Several Morehouse College students turn their backs on Biden during commencement address

As support for the 81 year old commander-in chief among black voters plummets, multiple students at Morehouse College turned away from President Biden in his Atlanta commencement address on Sunday.

Biden’s historic speech at an all-male, black college was the first time that he had set foot on a campus since anti-Israel protests broke out in schools across the nation.

He told graduates that he supported peaceful nonviolent demonstrations, while several of them turned away to face the president.

Your voices must be heard. “I promise you that I hear them,” said the student, who was wearing a kaffiyeh (a traditional Palestinian scarf) on their shoulders.


Biden confronted Israel-Hamas’s war in the open.

The president said, “It is a humanitarian emergency in Gaza. That’s why I have called for an urgent ceasefire.”

He added, “I understand it frustrates and angers many of you including my family.”

Before his remarks, the leadership of the campus was prepared for possible protests, similar to walkouts or other demonstrations against commencement speaker, including Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

A letter was circulated online by some Morehouse alumni condemning the administrators for inviting Biden.

The letter claimed the president’s attitude towards Israel was equivalent to supporting genocide in Gaza, and that it contradicted the pacifism preached Martin Luther King Jr. Morehouse’s most celebrated graduate.

According to reports, several faculty members have also pledged not to attend commencement.

Deangelo Fletcher wore a Palestinian flag pin and called for a “permanent ceasefire in Gaza” just before Biden delivered his speech. This prompted a standing applause.

Biden, who had previously told Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu that “an immediate cease-fire was essential” to “protect innocent civillians,” also joined the standing ovation.

Biden stated during his speech that “What is happening in Gaza and Israel, is heartbreaking.” Biden said that innocent Palestinians were caught in the middle, including men, women and children who have been killed or forced to flee their homes.

It’s a human crisis. It’s for this reason that I called for a ceasefire immediately — an immediate stop to the fighting and bring the hostages back home. I’m working on an agreement as we speak.”

The President also stressed his desire to reach an agreement on a solution of two states between Israelis and Palestinians.

Biden’s speech to Morehouse comes at a time when polls indicate that he is losing black Americans.

Pew Research Center conducted a recent poll that found only a small majority of black voters (55%) approve of the job performance of President Obama. Pew reports that 95% of women of color and 87% men of color voted for Biden in 2020.

Biden’s lead over Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, in a new poll conducted by NBC News was only 71% to 13%. This is down from his 87% to 12% margin he achieved in exit polls for 2020.

Biden’s commencement speech was a way to win back support for his efforts to advocate for African Americans, such as his recent campaign to provide $16 billion for historically black colleges, universities and schools, and the appointment of Ketanji Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.

He invoked George Floyd at one point. Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in May 2020 by a black police officer, sparking a flurry of protests in the United States.

The President then told the graduating class that the American democracy had failed the black community.

What is democracy when black men are killed on the streets? He asked, “What is democracy when broken promises leave black communities in the dust?”

“Most importantly, what does it really mean to be a Black man who loves his Country even if they don’t reciprocate in the same measure?”

Biden pledged to “call out white supremacy’s poison” and “root systemic racism out.”

However, the president’s remarks sparked a swift backlash in social media.

Joe Biden told Morehouse College graduates in Georgia that America hates black people because they are black. One critic argued that Biden’s divisive speech is the reason he is losing black support.

“TRANSLATION – If you are black and live in America you are a victim. Another person responded, “Good luck to Morehouse graduates!”

The commander-in chief said that a Morehouse graduate would one day become president.

Biden joked, referring to Kamala Harris (alumnae of Howard University), the Vice President.

Biden chuckled and added, “She is tough.”

After his remarks, Biden received an honorary degree. Several students walked out of the ceremony as it was being presented. Some students were heard chanting “four more year.”

In 2013, the former President Barack Obama spoke at Morehouse College. Biden is first US President to give commencement speech at Morehouse College in 11 years.

Biden will also deliver a second commencement speech on 25 May at the US Military Academy in West Point.