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Michelle Obama hits out at Donald Trump in Graduation speech

2016-06-05
Michelle Obama delivered an inspirational speech to the class of 2016 at the City College of New York on Friday (June 3), the Guardian reports. During her 23rd and final commencement speech, Obama attacked Trump, though she didn't directly reference him. She said: "Despite the lessons of our history and the truth of your experience here at City College, some folks out there today seem to have a very different perspective." "They seem to view our diversity as a threat to be contained rather than as a resource to be tapped. They tell us to be afraid of those who are different, to be suspicious of those whom we disagree. They act as if name-calling is an acceptable substitute for thoughtful debate, as though anger and intolerance should be our default rather than optimism and openness that have always been the engine of our progress." Obama continues by saying she's had the privilege of travelling to different countries and seeing that happens when those "ideas take hold". "I have seen leaders who rule by intimidation, leaders who demonise and dehumanise entire groups of people, often do so because they have nothing else to offer And I have seen how places that stifle the voices and dismiss the potential of their citizens are diminished; how they are less vital, less hopeful, less free." Michelle Obama Speech 2 "Graduates, that is not who we are. That is not what this country stands for." "Here in America we don't let our differences tear us apart because we know that our greatness comes when we appreciate each other's strengths, when we learn from each other, when we lean on each other. because in this country, it's never been each person for themselves. No, we're all in this together. We always have been. Here in America we don't give in to our fears, we don't build walls to keep people out " She adds: "Our greatness has always come from people who expect nothing and take nothing for granted - folks who work hard for that they have then reach back and help others after them." "More than anything else, graduates, that is the American story. it's your story and the story of those who came before you at this school." "It's the story that I witness every single day when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters, two beautiful, black young women, head off to school... waving goodbye to their father, the President of the United States, the son of a man from Kenya who came here to America for the same reasons as many of you: to get an education and improve his prospects in life." She concluded the speech by saying: "So I want you all to go out there. be great. Build great lives for yourselves. Enjoy the liberties that you have in this country. Pursue your own version of happiness And please, please, always, always do your part to help others do the same." You can watch a video of the First Lady's full speech below: More stories: Beyoncé just got bigger… with her own day Watch Miley Cyrus’ gender defying performance on NBC’s Maya & Marty