LOS ANGELES – President Barack Obama said in a speech that began on Sunday that decades of pain, disappointment, unequal treatment and lack of police enforcement, following protests across the country following the recent deaths of unarmed black women and men, including George Floyd. . “
Obama spoke with his wife, Michelle, at the “Dear 2020 Class” virtual ceremony. The duo provided inspiring messages in hopes of reviving new graduates with a wide-ranging, star-filled cast, including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Tom Brady.
The former president told the graduates that the coronavirus sheds light on most of America’s ongoing problems.
“In many ways, the pandemic has caused focal problems that have been growing for a very long time,” he continued. “Whether it is expanding economic inequality or lack of basic health care for millions of people, constant bigotry and sexism trouble, or the division or dysfunction that bothers our political system.”
Obama added: “It is also a wake-up call, as these times are frightening and uncertain. And they are an incredible opportunity for your generation. “
Michelle Obama said the protests that continued after Floyd’s death were “a direct result of decades of addressless, prejudice and inequality.” He said he understood the events in the past few months that were “afraid, confused, or angry or just overwhelmed”.
“Our foundation has been shaken in the past few months,” he said. “Not only by an epidemic that stole our loved ones, it raised our daily life and sent tens of millions of unemployment, but also the power that was once again exposed nakedly to all of us with the rumble of the old fault lines, race lines built on our country, and now for all of us. . “
Beyoncé gave the graduates an exciting 10-minute speech. He talked about the latest protests, shared the secrets of the importance of success and property.
“You are achieving things that your parents and grandparents cannot imagine for them,” he said. “You are the answer to a generation of prayers.”
Beyoncé advised graduates to believe in themselves, as they had established their own company ten years ago. He said that creating his own lane is still challenging an entertainment business that is “very sexist” and “male-dominated”. The singer also said that the protests had already made an impact.
“Look at what you have been able to do in the past 14 days,” he said. “We have seen the power of the collective. We saw what happened when we joined for the same purpose. Please continue to be the sound of silence. “
The four-hour ceremony was filmed in the past few weeks, but Lady Gaga decided to re-record her message. His first speech addressed the impact of COVID-19 on this year’s graduation class, but he wanted to talk more about Floyd’s death, the Black Lives Movement movement, and protests.
“I would like to say that although my original start-up speech is not directly related to what this country needs most at the moment, there is so much to celebrate today, even if there is a lot to be sad about,” he said. “You are watching a very important moment in this evolution. … There will be change and it will be for the better. “
Taylor Swift said that her high school graduation was not what she expected. The singer told how he was traveling and could not go to his own ceremony.
“I know it’s not the kind of graduation you think this will happen,” he said. “I got my diploma sent. … This is not exactly what I pictured. “
Lizzo started the ceremony with a dazzling performance. While using his flute, the singer “Truth Hurts” performed the classic “Pomp and Status” before congratulating his graduates while accompanying New York Philharmonic.
Cynthia Erivo, Camila Cabello, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Ty Dolla $ ign, Khalid and many other music artists collaborated to interpret U2’s “Beautiful Day.” Katy Perry graduated in the ceremony tassel at the end of her graduation ceremony.