Cory Booker’s Powerful Graduation Address

BY  |  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (17)

Cory Booker, who spoke at Stanford University’s commencement this past Sunday, had four graduations from college and grad school — twice at Stanford. I was tipped to the power of his speech by a tweet last night, and stayed up way too late to listen to the whole thing, which runs almost an hour. But it was worth it. 

Booker told the class of 2012 what his father told him at all his graduations: “You are the physical manifestation of a conspiracy of love. The people whose names you don’t even know, who struggled for you, fought for you, sweat for you, volunteered for you — you are here because of them. Do not forget that.”

Booker’s most moving anecdote was his description of running toward gunshots in Newark, and holding a dying boy in his arms, trying to staunch the flow of blood, until the ambulance came. The boy died.

Booker told the graduates to embrace discomfort: “People who get comfortable of body get fat, people who get comfortable of mind and intellect get dull, people who get comfortable in their spirit , they miss what they were created for. They were created to magnify the glory of this world.”

17 Comments

  1. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  June 19, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    Cory Booker started the ball rolling against Obama and defended Bain Capital on Meet the Press and for this we owe him a debt of gratitude- so he gets a pass for whatever he does for the next forty years in my book.

  2. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  June 19, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    40 is a bit much, 20 is more appropriate. However, Herb is right, the ball is rolling and gaining momentum. 4 years ago Obama simply went viral, thats it, no substance to back his election. He took office and much needed job creation took a back seat to passing an unwanted ACA and vilifying Wall Street. We find ourselves in a situation where all indicators point to very low growth in payrolls and housing values that will not support a healthy middle class. Sure the stock market doubled since the Fed got long 2.5 trill, but that really only benefited the rich. The fact that we have switched from a manufacturing based economy to a service economy and now have almost a .5 trill trade deficit has gone ignored by this ingorant administration. Get em out.

  3. POSTED BY mike 91  |  June 19, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    We find ourselves in a situation where all indicators point to very low growth in payrolls and housing values that will not support a healthy middle class. Sure the stock market doubled since the Fed got long 2.5 trill, but that really only benefited the rich.

    And if you think a Romney administration will a)care about the middle class or b) do anything about income inequality, you’re delusional.

  4. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  June 19, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    “And if you think a Romney administration will a)care about the middle class or b) do anything about income inequality, you’re delusional.”

    Irrelevant, Obama failed, time to get rid of him. I’ll take the bait though. I think congress functions marginally better under Romney (more like how it functioned under Clinton). Absent massive reform to our system (which includes voters actually educating themselves) this is really all we can ask for. I don’t care if congress has widely varying opinions about how to solve the problem, I just want them to work together on it. It is more than obvious that under Obama that is not going to happen, EVER. Look its been 3.5 yrs and he really did fail, he was naive, lacked substance, lacked experience, lacked leadership skills and all of those qualities (or lack thereof) prevailed. While I agree Romney is not super exciting, the reasons to vote Obama out far outweigh the reasons not to vote for Mitt.

  5. POSTED BY johnqp  |  June 19, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    Romney is against everything that he was once for. Can’t wait to see Obama kick his ass.

  6. POSTED BY mike 91  |  June 19, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    Irrelevant, Obama failed, time to get rid of him

    Its not irrelevant given the binary choice we have. Romney will accelerate already historical income equality trends.

    http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-UStopincomes-2010.pdf

    I don’t care if congress has widely varying opinions about how to solve the problem, I just want them to work together on it

    Even if those solutions have been tried before, and caused the issues we are seeing now? Makes sense.

    Not that the Republicans would ever contribute to a functioning Congress. Go google some quotes from the latest Tea Party darling, Mourdock. What a winner!

  7. POSTED BY johnqp  |  June 19, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Romney and a Tea Party Congress =’s a third George W. Bush term.

    No Thanks.

  8. POSTED BY Debbie Galant  |  June 20, 2012 @ 12:11 am

    Wait! Did anyone listen to Cory’s speech?

  9. POSTED BY stayhyphy  |  June 20, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    “Its not irrelevant given the binary choice we have. Romney will accelerate already historical income equality trends.”

    Mike, you are watching too much MSNBC. Income inequality between the super rich and the rest of the country will continue to accelerate regardless. Income growth at the “super rich” level grows exponentially and higher tax rates will not change that.

    I don’t care if a super rich person makes $1 billion in a year or $2 billion in a year (increasing income inequality). What I do care about is facilitating the creation of jobs via the private sector that pay a living wage 60k+. Thats what people care about, people want jobs, want to put food on the table and want to be able to pay their bills. This is literally all that matters right now and Obama has failed miserably. He wasted his first two years completely ignoring the problem.

    I did watch the video, Booker gives a good speech. I like the “discomfort” line. I think it is not only relevant for college graduates, but for all Americans and people for that matter. I can’t help feeling that we are experiencing somewhat of a cultural crisis where we have all become too comfortable.

  10. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  June 20, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    Forget the speech, the ad up top about the Hot Tuna show caught my eye. Would it hurt the Wellmont to bring in new music?

  11. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  June 20, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    )Unfortunately, HOT TUNA at the Welmont says more about the community, than the place. Though I saw Wilco there and didn’t they have that Rave-Type thingee for the “kids”? There. It’s relevant. And a great place to see a show.)

    Deb, who has time to actually listen/watch the speech? C’mon, you know how this works, you post something. Someone half-reads it, comments on what they think the story said, then we start commenting on the first commenters half-read comment/theory, throw in some “slow news day,” b-net could do better,” “Obama is a socialist,” and “Romney would be Bush’s third term,” and you have your typical story/comment thread.

    And some of us like just like that.

    So, no. I won’t listen/watch Booker’s speech. But I do think the, “physical manifestation of a conspiracy of love” line is dumb. And reading it closely, makes no sense.

  12. POSTED BY Debbie Galant  |  June 20, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    If you watched the speech, it would make sense.

  13. POSTED BY walleroo  |  June 20, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    “People who get comfortable of body get fat, people who get comfortable of mind and intellect get dull, people who get comfortable in their spirit , they miss what they were created for. They were created to magnify the glory of this world.”

    What a radical notion, in this particular place and time. It should be a sign at the entrance of BBTC.

  14. POSTED BY cathar  |  June 20, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    The speech, according to commentators from both ostensible sides of the political fence, ran almost an hour. Which is too much for eager graduates and certainly excruciatingly long for visitors to this site. (I’ll bet Booker would know better than to run on so at any Newark public school.) Even on the slowest of news days. C’mon, Debbie, even you know better here, so stop your attempt at chiding.

  15. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  June 20, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    Come to think of it the assisted living place on Blmfld Ave would be great business for the Wellmont by the time it’s built. Go see Hot Tuna then eat a can of tuna.

    Booker for Prez 2020.

  16. POSTED BY pat gilleran  |  June 20, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    I guess I sghould inform my doctor that
    “People who get comfortable of body get fat”
    and that it’s not a lack of exercise or eating right.

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