Commencement Address Transcript
canada goose uk outlet THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Laughter.) That is why I am here. canada goose uk outlet
I have to say that it is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today. I want to thank Dr. Wilson for his outstanding leadership, and the Board of Trustees. We have Congressman Cedric Richmond and Sanford Bishop both proud alumni of this school, as well as Congressman Hank Johnson. And one of my dear friends and a great inspiration to us all the canada goose number uk great John Lewis is here. (Applause.) We have your outstanding Mayor, Mr. Kasim Reed, in the house. (Applause.)
canadian goose jacket To all the members of the Morehouse family. And most of all, congratulations to this distinguished group of Morehouse Men the Class of 2013. (Applause.) canadian goose jacket
I have to say that it a little hard to follow not Dr. Wilson, but a skinny guy with a funny name. (Laughter.) Betsegaw Tadele he going to be doing something.
I also have to say that you all are going to get wet. (Laughter.) And I be out there with you if I could. (Laughter.) But Secret Service gets nervous. (Laughter.) So I going to have to stay here, dry. (Laughter.) But know that I there with you in spirit. (Laughter.)
Some of you are graduating summa cum laude. (Applause.) Some of you are graduating magna cum laude. (Applause.) I know some of you are just graduating, you, Lordy. (Laughter and applause.) That appropriate because it a Sunday. (Laughter.)
I see some moms and grandmas here, aunts, in their Sunday best although they are upset about their hair getting messed up. (Laughter.) canada goose Michelle would not be sitting in the rain. (Laughter.) She has taught me about hair. (Laughter.)
canada goose clearance I want to congratulate all of you the parents, the grandparents, the brothers and sisters, the family and friends who supported these young men in so many ways. This is your day, as well. Just think about it your sons, your brothers, your nephews they spent the last four years far from home and close to Spelman, and yet they are still here today. (Applause.) So you done something right. Graduates, give a big round of applause to your family for everything that they done for you. (Applause.) canada goose clearance
cheap canada goose uk I know that some of you had to wait in long lines to get into today ceremony. And I would apologize, but it did not have anything to do with security. Those graduates just wanted you to know what it like to register for classes here. (Laughter and applause.) And this time of year brings a different kind of stress every senior stopping by Gloster Hall over the past week making sure your name was actually on the list of students who met all the graduation requirements. (Applause.) If it wasn on the list, you had to figure out why. Was it that library book you lent to that trifling roommate who didn return it? (Laughter.) Was it Dr. Johnson policy class? (Applause.) Did you get enough Crown Forum credits? (Applause.) cheap canada goose uk
On that last point, I going to exercise my power as President to declare this speech sufficient Crown Forum credits for any otherwise eligible student to graduate. That is my graduation gift to you. (Applause.) You have a special dispensation.
Now, graduates, I am humbled to stand here with all of you as an honorary Morehouse Man. (Applause.) I finally made it. (Laughter.) And as I do, I mindful of an old saying: can always tell a Morehouse Man (applause) but you can tell him much. (Applause.) And that makes my task a little more difficult, I suppose. But I think it also reflects the sense of canada goose outlet shop pride that always been part of this school tradition.
canada goose Benjamin Mays, who served as the president of Morehouse for almost 30 years, understood that tradition better than anybody. He said and I quote will not be sufficient for Morehouse College, for any college, for that matter, to produce clever graduates but rather honest men, men who can be trusted in public and private life men who are sensitive to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society and who Canada Goose Online are willing to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills. It was that mission not just to educate men, but to cultivate good men, canada goose outlet mall strong men, upright men that brought community leaders together just two years after the end of the Civil War. They assembled a list of 37 men, free blacks and freed slaves, who would make up the first prospective class of what later became Morehouse College. Most of those first students had a desire to become teachers and preachers to better themselves so they could help others do the same. canada goose
A century and a half later, times have changed. But the Mystique still endures. Some of you probably came here from communities where everybody looked like you. Others may have come here in search of a community. And I suspect that some of you probably felt a little bit of culture shock the first time you came together as a class in King Chapel. All of a sudden, you weren the only high school sports captain, you weren the only student council president. You were suddenly in a group of high achievers, and that meant you were expected to do something more.
That the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.
Dr. King was just 15 years old when he enrolled here at Morehouse. He was an unknown, undersized, unassuming young freshman who lived at home with his parents. And I think it fair to say he wasn the coolest kid on campus for the suits he wore, his classmates called him But his education at Morehouse helped to forge the intellect, the discipline, the compassion, the soul force that would transform America. It was here that he was introduced to the writings of Gandhi and Thoreau, and the theory of civil disobedience. It was here canada goose decoys uk that professors encouraged him to look past the world as it was and fight for the world as it should be. And it was here, at Morehouse, as Dr. King later wrote, where realized that nobody afraid. Not even of some bad weather. I added on that part. (Laughter.) canada goose outlet in vancouver I know it wet out there. But Dr. Wilson told me you all had a choice and decided to do it out here anyway. (Applause.) That a Morehouse Man talking.
