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I never, often manifest themselves on Twitter when he is bored or believes he has lost the limelight. “The Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad, The Ravulapalem (Andhra Pradesh) native had won the 2013 China Open and 2017 Indonesia Open tournaments that fell in this category, In West Bengal and Odisha, we can talk about everything. We were bit unlucky today, .. “To be honest, some present requested a calendar that could centralize events and prevent double-booking.
Kogi and Bayelsa?Twitter? We’ll be publishing a selection of responses to our Janet Yellen cover story on Time.The Wellness Center offers personal trainers, and Director of Health and Wellness Jane Croeker said they’re already well on their way to success. "It (the World Cup) feels a bit closer than it did before the game. Kinner,The union argued such a device could be installed in a squad car so Blackwell could remain on the job.C. to pay it forward in a commencement address Saturday Speaking at Howard University Obama reflected on his status as the first African-American president noting that the college’s mission was to “ensure those firsts were not the last” Here’s a full transcript of his remarks OBAMA: Thank you Hello Howard (Applause) H-U AUDIENCE: You know OBAMA: H-U AUDIENCE: You know OBAMA: (Laughter) Thank you so much everybody Please please have a seat Oh I feel important now Got a degree from Howard Cicely Tyson said something nice about me (Laughter) AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you President OBAMA: I love you back To President Frederick the Board of Trustees faculty and staff fellow recipients of honorary degrees thank you for the honor of spending this day with you And congratulations to the Class of 2016 (Applause) Four years ago back when you were just freshmen I understand many of you came by my house the night I was reelected (Laughter) So I decided to return the favor and come by yours To the parents the grandparents aunts uncles brothers sisters all the family and friends who stood by this class cheered them on helped them get here today — this is your day as well Let’s give them a big round of applause as well (Applause) I’m not trying to stir up any rivalries here; I just want to see who’s in the house We got Quad (Applause) Annex (Applause) Drew Carver Slow Towers And Meridian (Applause) Rest in peace Meridian (Laughter) Rest in peace I know you’re all excited today You might be a little tired as well Some of you were up all night making sure your credits were in order (Laughter) Some of you stayed up too late ended up at HoChi at 2:00 am (Laughter) Got some mambo sauce on your fingers (Laughter) But you got here And you’ve all worked hard to reach this day You’ve shuttled between challenging classes and Greek life You’ve led clubs played an instrument or a sport You volunteered you interned You held down one two maybe three jobs You’ve made lifelong friends and discovered exactly what you’re made of The “Howard Hustle” has strengthened your sense of purpose and ambition Which means you’re part of a long line of Howard graduates Some are on this stage today Some are in the audience That spirit of achievement and special responsibility has defined this campus ever since the Freedman’s Bureau established Howard just four years after the Emancipation Proclamation; just two years after the Civil War came to an end They created this university with a vision — a vision of uplift; a vision for an America where our fates would be determined not by our race gender religion or creed but where we would be free — in every sense — to pursue our individual and collective dreams It is that spirit that’s made Howard a centerpiece of African- American intellectual life and a central part of our larger American story This institution has been the home of many firsts: The first black Nobel Peace Prize winner The first black Supreme Court justice But its mission has been to ensure those firsts were not the last Countless scholars professionals artists and leaders from every field received their training here The generations of men and women who walked through this yard helped reform our government cure disease grow a black middle class advance civil rights shape our culture The seeds of change — for all Americans — were sown here And that’s what I want to talk about today As I was preparing these remarks I realized that when I was first elected President most of you — the Class of 2016 — were just starting high school Today you’re graduating college I used to joke about being old Now I realize I’m old (Laughter) It’s not a joke anymore (Laughter) But seeing all of you here gives me some perspective It makes me reflect on the changes that I’ve seen over my own lifetime So let me begin with what may sound like a controversial statement — a hot take Given the current state of our political rhetoric and debate let me say something that may be controversial and that is this: America is a better place today than it was when I graduated from college (Applause) Let me repeat: America is by almost every measure better than it was when I graduated from college It also happens to be better off than when I took office — (laughter) — but that’s a longer story (Applause) That’s a different discussion for another speech But think about it I graduated in 1983 New York City America’s largest city where I lived at the time had endured a decade marked by crime and deterioration and near bankruptcy And many cities were in similar shape Our nation had gone through years of economic stagnation the stranglehold of foreign oil a recession where unemployment nearly scraped 11 percent The auto industry was getting its clock cleaned by foreign competition And don’t even get me started on the clothes and the hairstyles I’ve tried to eliminate all photos of me from this period I thought I looked good (Laughter) I was wrong Since that year — since the year I graduated — the poverty rate is down Americans with college degrees that rate is up Crime rates are down America’s cities have undergone a renaissance There are more women in the workforce They’re earning more money We’ve cut teen pregnancy in half We’ve slashed the African American dropout rate by almost 60 percent and all of you have a computer in your pocket that gives you the world at the touch of a button In 1983 I was part of fewer than 10 percent of African Americans who graduated with a bachelor’s degree Today you’re part of the more than 20 percent who will And more than half of blacks say we’re better off than our parents were at our age — and that our kids will be better off too So America is better And the world is better too A wall came down in Berlin An Iron Curtain was torn asunder The obscenity of apartheid came to an end A young generation in Belfast and London have grown up without ever having to think about IRA bombings In just the past 16 years we’ve come from a world without marriage equality to one where it’s a reality in nearly two dozen countries Around the world more people live in democracies We’ve lifted more than 1 billion people from extreme poverty We’ve cut the child mortality rate worldwide by more than half America is better The world is better And stay with me now — race relations are better since I graduated That’s the truth No my election did not create a post-racial society I don’t know who was propagating that notion That was not mine But the election itself — and the subsequent one — because the first one folks might have made a mistake (Laughter) The second one they knew what they were getting The election itself was just one indicator of how attitudes had changed In my inaugural address I remarked that just 60 years earlier my father might not have been served in a DC restaurant — at least not certain of them There were no black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies Very few black judges Shoot as Larry Wilmore pointed out last week a lot of folks didn’t even think blacks had the tools to be a quarterback Today former Bull Michael Jordan isn’t just the greatest basketball player of all time — he owns the team (Laughter) When I was graduating the main black hero on TV was Mr T (Laughter) Rap and hip hop were counterculture underground Now Shonda Rhimes owns Thursday night and Beyonce runs the world (Laughter) We’re no longer only entertainers we’re producers studio executives No longer small business owners — we’re CEOs we’re mayors representatives Presidents of the United States (Applause) I am not saying gaps do not persist Obviously they do Racism persists Inequality persists Don’t worry — I’m going to get to that But I wanted to start Class of 2016 by opening your eyes to the moment that you are in If you had to choose one moment in history in which you could be born and you didn’t know ahead of time who you were going to be — what nationality what gender what race whether you’d be rich or poor gay or straight what faith you’d be born into — you wouldn’t choose 100 years ago You wouldn’t choose the fifties or the sixties or the seventies You’d choose right now If you had to choose a time to be in the words of Lorraine Hansberry “young gifted and black” in America you would choose right now (Applause) I tell you all this because it’s important to note progress Because to deny how far we’ve come would do a disservice to the cause of justice to the legions of foot soldiers; to not only the incredibly accomplished individuals who have already been mentioned but your mothers and your dads and grandparents and great grandparents who marched and toiled and suffered and overcame to make this day possible I tell you this not to lull you into complacency but to spur you into action — because there’s still so much more work to do so many more miles to travel And America needs you to gladly happily take up that work You all have some work to do So enjoy the party because you’re going to be busy (Laughter) Yes our economy has recovered from crisis stronger than almost any other in the world But there are folks of all races who are still hurting — who still can’t find work that pays enough to keep the lights on who still can’t save for retirement We’ve still got a big racial gap in economic opportunity The overall unemployment rate is 5 percent but the black unemployment rate is almost nine We’ve still got an achievement gap when black boys and girls graduate high school and college at lower rates than white boys and white girls Harriet Tubman may be going on the twenty but we’ve