Absent-minded Biden applauds call for ceasefire in Gaza at Morehouse College commencement

He’s absent-minded Biden.

The bewildered-looking president applauded a call for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip” Sunday whereas attending the the commencement for Morehouse College in Atlanta on Sunday.

Valedictorian Deangelo Fletcher, who spoke earlier than Biden’s commencement deal with, stopped in need of any direct rebuke of the president however referred to as for an “immediate and a permanent ceasefire.”

“It is only right for the class of 2024 to utilize any platform provided to stand in solidarity with peace and justice,” Fletcher mentioned whereas evoking the activism of Morehouse alumnus Martin Luther King Jr.

“The Israel-Gaza conflict has plagued the people of its region for generations,” he added. “It is important to recognize that both sides have suffered heavy casualties in the wake of October 7.”

Biden, 81, has pressed for a pause in the preventing in Gaza however has affirmed help for Israel in its warfare towards Hamas — one thing that has roiled progressives.

In advance of his commencement deal with, some college and college students at the traditionally black, all-male establishment overtly revolted towards the invite for Biden amid their frustrations with the Israel-Hamas warfare.

President Biden
President Biden’s commencement deal with comes amid mushy polling numbers with younger and black voters. AFP through Getty Images

Earlier this month Steve Benjamin, head of the administration’s Office of Public Engagement at Morehouse, huddled with college students who have been upset with the Biden invite given the warfare raging half a world away, NBC reported.

President Biden
Morehouse College awarded President Biden with an honorary diploma. WireImage

Benjamin sought to impress upon the scholars that Biden’s deal with is not going to perform as a marketing campaign speech, however as a substitute middle on their achievements as college students.

A small group of school members have reportedly vowed to not attend the commencement deal with.

“I’ve spoken with several faculty members who say under no conditions are they going to sit on a stage with Joe Biden,” Andrew Douglas, a political science professor at Morehouse previously told NBC.

“It’s on everybody’s mind.”

Biden’s go to to Morehouse marked his first vital ventures onto a school campus since anti-Israel protests started taking elite establishments by storm, although notably anti-Israel protests at Morehouse have been typically extra tame than different campuses similar to Columbia University.

Anti-Israel protesters have already erupted at a number of commencement speeches, together with comic Jerry Seinfeld’s deal with to Duke University earlier this month.

Morehouse College was set to award the president with an honorary diploma after 50 of 88 college reportedly voted in favor of that.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre teased Biden’s speech as “an opportunity to lift up and to give an important message to our future leaders.”

Morehouse College
Morehouse College has over an estimated 2,200 college students. AFP through Getty Images

“It will meet the moment. And I think you will hear directly from the president on how he sees obviously the future of this country, and also the community that they represent,” she added.

Biden’s speech got here amid political difficulties in the Israel-Hamas warfare in addition to lackluster polling numbers with youthful and black voters.

Biden has a 71% to 13% edge with black voters over President Biden, down from the 87% to 12% rating he notched in 2020 election exit polls, based on an NBC News April survey.

Only 36% of voters between the ages of 18 to 34 expressed excessive curiosity in the 2024 presidential election, in one more potential warning signal for the president.

President Biden
President Biden drew applause when he was welcomed onstage at Morehouse. REUTERS

Prior to his speech, Biden introduced some $16 billion in recent funding for traditionally Black schools and universities.

Former President Barack Obama beforehand spoke at Morehouse College in 2013. Biden is the primary president to ship the school’s commencement deal with in 11 years.

Biden can also be set to ship a second commencement deal with on May 25 at the US Military Academy at West Point.

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