Heads-Up: President Obama Delivers the Miami Dade College Commencement Address

At 6:55 PM EDT: here. Here’s to a nice ending to a really shitty week.

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57 thoughts on “Heads-Up: President Obama Delivers the Miami Dade College Commencement Address

  1. A few words about the importance of bucking up… I have been reading a lot of comments lately from people who seem somehow defeated or are suffering from a sort of low-grade depression about the state of our politics. My message to these folks is BUCK THE HELL UP. For God’s sake, take your cue from Barack Obama himself. Those of us who are black in this country are under NO illusions that this is an inherently racist country. That’s a fact. It has always been this way. Our ancestors still loved this country IN SPITE of its deep racism. Over the years, through struggle and FIGHT, we have worked together with people of good conscience (some of whom have been white) to reshape the country and to less racism. Yet racism is structural and institutional and that fight continues. Barack Obama and those of us who have fought our way to become high achievers in our respective fields are aware of the black tax that we carry with us. We know that many people question our qualifications and we also know that black citizenship is ALWAYS under attack. Right now, today, in America one out of 10 black people are disenfranchised from voting because they have felony records. We see Republican governors moving to prohibit us from voting all across the country even if we do not have a felony. That is as it has always been. It is not a surprise to us. No, instead it should be a clarion call for us to keep being drum majors for justice.

    Finally, I want to share a few words for you, BWD, specifically. I have deeply appreciated your role as an ally to people of color. I want you to know that those of us who are people of color are under no illusions. America has always been out to kill us. The important point is that we haven’t and won’t allow it to succeed. That is why it is so important to have allies like you speaking out against injustice. Not, being deflated by injustice, but getting “FIRED UP” to fight it. I want you to know that though we don’t know each other, your voice is appreciated. Keep doing what you do. It makes a difference. Do it joyfully and fearlessly. We all need to continue to be drum-majors for justice TOGETHER.

  2. Sorry folks, I was typing fast because I have to leave the office so ignore my grammatical errors. You get the gist of what I am saying…

  3. MK – First, I’d like to say: Thanks, I needed that.

    I’m keeping a copy of your writing to refer to in the future when I get discouraged. Your wisdom and bravery show through beautifully. Again, thank you.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with what you write, but I do have to note that in my readings, I saw quite a few comments coming from black commenters who were literally in tears because this episode was so painful. So it’s good to be mindful of how everyone reacts differently and in their own way to outrages.

    That said, your way is the way to avoid paralysis. For me, fear + discouragement=paralysis, an almost irrational paralysis. So I can’t personally indulge in too much of it when it comes to political advocacy; I have to be optimistic even to the point of pollyanna-ish to get up and go. Everyone is different, but your remarks really resonated with me.

    “joyfully and fearlessly” right on!

  5. ok I can now say the words out loud.
    I have been sad for 3 whole days.
    As an African-American older lady..I just cannot believe my beautiful President had to show his papers to a bunch of racists clowns.
    But I am coming out of the shock a bit because the new meme on Trump is that he is a racist and that is being said out loud on Tv by ..white people.
    But still there is a pain in my heart I just can’t shake.

  6. I just love how intellectually curious the entire Obama family is. The intense focus they all seem to share…being present in each moment. Sasha, in particular, has an intensity that is so charming. I love my First Family.

  7. Each of us has a unique way with shaking off sadness and depression. For me it is “doing something”. That is why sending email to Macys, NBC, and the sponsors of Celebrity Apprentice was helpful.

    For others it might be punching a pillow, having a good cry, or coming to this blog for support.

    Whatever works for you.

    We need to move past anger, sadness and discouragement and grow stronger from the experience. This should motivate us to make one more phone call, attend one more meeting, talk to one more neighbor, or make 1 more donation.

    We will all be celebrating in Nov. 2012. By then Trump, Beck, Palin, etc… will all be forgotten and we will have each other and the President for 4 more years.

    Stay Hopeful

  8. MK,

    I co-sign; and as Chris Rock says, he looks forward to the time when a mediocre Black man can be president. A-A always have had to be exceptional to have a chance of having a seat at the table (or to be the one chairing it). It’s another day, everyone; go brave and live strong.

  9. Every time I see pictures of the First Family together doing something wonderful like this, tears come to my eyes. First in gratitude for such a family in the White House! Every day I wake up thankful that Barack Obama is President. Second, the tears come because I grew up as one of two very adored daughters. I see my father 50 years ago when I see the president…different color, different background, but totally in love with his wife and proud of his girls!
    They are a gift to us.

  10. Shit turns into manure…which fertilizes the flowers and plants and make them grow strong and beautiful.
    BWD, you are a wonderful flower of hope and beauty. A little shit (like that carnival barker) just makes us appreciate you more and PBO more. I feel really good about what is happening… it just takes some time for the little shit to disappear so that the flowers can bloom. PBO is a good gardener.
    Thanks for everything.
    Know Hope.

