Biden To Deliver Controversial Speech To Black Students

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – President Joe Biden is set to deliver a commencement speech at Morehouse College this weekend, which has led to a senior White House official already making a campus visit to discuss with faculty and students concerns regarding the visit. 

On Tuesday White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the meeting between the college and Steve Benjamin, the administration’s Office of Public Engagement head. She noted that while she would not discuss the specifics of the visit, this was something that he often does as he directly talks with Americans and hears from them. 

On Monday NBC News reported that during the meeting the students at the historic Black college had argued that they were concerned that an appearance from the president could potentially overshadow the graduation effect because of the current political climate, and his position on the Israel-Hamas war. They also noted that they were worried that the commencement speech could potentially sound more like a campaign speech. 

The meeting lasted close to two hours, running overtime on Friday. The students are not the only ones to express concerns about the event, as the faculty has similarly spoken up about their worries. The pushback comes at a time when Biden is facing widespread protests on college campuses relating to the handling of the war in Gaza by his administration. Polling has also shown that the incumbent president was losing the support of Black and Hispanic voters and young voters. 

Biden has previously criticized the pro-Palestinian protests on campuses but has stressed that it was important for peaceful protests to continue, as it is a fundamental right. 

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