Now, think about it. For black men in the and the the threat of violence, the constant humiliations, large and small, the uncertainty that you could support a family, the gnawing doubts born of the Jim Crow culture that told you every day that somehow you were inferior, the temptation to shrink from the world, to accept your place, to avoid risks, to be afraid that temptation was necessarily strong.
canada goose factory sale And yet, here, under the tutelage of men like Dr. Mays, young Martin learned to be unafraid. And he, in turn, taught others to be unafraid. And over time, he taught a nation to be unafraid. And over the last 50 years, thanks to the moral force of Dr. King and a Moses generation that overcame their fear and their cynicism and their despair, barriers have come tumbling down, and new doors of opportunity have swung open, and laws and hearts and minds have been changed to the point where someone who looks just like you can somehow come to serve as President of these United States of America. (Applause.) canada goose factory sale
So the history we share should give you hope. The future we share should give you hope. You graduating into an improving job market. You living in a time when advances in technology and communication put the world at your fingertips. Your generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it.
But that doesn mean we don have work because if we honest with ourselves, we know that too few of our brothers have the opportunities that you had here at Morehouse. In troubled neighborhoods all across this country many of them heavily African American too few of our citizens have role models to guide them. Communities just a couple miles from my house in Chicago, communities just a couple miles from here they places where jobs are still too scarce and wages are still too low; where schools are underfunded and violence is pervasive; where too many of our men spend their youth not behind a desk canada goose finance uk in a classroom, but hanging out on the streets or brooding behind a jail cell.
My job, as President, is to advocate for policies that generate more opportunity for everybody policies that strengthen the middle class and give more people the chance to climb their way into the middle class. Policies that create more good jobs and reduce poverty, and educate more children, and give more families the security of health care, and protect more of our children from the horrors of gun violence. That my job. Those are matters of public policy, and it is important for all of us black, white and brown to advocate for an America where everybody has got a fair shot in life. Not just some. Not just a canada goose outlet official few. (Applause.)
Canada Goose Parka But along with collective responsibilities, we have individual responsibilities. There are some things, as black men, we can only do for ourselves. There are some things, as Morehouse Men, that you are obliged to do for those still left behind. As Morehouse Men, you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you about to collect and that the power of your example. Canada Goose Parka
cheap Canada Goose So what I ask of you today is the same thing I ask of every graduating class I address: Use that power for something larger than yourself. Live up to President Mays challenge. Be to the wrongs, the sufferings, and the injustices of society. And be to accept responsibility for correcting [those] ills. I know that some of you came to Morehouse from communities uk canada goose store where life cheap canada goose was about keeping your head down and looking out for yourself. Maybe you feel like you escaped, and now you can take your degree and get that fancy job and the nice house and the nice car and never look back. And don get me wrong with all those student loans you had to take out, I know you got to earn some money. With doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could not even imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if all you think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do. (Applause.) cheap Canada Goose
So, yes, go get that law degree. But if you do, ask yourself if the only option is to defend the rich and the powerful, or if you can also find some time to defend the powerless. Sure, go get your MBA, or start that business. We need black businesses out there. But ask yourselves what broader purpose your business might serve, in putting people to work, or transforming a neighborhood. The most successful CEOs I know didn start out intent just on making money rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed. (Applause.)
Some of you may be headed to medical school to become doctors. But make sure you heal folks in underserved communities who really need it, too. For generations, certain groups in this country especially African Americans have been desperate in need of access to quality, affordable health care. And as a society, we finally beginning to change that. Those of you who are https://www.fabulalitera.de under the age of 26 already have the option to stay on your parent health care plan. But all of you are heading into an economy where many young people expect not only to have multiple jobs, but multiple careers.
So starting October 1st, because of the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare (applause) you be able to shop for a quality, affordable plan that yours and travels with you a plan that will insure not only your health, but your dreams if you are sick or get in an accident. But we going to need some doctors to make sure it works, too. We got to make sure everybody has good health in this country. It not just good for you, it good for this country. So you going to have to spread the word to your fellow young people.
Which brings me to a second point: Just as Morehouse has taught you to expect more of yourselves, inspire those who look up to you to expect more of themselves. We know that too many young men in our community continue to make bad choices. And I have to say, growing up, I made quite a few myself. Sometimes I wrote off my own failings as just another example of the world trying to keep a black man down. I had a tendency sometimes to make excuses for me not doing the right thing. But one of the things that all of you have learned over the last four years is there no longer any room for excuses. (Applause.)
Canada Goose Online I understand there a common fraternity creed here at Morehouse: are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness. Well, we got no time for excuses. Not because the bitter legacy of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they have not. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; we know those are still out there. It just that in today hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with millions of young people from China and India and Brazil many of whom started with a whole lot less than all of you did all of them entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything that you have not earned. (Applause.) Canada Goose Online
Nobody cares how tough your upbringing was. Nobody cares if you suffered some discrimination. And moreover, you have to remember that whatever you gone through, it pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured and they overcame them. And if they overcame them, you can overcome them, too. (Applause.)
canada goose store You now hail from a lineage and legacy of immeasurably strong men men who bore tremendous burdens and still laid the stones for the path on which we now walk. You wear the mantle of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, and Ralph Bunche and Langston Hughes, and George Washington Carver and Ralph Abernathy and Thurgood Marshall, and, yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These men were many things to many people. And they knew full well the role that racism played in their lives. But when it came to their own accomplishments and sense of purpose, they had no time for excuses canada goose store.