  11. Here’s a petty question: The man in that last photo – What are the chances that he voted for PBO in 2008 or will vote for him next year?

  12. 10% in 2008, maybe 40% – 45% in 2012. When something catastrophic happens politics, race, religion, skin color, don’t matter. 2012 is a long way, away but that man and his children will never forget meeting the President and First Lady and the comfort and compassion they’ve shown them.

  13. That last photo is very touching. Even when I was made homeless after the Northridge earthquake it was nothing like what these people are experiencing in Alabama.

  14. aamom – MK helped to try to bring me peace, by the post above – although it was intended for all of us. If it helps you in any way, I’d like you to know that each of us in our own way has felt pain over current events, and yet I know we are stronger and better equipped than those who are judging President Obama “not for the content of his character.” Any other words escape me, but I hope you feel that many people are here to help you keep going. When your spirits fall down, we’ll be here to pick you up, as we hope to be helped ourselves. I’m 64 years old, and I cannot believe we’re still going through this, but we are and we must continue to fight the good fight.

  15. Yep, that’s what I was thinking. I don’t think there were even 10% in 2008, but now, who knows. Poor people, this photo is heartbreaking.

  16. Wow, those photos of the destruction in Alabama are heart-breaking. On a much more trivial note, I can’t believe how tall Malia is. She is almost as tall as her Dad. And it’s amazing what a mini-Barack she is, while Sasha is such a mini-Michelle.

    Texas Governor Perry has been whining that the President is paying too much attention to Alabama and he’s asking where the federal money for Texas is. Wasn’t it just last year he wanted to secede?

  17. Yeah it is a petty question…because he may have actually voted for the President. Don’t get me wrong, I get how you feel and I have thoughts like that it myself, it’s just that it should never leave our thoughts because you and everyone here are much better than our fleeting bad thoughts. We’re only human.

    We Love Ya BWD! and we will have more good days than bad.

    The President is going to be treated this way and it will not end until he has completed his 2nd term as President. The good thing is American will appreciate him more when we is out of office and wish for someone like him and kick themselves for not appreciating him when he WAS in office. See Wisconsin? They wish they could have a do-over, now they have to spend the next year undoing the damage they’ve created instead of enjoying their weekends and gearing up for 2012. I am thinking WI, OH, MI, FL, NJ was a blessing in disguise for the PL who thought they were “teaching” the President a lesson. They just don’t learn. AA’s have been voting for Dems and we get very little in return but to vote Repub would be worst. Now that middle class, working class and poor blacks, whites, etc., are fair game…GOP don’t need yo stinkin vote, we gots millionaires, we’re all in the same boat = VOTE DEM! even if the DEM sucks! You can always primary the sucka.

  18. A F R I C A N

    “AFRICAN” IS THE GREAT VICTORY OF THE OBAMA CERTIFICATE!

    Thank you fate, thank you God, thank you to those with fear and doubt and true blue hearts and even those with selfishness and self aggrandizement for motivation, thank you all for completing the American Circle…Thank you.

    We can now see in the full glare of bitter sunlight, amid storms of global political change and storms within our shores, throughout the southeast, taking tragic tolls…

    We now have full form legal proof that our nation is made up and was built by and from Caucasians and Africans.

    We are not a nation of slaves and owners, but of free human beings and we have only the grace of God to thank that our first non-Caucasian president would represent directly and redeem us all from the terribly awkward birth of our great cause and land.

    God bless America…
    Love

  19. Hi gn,
    I completely hear you. I know many, many friends and family who have expressed deep hurt and sadness over this week’s B.S. And I really do understand that people respond to injustice differently. I completely respect that. I will repeat what I have told my fellow black travelers about this week. Go ahead and be sad but DO NOT GIVE IN to resignation or worse to cynicism. We have to keep fighting. Trump is no match for 400 years of slavery and Jim Crow. We have faced much, much worse and yet our ancestors FOUGHT for us. Fought to make a way. So much so that we now have a black President in the United States. I didn’t think I would see the day. So time to cry if need be and then quickly get back to movement-building for ultimate justice and social transformation. Peace to you.

  20. We now have full form legal proof that our nation is made up and was built by…
    …Caucasians and Africans.

    This president genetically represents the two continents from which this nation was born. Looks like Democracy is working to me…

  21. It may well be a more impressive and powerful picture than it may well look on first viewing, BWD (and, yes….you continue to provide for us ALL SUCH a fabulous place to meet, share, discuss, plan, etc. PLEASE keep it goin’ and HANG IN HERE with us).

    This is an interpretation, I will admit, but I’m really rather certain that what that picture is showing is the POTUS AND the FLOTUS PRAYING with what may well be a father and son. If you look at the positioning, how the heads are bowed, how the hands are placed (this would be a Christian approach of laying on of hands), how PBO’s eyes are closed (as are the First Lady’s) and, that being so, she is actually leading what would be imploring and conversational prayer.

