Michelle Obama to Graduates: ‘Don’t Ever Let Anyone Tell You that You’re Too Angry’

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YouTube

Former first lady Michelle Obama on Sunday urged the graduating class of 2020 not to ever let anyone tell them that they are “too angry” in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic and the death of George Floyd.

“Over these past couple of months our foundation has been shaken — not just by a pandemic that stole too many of our loved ones, upended our daily lives, and sent tens of millions into unemployment, but also by the rumbling of the age-old fault lines that our country was built on: the lines of race and power that are now, once again, so nakedly exposed for all of us to grapple with,” Obama said in her virtual address.

“For those of you who feel invisible: Please know that your story matters,” added the former first lady. “Your ideas matter. Your experiences matter. Your vision for what our world can and should be matters. So, don’t ever, ever let anyone tell you that you’re too angry, or that you ‘should keep your mouth shut.’ There will always be those who want to keep you silent, to have you be seen but not heard, or maybe they don’t even want to see you at all. But those people don’t know your story, and if you listen to them, then nothing will ever change.”

“Dr. King was angry. Sojourner Truth was angry. Lucretia Mott, César Chávez, the folks at Stonewall — they were all angry,” she added. “But those folks were also driven by compassion, by principle — by hope. And so they took advantage of whatever resources they had in their own time — thundering from the pulpit and the convention floor, penning letters from a jail cell, standing up for their rights in the face of police violence.”

Obama delivered the address as part of YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020, which was originally scheduled to stream on Saturday but was postponed due to memorial service for Floyd in Raeford, NC. In addition to the former first lady, the event featured former President Barack, along with Hollywood stars Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, and Justin Timberlake.

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