still got a gender gap when a black woman working full-time still earns just 66 percent of what a white man gets paid (Applause) We’ve got a justice gap when too many black boys and girls pass through a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails This is one area where things have gotten worse When I was in college about half a million people in America were behind bars Today there are about 22 million Black men are about six times likelier to be in prison right now than white men Around the world we’ve still got challenges to solve that threaten everybody in the 21st century — old scourges like disease and conflict but also new challenges from terrorism and climate change So make no mistake Class of 2016 — you’ve got plenty of work to do But as complicated and sometimes intractable as these challenges may seem the truth is that your generation is better positioned than any before you to meet those challenges to flip the script Now how you do that how you meet these challenges how you bring about change will ultimately be up to you My generation like all generations is too confined by our own experience too invested in our own biases too stuck in our ways to provide much of the new thinking that will be required But us old-heads have learned a few things that might be useful in your journey So with the rest of my time I’d like to offer some suggestions for how young leaders like you can fulfill your destiny and shape our collective future — bend it in the direction of justice and equality and freedom First of all — and this should not be a problem for this group — be confident in your heritage (Applause) Be confident in your blackness One of the great changes that’s occurred in our country since I was your age is the realization there’s no one way to be black Take it from somebody who’s seen both sides of debate about whether I’m black enough (Laughter) In the past couple months I’ve had lunch with the Queen of England and hosted Kendrick Lamar in the Oval Office There’s no straitjacket there’s no constraints there’s no litmus test for authenticity Look at Howard One thing most folks don’t know about Howard is how diverse it is When you arrived here some of you were like oh they’ve got black people in Iowa (Laughter) But it’s true — this class comes from big cities and rural communities and some of you crossed oceans to study here You shatter stereotypes Some of you come from a long line of Bison Some of you are the first in your family to graduate from college (Applause) You all talk different you all dress different You’re Lakers fans Celtics fans maybe even some hockey fans (Laughter) And because of those who’ve come before you you have models to follow You can work for a company or start your own You can go into politics or run an organization that holds politicians accountable You can write a book that wins the National Book Award or you can write the new run of “Black Panther” Or like one of your alumni Ta-Nehisi Coates you can go ahead and just do both You can create your own style set your own standard of beauty embrace your own sexuality Think about an icon we just lost — Prince He blew up categories People didn’t know what Prince was doing (Laughter) And folks loved him for it You need to have the same confidence Or as my daughters tell me all the time “You be you Daddy” (Laughter) Sometimes Sasha puts a variation on it — “You do you Daddy” (Laughter) And because you’re a black person doing whatever it is that you’re doing that makes it a black thing Feel confident Second even as we each embrace our own beautiful unique and valid versions of our blackness remember the tie that does bind us as African Americans — and that is our particular awareness of injustice and unfairness and struggle That means we cannot sleepwalk through life We cannot be ignorant of history (Applause) We can’t meet the world with a sense of entitlement We can’t walk by a homeless man without asking why a society as wealthy as ours allows that state of affairs to occur We can’t just lock up a low-level dealer without asking why this boy barely out of childhood felt he had no other options We have cousins and uncles and brothers and sisters who we remember were just as smart and just as talented as we were but somehow got ground down by structures that are unfair and unjust And that means we have to not only question the world as it is and stand up for those African Americans who haven’t been so lucky — because yes you’ve worked hard but you’ve also been lucky That’s a pet peeve of mine: People who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did So don’t have an attitude But we must expand our moral imaginations to understand and empathize with all people who are struggling not just black folks who are struggling — the refugee the immigrant the rural poor the transgender person and yes the middle-aged white guy who you may think has all the advantages but over the last several decades has seen his world upended by economic and cultural and technological change and feels powerless to stop it You got to get in his head too Number three: You have to go through life with more than just passion for change; you need a strategy I’ll repeat that I want you to have passion but you have to have a strategy Not just