    If I’m correct, this is a VERY powerful moment, indeed. Therein….

    Grace beyond measure in humiliation one day – non puffed up, non attention seeking, demonstrated compassion and HUMILITY the next.

    Take heart all “TOAITR’s” and BWD.

    He shows yet aGAIN….he IS the right man for this job.

  22. I know I haven’t been around for a bit… I wanted to comment on the photos with the astronauts… I just love them!!! All of them look so relaxed palling around with the President!! And you can seen they honestly like and respect him.

    I’m sorry the launch didn’t go off today – but glad to see he met up with the crew! Great photos!

  23. This wonderful student body President is delivering a very powerful introduction of President Obama. I hope everyone will be able to see and listen to the video of her statements.

  24. Yes, and the graduates are very responsive and fired up to our President’s speech!

  25. The President’s commencement speech was stellar. It’s obvious that they are getting ready to push for the Dream Act and Immigration and it was brilliant how he told the story of his immigrant father’s quest for higher education in America. Amazing story.

    And I think the line where he said, and I’m paraphrasing majorly here “Our shared American identity is not based on our ethnicity, but for our love of this country”. Something to that affect. It was a huge applause line. I think this line may be a key indication of part of their 2012 strategy. It sounds like they will not hesitate to openly call out the Republicans on their attemps to divide this country racially.

  26. I hope folks saw this speech. Again, I am in awe of this man. This speech was deeply healing after the events of this week. There was so much emotion and universal truth in this. I was especially moved by his comments about his family. He even referred to his BIRTH! God…if all Americans would only listen to him, and leave behind their fears, where would we be?

  27. And follow the example of our most amazing and determined President who does not get bogged down and just keeps marching forward.

  28. Beautiful, magnificent speech President Obama delivered tonight at Miami-Dade. He really brought it and the audience responded. BRAVO.

  29. Good analysis. I have always wondered what happened to his half White side in the press discussion of PBO. Also FOX how can someone be a racist against Whites when he is half White? Seems like an oxymoron to me.

  30. I posted this on the other thread but wanted to share it here. I hope this is okay I have not done this before:
    ********************************
    This one finally made me cry.
    From Pragmatic Progressive:
    “And then there was yesterday — the day the most powerful man in the world, a former Senator from the Land of Lincoln, a graduate of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and a Nobel Laureate… a decent man, a loving man, the father of two little girls and the man who won the Presidency by the cherished traditions of a free people exercising their plebiscite was forced to capitulate to the devils of our most heinous natures.

    This moment in American history — sure to be long recorded – made my skin crawl.

    The 44th President of the United States was made to prove (yet again) what no other president or presidential contender in U.S. history has ever had to prove — ever. Forty-three other men had never been hounded to do anything so patently absurd or determinedly humiliating.

    But it wasn’t about his birth certificate. Be certain of that.”

    April 29, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Also sent this to Chris Matthews today:

    I tried to watch your show today but when you opened with a Pres. Obama poster facsimile with Trump’s face, I immediately turned you off. Why are you giving him the pleasure of watching you play snippets of his vulgarity? I cannot believe you do not know that that is exactly what he wants. I will not watch you anymore until this Trump virus runs its course.
    ************
    It really hit me like a slap. How dare he do that as if it is okay.

    April 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  31. Thank you so much for that MK. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for those words.

  32. I am in my car on my way to Salt Lake City to a conference. We are at a place where0 I can surf on my Blackberry. I wanted to catch up on all todays happenings. What wonderful comments on healing for all of us. I am continually in awe of the people here.

    The pictures are heart wrenching and so comfortin. We are indeed blessed to have this family in the White House.

    Maggy519, thank you for the wrap up of the speech. I can’t wait to watch it.

    Again, thank you BWD for maintaing this great site and to all in this community for being here!

  33. Every time I get brought down by the racists in the country I just look at a picture of President Obama and realize that they are where they are and he is PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!
    Yes, they continue to try and bring him down but every time he makes them look foolish and continues to lead with grace and dignity.

  34. One of my favorite parts of the commencement speech and what I think separates Dems from the GOP:

    “So what I ask of you, graduates, as you walk out of here today is this:
    Pursue success. Do not falter. *When you make it, pull somebody else up.*
    (Applause.) Preserve our dream. *Remember your life is richer when people
    around you have a shot at opportunity as well.* Strive to widen that circle
    of possibility; strive to forge that big, generous, optimistic vision of
    America that we inherited; strive to carry that dream forward to future
    generations.”

  35. Hello, Don’t be sad.Write a letter to our Man ,tell him how much you appreciate him,tell him he has your vote and if at all possible donate what you can afford.Encourge people that you know to register to vote.Lift up your head and be proud of our President.

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