Morehouse defends students, faculty who turned their backs during Biden speech: ‘We are proud’

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Morehouse defends students, faculty turning backs during Biden speech: 'We are proud'. College supports act of protest

Morehouse College Commencement Sees Peaceful Protest as Students Turn Backs on President Biden

 

Morehouse defends students, faculty who turned their backs during Biden speech ‘We are proud’

In a demonstration of peaceful protest, several graduates and one faculty member at Morehouse College turned their backs on President Joe Biden as he delivered his commencement address at the Atlanta institution on Sunday. The protest came in response to Biden's handling of the ongoing war in Gaza, reflecting Morehouse's deep-rooted tradition of social justice and activism.

 

Morehouse College praised its students and faculty for their peaceful assembly, emphasizing that such expressions are integral to the school’s values and heritage. The administration acknowledged the significance of the protest occurring at the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., highlighting the continuation of critical conversations in the public eye.

 

"We are proud of the resilient class of 2024’s unity in silent protest, showing their intentionality in strategy, communication, and coordination as a 412-person unit," stated Morehouse College. The protest was part of a broader wave of nationwide campus demonstrations against Israel’s military actions in Gaza, which, according to Gaza's Health Ministry, have resulted in over 35,000 Palestinian deaths.

 

During his speech, President Biden addressed the protesters directly, acknowledging their voices and the tragic scenes from Gaza that have caused widespread heartbreak. "I support peaceful nonviolent protest," Biden said, noting that he hears the concerns of the protesters and shares their anguish. He also reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire to address the humanitarian crisis and secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas.

 

The choice of Biden as the commencement speaker had sparked controversy among some faculty and alumni, who criticized the president’s approach to the Middle East conflict. Despite the backlash and a petition urging the college’s administration to rescind the invitation, the commencement proceeded without significant disruptions. The applause for Biden remained subdued, with visible acts of dissent including students wearing Palestinian keffiyehs and a Palestinian flag draped over one student’s shoulders.

 

As Biden spoke, a faculty member raised a fist in solidarity, and academics on stage unfurled a Congolese flag, drawing attention to the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This act underscored the broader calls for racial justice advocates to address various global conflicts and the need for American intervention in ending the violence.

 

The peaceful protest at Morehouse College underscores the institution’s enduring commitment to social justice and the power of nonviolent demonstration, resonating deeply with its historical legacy.


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CRN News Update - Latest Breaking News: Morehouse defends students, faculty who turned their backs during Biden speech: ‘We are proud’
Morehouse defends students, faculty who turned their backs during Biden speech: ‘We are proud’
Morehouse defends students, faculty turning backs during Biden speech: 'We are proud'. College supports act of protest
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