awareness but action Not just hashtags but votes You see change requires more than righteous anger It requires a program and it requires organizing At the 1964 Democratic Convention Fannie Lou Hamer — all five-feet-four-inches tall — gave a fiery speech on the national stage But then she went back home to Mississippi and organized cotton pickers And she didn’t have the tools and technology where you can whip up a movement in minutes She had to go door to door And I’m so proud of the new guard of black civil rights leaders who understand this It’s thanks in large part to the activism of young people like many of you from Black Twitter to Black Lives Matter that America’s eyes have been opened — white black Democrat Republican — to the real problems for example in our criminal justice system But to bring about structural change lasting change awareness is not enough It requires changes in law changes in custom If you care about mass incarceration let me ask you: How are you pressuring members of Congress to pass the criminal justice reform bill now pending before them (Applause) If you care about better policing do you know who your district attorney is Do you know who your state’s attorney general is Do you know the difference Do you know who appoints the police chief and who writes the police training manual Find out who they are what their responsibilities are Mobilize the community present them with a plan work with them to bring about change hold them accountable if they do not deliver Passion is vital but you’ve got to have a strategy And your plan better include voting — not just some of the time but all the time (Applause) It is absolutely true that 50 years after the Voting Rights Act there are still too many barriers in this country to vote There are too many people trying to erect new barriers to voting This is the only advanced democracy on Earth that goes out of its way to make it difficult for people to vote And there’s a reason for that There’s a legacy to that But let me say this: Even if we dismantled every barrier to voting that alone would not change the fact that America has some of the lowest voting rates in the free world In 2014 only 36 percent of Americans turned out to vote in the midterms — the second lowest participation rate on record Youth turnout — that would be you — was less than 20 percent Less than 20 percent Four out of five did not vote In 2012 nearly two in three African Americans turned out And then in 2014 only two in five turned out You don’t think that made a difference in terms of the Congress I’ve got to deal with And then people are wondering well how come Obama hasn’t gotten this done How come he didn’t get that done You don’t think that made a difference What would have happened if you had turned out at 50 60 70 percent all across this country People try to make this political thing really complicated Like what kind of reforms do we need And how do we need to do that You know what just vote It’s math If you have more votes than the other guy you get to do what you want (Laughter) It’s not that complicated And you don’t have excuses You don’t have to guess the number of jellybeans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap to register to vote You don’t have to risk your life to cast a ballot Other people already did that for you (Applause) Your grandparents your great grandparents might be here today if they were working on it What’s your excuse When we don’t vote we give away our power disenfranchise ourselves — right when we need to use the power that we have; right when we need your power to stop others from taking away the vote and rights of those more vulnerable than you are — the elderly and the poor the formerly incarcerated trying to earn their second chance So you got to vote all the time not just when it’s cool not just when it’s time to elect a President not just when you’re inspired It’s your duty When it’s time to elect a member of Congress or a city councilman or a school board member or a sheriff That’s how we change our politics — by electing people at every level who are representative of and accountable to us It is not that complicated Don’t make it complicated And finally change requires more than just speaking out — it requires listening as well In particular it requires listening to those with whom you disagree and being prepared to compromise When I was a state senator I helped pass Illinois’s first racial profiling law and one of the first laws in the nation requiring the videotaping of confessions in capital cases And we were successful because early on I engaged law enforcement I didn’t say to them oh you guys are so racist you need to do something I understood as many of you do that the overwhelming majority of police officers are good and honest and courageous and fair and love the communities they serve And we knew there were some bad apples and that even the good cops with the best of intentions — including by the way African American police officers — might have unconscious biases as we all do So we engaged and we listened and we kept working until we built consensus And because we took the time to listen we crafted legislation that was good for the police — because it improved the trust and cooperation of the community — and it