NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the undergraduate commencement address at Tennessee State University on Saturday morning at the Hale Building Stadium and made several divisive partisan statements in her speech.
Harris’ speech, delivered at an institution that receives both federal and Tennessee taxpayer funding, included typical Democrat talking points on voting issues, abortion, and the free exchange of information.
“You graduate into an unsettled world, both abroad and here at home.”
“In the United States, we are once again forced to defend fundamental principles that we hoped are long settled. Principles like the freedom to vote, the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies,” she said.
“Even what constitutes the truth, especially in an era when anyone can post anything online and claim it is a fact,” Vice President Harris added.
A White House Official on the condition of background provided excerpts from Harris’ remarks as prepared to The Tennessee Star on Friday. These excerpts, while components of the speech as delivered, did not include the partisan talking points that Harris brought to bear.
“Each of you has your own story. Your own way of looking at the world, shaped by every moment that brought you to this point. I was around your age when I made the decision that I wanted to take on systemic problems from inside the system. That I would seek solutions through the lens of my own experiences and perspectives,” she said. “That I wanted—that I needed—to be in the rooms where decisions were being made. Graduates, you stand on the brink of a new frontier… and we need you in the room helping to make these decisions.”
“I stand before you today—as the Vice President of the United States of America, and as a proud graduate of a HBCU—to say: There is no limit to your capacity for greatness. There is no obstacle you cannot overcome. There is no barrier you cannot break,” the Vice President continued.
“I want you to always remember that you are not alone. That you come from people. That you come with people. Because I promise you, there will be a time when you walk into a boardroom, or a courtroom, or maybe even the Situation Room,” she said with a smile. “You will walk into the room, and find that you are the only person there who looks like you or has had your life experience. At that moment, you must remember you are not in that room alone.”
The Tennessee Star made several inquires at the event to the Vice President’s press team about Vice President Harris’ press availability or the availability of a staffer to answer questions about comments made in the commencement speech. The Star was told to email Harris’ press staff for answers to those questions.
Harris was joined on the stage by TSU President Glenda Glover, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, and Nashville Mayor John Cooper. She additionally accepted an honorary Doctorate of Humane Laws.
More than 500 graduates were in attendance.
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