FLOTUS is getting well-deserved plaudits for this speech. The PoliticsUSA version starts partway through, at the most immediately political portion:
… 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 with whom we disagree. They act as if name-calling is an acceptable substitute for thoughtful debate. As if anger and intolerance should be our default state rather than optimism and openness that have always been the engine of our progress.
But graduates, I can tell you that as First Lady, I have had the privilege of traveling around the world, and visiting dozens of different countries, and I have seen what happens when ideas like these take hold. I have seen how leaders rule by intimidation, leaders who demonize and dehumanize 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.
Graduates that is not who we are. That is not what this country stands for. No, no, here in America, we don’t let our differences tear us apart. Not here. Because we know that our greatness comes from 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. And here in America, we don’t give in to our fears. We don’t up walls to keep people out because we know that our greatness has always depended on contributions from people who were born elsewhere…
But it’s also heartening to listen to the whole speech, through Mrs. Obama’s congratulations to the various speakers and honorees, because the City College of New York is the best of the American dream made real, a place where wealth and race and birthplace mean less than brains, hard work, and big dreams. We are not a ‘melting pot’, but a rich stew, where every ingredient adds new depth and richness to the mix.