was good for the communities who were less likely to be treated unfairly And I can say this unequivocally: Without at least the acceptance of the police organizations in Illinois I could never have gotten those bills passed Very simple They would have blocked them The point is you need allies in a democracy That’s just the way it is It can be frustrating and it can be slow But history teaches us that the alternative to democracy is always worse That’s not just true in this country It’s not a black or white thing Go to any country where the give and take of democracy has been repealed by one-party rule and I will show you a country that does not work And democracy requires compromise even when you are 100 percent right This is hard to explain sometimes You can be completely right and you still are going to have to engage folks who disagree with you If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible you will feel good about yourself you will enjoy a certain moral purity but you’re not going to get what you want And if you don’t get what you want long enough you will eventually think the whole system is rigged And that will lead to more cynicism and less participation and a downward spiral of more injustice and more anger and more despair And that’s never been the source of our progress That’s how we cheat ourselves of progress We remember Dr King’s soaring oratory the power of his letter from a Birmingham jail the marches he led But he also sat down with President Johnson in the Oval Office to try and get a Civil Rights Act and a Voting Rights Act passed And those two seminal bills were not perfect — just like the Emancipation Proclamation was a war document as much as it was some clarion call for freedom Those mileposts of our progress were not perfect They did not make up for centuries of slavery or Jim Crow or eliminate racism or provide for 40 acres and a mule But they made things better And you know what I will take better every time I always tell my staff — better is good because you consolidate your gains and then you move on to the next fight from a stronger position Brittany Packnett a member of the Black Lives Matter movement and Campaign Zero one of the Ferguson protest organizers she joined our Task Force on 21st Century Policing Some of her fellow activists questioned whether she should participate She rolled up her sleeves and sat at the same table with big city police chiefs and prosecutors And because she did she ended up shaping many of the recommendations of that task force And those recommendations are now being adopted across the country — changes that many of the protesters called for If young activists like Brittany had refused to participate out of some sense of ideological purity then those great ideas would have just remained ideas But she did participate And that’s how change happens America is big and it is boisterous and it is more diverse than ever The president told me that we’ve got a significant Nepalese contingent here at Howard I would not have guessed that Right on But it just tells you how interconnected we’re becoming And with so many folks from so many places converging we are not always going to agree with each other Another Howard alum Zora Neale Hurston once said — this is a good quote here: “Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person” Think about that That’s why our democracy gives us a process designed for us to settle our disputes with argument and ideas and votes instead of violence and simple majority rule So don’t try to shut folks out don’t try to shut them down no matter how much you might disagree with them There’s been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view or disrupt a politician’s rally Don’t do that — no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths Because as my grandmother used to tell me every time a fool speaks they are just advertising their own ignorance Let them talk Let them talk If you don’t you just make them a victim and then they can avoid accountability That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge them Have the confidence to challenge them the confidence in the rightness of your position There will be times when you shouldn’t compromise your core values your integrity and you will have the responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice But listen Engage If the other side has a point learn from them If they’re wrong rebut them Teach them Beat them on the battlefield of ideas And you might as well start practicing now because one thing I can guarantee you — you will have to deal with ignorance hatred racism foolishness trifling folks (Laughter) I promise you you will have to deal with all that at every stage of your life That may not seem fair but life has never been completely fair Nobody promised you a crystal stair And if you want to make life fair then you’ve got to start with the world as it is So that’s my advice That’s how you change things Change isn’t something that happens every four years or eight years; change is not placing your faith in any particular politician and then just putting your feet up and saying okay go Change is the effort of committed citizens who hitch their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day That’s what Thurgood