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President Biden’s Morehouse commencement speech aimed at Black voters

President Biden’s strategic outreach to secure Black support at Morehouse College address
President Biden
Photo credit: / Muhammad Aamir Sumsum

During a pivotal commencement address at Morehouse College, President Joe Biden engaged with the class of 2024, their families, and the broader Black community. He emphasized his administration’s achievements and addressed pressing concerns, all while eyeing the upcoming election and the need to secure Black voters’ support.

Biden touts the achievements of the Black community.

President Biden highlighted his administration’s commitment to investing in Black families and communities. He pointed to substantial funding for improving infrastructure, ensuring clean water, and expanding access to high-speed internet. Additionally, he underscored the support for Black small businesses and homeownership, framing his efforts as a means to provide more excellent opportunities rather than a test of merit.

Addressing young Black voters’ concerns

Recognizing the importance of the young Black electorate, Biden used the Morehouse platform to clarify his record and intentions. The speech was seen as a strategic move to connect with those who may be less familiar with his political history or swayed by negative portrayals online. Biden’s narrative and references to his inspirations and challenges aimed to establish authenticity and resonance with the audience.

Biden’s humor and personal touch

The president infused humor into his address, eliciting laughter with a nod to Vice President Kamala Harris’ potential future presidency. This lighthearted moment was part of a broader effort to humanize Biden and strengthen his political partnership with Harris, presenting them as a united and appealing team to the electorate.

Addressing the Israel-Hamas war

Despite the risk of protests, Biden did not avoid discussing the contentious issue of the Israel-Hamas conflict. He expressed personal heartbreak and emphasized the importance of leadership in tackling difficult problems. The Morehouse class of 2024 chose a peaceful form of protest, turning their backs during the speech while wearing Palestinian flags, demonstrating a respectful yet firm stance on the issue.

The road to reelection

With the November election on the horizon, Biden and Harris are tasked with reaffirming their support among Black voters. Democratic Party officials express confidence in Biden’s ability to secure the Black vote, positioning him as a preferable choice over Donald Trump. However, critics like Edward Mitchell of the Council on American-Islamic Relations argue that policy changes, not just empathetic words, are needed to address the concerns of voters troubled by the situation in Gaza.

As the race to the White House continues, the Biden administration’s challenge will be to demonstrate that their policies and values align with those of Black Americans, ensuring that their support translates into votes at the polls.

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