On March 9, students from the University at Buffalo will graduate with a speech entitled “Graduating from the United States of America.”
The speech is being delivered by retired Gen. James “Buzz” Harward, who served as head of the U.S. Army from 2010 to 2016 and has been widely praised for his accomplishments in the service of his country.
Harward’s speech will be delivered by the university’s graduating class, which includes many members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
While the graduating class’s speech is an opportunity for students to reflect on the legacy of the military and how they have changed the world, it is also an opportunity to speak about the impact of racism that is still present today.
In the speech, Harward is expected to speak on issues ranging from the racial disparities of policing, the role of the federal government in supporting police departments, and the use of force by law enforcement officers.
According to The Daily Beast, Harward will focus on the impact racism and police brutality have on communities of color, noting that “the fact that these issues have not received the attention they deserve is a sad reflection of the way the American public has not yet understood how deeply intertwined race, class, and gender are.”
According to the Huffington Post, the speech will also highlight the history of Black students in American schools, noting how “in the past, Black students were routinely excluded from many prestigious schools, such as Princeton, Yale, and Columbia.
Today, black students account for a mere 0.4 percent of the nation’s high school students, yet they make up more than 40 percent of high school dropouts, more than one-third of black students on high school counselors’ lists, and more than two-thirds of black high school seniors who have never completed college.”
The article notes that while Harward has said that he was not personally involved in any of the events leading up to the speech or in planning the event, he did write a book on Black American history.
The New York Times has described Harward’s book as a “powerful, candid, and unflinching memoir” that addresses how he became a U.N. Peacekeeper, and his work as a police officer.
Harley also addressed the issue of the racial disparity of American society in his book, noting “We’re not a nation built by white Americans.
We’re a nation founded by Black Americans.
But we have not always been able to come together to address this problem because of racial barriers.”
The Times also noted that Harward “was raised by white parents and never attended college.”
Harward said in the book that he believes that the United Nations is a “historical creation of the elite and privileged,” but that he hopes that “one day it will become a force for the betterment of all humanity.”