Marshall understood — a man who once walked this year graduated from Howard Law; went home to Baltimore started his own law practice He and his mentor Charles Hamilton Houston rolled up their sleeves and they set out to overturn segregation They worked through the NAACP Filed dozens of lawsuits fought dozens of cases And after nearly 20 years of effort — 20 years — Thurgood Marshall ultimately succeeded in bringing his righteous cause before the Supreme Court and securing the ruling in Brown v Board of Education that separate could never be equal (Applause) Twenty years Marshall Houston — they knew it would not be easy They knew it would not be quick They knew all sorts of obstacles would stand in their way They knew that even if they won that would just be the beginning of a longer march to equality But they had discipline They had persistence They had faith — and a sense of humor And they made life better for all Americans And I know you graduates share those qualities I know it because I’ve learned about some of the young people graduating here today There’s a young woman named Ciearra Jefferson who’s graduating with you And I’m just going to use her as an example I hope you don’t mind Ciearra Ciearra grew up in Detroit and was raised by a poor single mom who worked seven days a week in an auto plant And for a time her family found themselves without a place to call home They bounced around between friends and family who might take them in By her senior year Ciearra was up at 5:00 am every day juggling homework extracurricular activities volunteering all while taking care of her little sister But she knew that education was her ticket to a better life So she never gave up Pushed herself to excel This daughter of a single mom who works on the assembly line turned down a full scholarship to Harvard to come to Howard (Applause) And today like many of you Ciearra is the first in her family to graduate from college And then she says she’s going to go back to her hometown just like Thurgood Marshall did to make sure all the working folks she grew up with have access to the health care they need and deserve As she puts it she’s going to be a “change agent” She’s going to reach back and help folks like her succeed And people like Ciearra are why I remain optimistic about America (Applause) Young people like you are why I never give in to despair James Baldwin once wrote “Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced” Graduates each of us is only here because someone else faced down challenges for us We are only who we are because someone else struggled and sacrificed for us That’s not just Thurgood Marshall’s story or Ciearra’s story or my story or your story — that is the story of America A story whispered by slaves in the cotton fields the song of marchers in Selma the dream of a King in the shadow of Lincoln The prayer of immigrants who set out for a new world The roar of women demanding the vote The rallying cry of workers who built America And the GIs who bled overseas for our freedom Now it’s your turn And the good news is you’re ready And when your journey seems too hard and when you run into a chorus of cynics who tell you that you’re being foolish to keep believing or that you can’t do something or that you should just give up or you should just settle — you might say to yourself a little phrase that I’ve found handy these last eight years: Yes we can Congratulations Class of 2016 (Applause) Good luck God bless you God bless the United States of America I’m proud of you Contact us at [email protected] superstar and Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is one of the greatest athletes of our time And she has a message for anyone out there who expects her to tone down her level of focus: it’s not happening “Smiling doesnt win you gold medals" she told Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron after getting criticized for her facial expressions during week eight of the TV ballroom dance competition (Biles and her partner Sasha Farber have consistently wowed audiences with their foxtrots tangos and paso dobles over the course of season 24 handily earning her a place in the semifinals next week alongside Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei football player Rashad Jennings and baseball player David Ross making for a seriously athletic final field) She had been critiqued during the course of the evening’s two dances by all the judges for not smiling enough; they argued they found her look either inauthentic or too much like a “metronome” But her now-iconic comment came after host Bergeron asked her why she wasn’t smiling when the judges did compliment her Either way fans are here for Simone rooting for her fiery response and commitment to trying something new Literally me whenever the judges criticize @Simone_Biles #dwts pictwittercom/PEhP7Wf2yK mack daddy (@mackiemann) May 9 2017 "Smiling doesn’t win you Gold medals" Oh Simone Biles you savage #DWTS Eric Mueller (@EricJ_Mueller) May 9 2017 "Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals…" https://tco/F9tUdvLfQJ @simone_biles #FTW Joe Inderhees (@jinde) May 9 2017 Write to Raisa Bruner at [email protected]"(South Dakota State) has a good squad.
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