Biden Faces Silent Protests At Morehouse College Commencement

 May 19, 2024

During President Joe Biden's commencement speech at Morehouse College, silent protests took place.

Washington Examiner reported that some students demonstrated their dissent by turning their backs and displaying a Palestinian flag.

Addressing the graduates on a sunny Sunday, President Biden discussed the tense situation in Gaza, acknowledging the widespread student protests on college campuses across the nation. His comments come against a backdrop of increasing tensions and public demonstrations related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Biden Calls for Immediate Ceasefire Amid Growing Tensions

The President emphasized the importance of peace and the urgent need to halt the violence. “That’s why I’ve called for an immediate ceasefire — an immediate ceasefire. Stop the fighting, bring the hostages home,” he stated.

This statement underscored his administration's stance, notably its opposition to a recent Israeli Defense Force operation in Rafah, highlighting a policy distinction with Israel regarding the management of the conflict.

Furthermore, President Biden condemned the recent violent protests at major universities like Columbia and UCLA, asserting his support for peaceful demonstrations. He clearly supported nonviolence, telling the audience, “I want to say this very clearly. I support peaceful nonviolent protest. Your voices should be heard. I promise you, I hear them.”

Silent Protests Mark Biden's Commencement Speech

The commencement had elements of traditional celebration but was marked by the silent protests. While Biden spoke, the sight of some students quietly standing with their backs turned was poignant. At least one student displayed a Palestinian flag during the speech, adding a visible symbol of protest to the ceremony.

The silent protests were carried out respectfully, without interrupting the President's address. This approach allowed the student protesters to express their views without disrupting the ceremony's decorum.

Before the President's statement, the student speaker at the commencement also voiced support for ending the conflict in Gaza, calling for a ceasefire.

Continued Tensions on a Global Scale

President Biden's speech reflects ongoing challenges in U.S. foreign policy, particularly in addressing the various facets of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The administration's push for a ceasefire and the safe return of hostages contrasts with actions advocating for continued militaristic approaches.

The debate over how to handle the conflict continues to resonate not only through the halls of government but also on college campuses where students actively engage in global issues, influencing and being influenced by national policy decisions.

The reactions at Morehouse College showcase the broader national debate about the Gaza conflict and the role the U.S. should play in fostering peace. Biden's advocacy for peaceful protest and dialogue continues to be a central theme in his administration's approach to domestic and international issues.


The Morehouse College commencement ceremony was a milestone for the graduates and a reflection of the current geopolitical tensions and the contrasting opinions that pervade U.S. society. President Biden's speech at Morehouse was not just about congratulating graduates but also reaffirming his commitment to peaceful resolution and dialogue in the face of ongoing global conflicts. This event underscores the intersection of domestic political actions with international consequences as new graduates step into a world where these complexities are the reality.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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