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Biden to speak at Morehouse College commencement, sparking faculty concerns

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  4 weeks ago  •  8 comments

By:   NBC News

Biden to speak at Morehouse College commencement, sparking faculty concerns
Morehouse College is set to announce that President Joe Biden will deliver its commencement address on May 19, but some faculty members have raised concerns about the decision.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


WASHINGTON — Morehouse College is set to announce that President Joe Biden will deliver its commencement address on May 19, but some faculty members have raised concerns about the decision, according to two people familiar with the matter and an email to faculty members reviewed by NBC News.

"This week, I received an inquiry from concerned faculty about rumors they were hearing about President Biden's selection as the 2024 Commencement speaker," Kendrick Brown, Morehouse College's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, wrote in the email to faculty members Friday.

Brown said he would convene a virtual meeting Thursday "to extend an opportunity for faculty with different perspectives on the selection of our Commencement speaker to ask questions and make comments." He said students would also engage with college President David Thomas.

Brown did not respond to a request for further comment, and a spokesperson for Morehouse declined to offer more details.

A Morehouse faculty member told NBC News administrators are believed to be concerned that faculty members will join students in protest of Biden during the ceremony.

The pushback against leadership's decision comes amid increasing protests on college campuses over Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The protests since the war began in October have already forced Biden, and other top administration officials, to dramatically scale back appearances at college campuses.

Commencement season is typically a time when presidents reach young audiences, and it offers them opportunities to deliver keynote addresses highlighting their accomplishments and the future. In an election year, commencement speeches can carry particular significance.

But Biden's addresses this year are poised to be fraught, largely because of growing protests over his refusal to call for a permanent, immediate cease-fire in Gaza without conditions. Biden is struggling with younger voters, and recent polling also indicates many Black voters are not enthusiastic about supporting his candidacy.

Speaking at a historically Black college would provide an "opportunity" for Biden, according to the person familiar with the controversy.

The White House declined to comment.

Pro-Palestinian protests have rocked college campuses nationwide. Kena Betancur / AFP - Getty Images

Brown wrote in his email that Morehouse first extended its invitation to Biden in September and that the college would announce him as its speaker early this week.

And, he wrote, "the College does not plan to rescind its accepted invitation to President Biden." The meeting Thursday "is a forum for discussion and to respond to questions about the invitation that was extended and accepted," he wrote.

Morehouse, like other colleges, has faced students speaking out about the war in Gaza. In February, the Maroon Tiger — Morehouse's student publication — reported that a student pulled an Israeli flag down from the chapel and was detained by campus police.

"Students are not in favor of the way in which the United States has handled this situation, and are surely not in favor of the trauma and the pain and the genocide that the Palestinian people are going through — but also that innocent civilians and Israel are going through as well," Calvin Bell, a Morehouse College student said in February, after the flag incident.

A source familiar with the commencement planning told NBC News: "It's not been a secret nationwide, if not globally, that there are a lot of concerns ... about how the war has been handled and how America and the presidency has been in the war. We've heard conversations like that. There's also plenty of people who are excited to have a sitting president as their commencement speaker."


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago


"This week, I received an inquiry from concerned faculty about rumors they were hearing about President Biden's selection as the 2024 Commencement speaker," Kendrick Brown, Morehouse College's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, wrote in the email to faculty members Friday.

Translation: faculty members are a big part of the antisemitic movement on campus. Joe is in a tough spot. The democrat party is once again being influenced by hate. The American people are mostly sympathetic to Israel. How does he walk that fine line between the two?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    4 weeks ago

So? MAGAs never act right. Go Joe Go!

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
3  Drinker of the Wry    4 weeks ago

Biden will also give the commencement address at West Point.  He will be politely received there.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
4  Jeremy Retired in NC    4 weeks ago
Biden is struggling with younger voters, and recent polling also indicates many Black voters are not enthusiastic about supporting his candidacy.

When you have a history of being a racist it makes it hard to garner the support of those you have discriminated against.

 
 
 
George
Junior Expert
4.1  George  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @4    4 weeks ago
When you have a history of being a racist

Which is why it is so surprising that democrats do so well with minorities, they are the architects of racism in the US.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
Professor Expert
5  Jeremy Retired in NC    4 weeks ago

I'm curious.  Has anybody told Traitor Joe about this?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
6  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

Hmmmm ...  Isn't it interesting that few are paying attention to the war in Ukraine?  There weren't protests over withholding or providing aid to Ukraine; that controversy didn't even register on the campus outrage meter.  Even protest and political activism has turned away from Eurocentric controversy.  We've entered the promised land of a brown majority.  

Joe Biden is in trouble simply because the Palestinian/Gaza controversy is not about racial divisions.  The contrasts cannot be politically exploited as a black & white issue.  In fact, it would be difficult to find a people who has been more oppressed throughout history than the Jews.  How will Biden's stern warnings to Israel resonate with Black voters?  Will Black activism give up the promised land to support their great, white hope?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
7  Drinker of the Wry    4 weeks ago
 Isn't it interesting that few are paying attention to the war in Ukraine?

Apparently, among the cloistered class, Ukrainian civilian lives don't matter so much while Palestinian lives do.  

 
 

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