”
Biden then reiterated a line he’s spoken often in past speeches, that America is “the only country founded on an idea,” One that is not a solitary “we’ve never fully lived up to.”
“I urge you to do it,” he said. “fight for the soul of our nation” — a major theme of his last presidential campaign and his current one.
“We know that American history has not always been a fairytale. From the start, it’s been a constant push and pull, for more than 240 years, between the best of us, the American idea that we’re all created equal, and the worst of us, the harsh reality that racism has long torn us apart,” Biden said.
“It’s a battle that’s never really over, but on the best days, enough of us have the guts and the heart to stand up for best in us, to choose love over hate, unity over disunity, progress over retreat, to stand up against the poison of white supremacy.”
It’s not the first time Biden Has called out white superiority by name. He’s done it on many other occasions including the racist massacre at a Buffalo New York supermarket almost one year earlier. The In February, a man who shot and killed 10 people in a store was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Over the past few years, federal and state officials from the FBI have been warning against the threats posed to the United States by extremists of the far right.
Biden This is the seventh time that a sitting president has delivered the keynote address. Howard’s commencement ceremony, according to the school.
Vice President Kamala Harris attended the university. Biden Honorary Howard Doctor of letters