President Joe Biden urged college graduates on Saturday to take the country back from what he described as growing darkness and hatred in the United States.
“Get goin’ for God’s sake,” Biden said at the conclusion of his commencement speech at the University of Delaware. “Godspeed on your journey, keep the faith, and take it back. Please. This is yours. Take it back. We need you.”
Biden warned the graduates they were entering a “very dark moment in America” where the forces of hate were trying to stop progress.
“We should not be surprised that these same forces are fighting back again, preying on hopelessness and despair, demonizing people that don’t look like them,” Biden said. “Doing everything, no matter how desperate, to hold on to power.”
Biden repeated his belief that hate could not be eliminated, but only hid when it was defeated.
He indicated that leaders like former President Donald Trump were responsible for fueling the hate that he claimed had only been growing since his presidency.
“But when prominent leaders or leader breathe oxygen under the rocks it’s hiding in, it takes new life,” Biden said. “It comes roaring back out in ways I must tell you I never thought would happen.”
Biden lumped together the white supremacists protesting in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 with the Trump supporters on January 6th who stormed the Capitol to protest the results of the 2020 election.
“The oldest and darkest forces of the past may believe they’ll determine America’s future,” Biden said. “They are wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.”
Biden said the rights to same-sex marriage and abortion were under attack, as well as the right to vote, democracy itself, and the planet from global warming, and urged graduates to act to preserve them.
“Let’s have faith that right makes might,” he said, quoting former President Abraham Lincoln.