Photo: Peter Hvizdak / Hearst Connecticut Media
NEWS - Yale University Class 2018 has prepared to face the challenges facing American democracy and it will need to be resilient to take on those who would divide the country, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told seniors Sunday.
Clinton, a member of the Yale Law School class in 1973, never mentioned the man who defeated her in the presidential elections in 2016. However, she clarified that there are those who use tactics that are "a core function of authoritarianism".
"Right now we live through a full crisis in our democracy," she said during her class day. "No, there are no thoughts on the streets, but what happens right now goes to the heart of who we are as a nation, and I do not say it as a Democrat who lost a choice but as an American fear of losing a country.
"There are some things that are so important that they should exceed politics. To exercise a war on the rule of law and free pressure, de-legitimizing elections, conduct shameless corruption and reject the idea that our leaders should be public officials undermine our national unity. And attacking truth and reasoning, evidence and facts ought to bother us all. "
Clinton, who also gave the Class Day address in 2001 when she was a US senator from New York, spoke at the Woolsey Hall. The festivals were moved from the Old Campus due to a forecast of rain, but the sunshine streamed through the windows.
She has made many visits to Yale since her days at Law School, where she met her husband, President Bill Clinton. She also noted her friendship with the Yale Law School Faculty Jake Sullivan and Harold Koh and said, "I have a very dedicated campaign intern where she graduates, David Shimer, class 2018. "
The first woman to be nominated for president of a big party, Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump at Electoral College, 304-227, although she won nearly 2.87 million more popular voices than the president, according to the Federal Elections Commission, with a total of 65.85 million.
Clinton first made the light of her election loss. "I'm glad about you all, even the three of you who live in Mich igan and did not request your absentee vote on time, "she said. She also pointed at the investigation of Russian involvement in the election. It's class-class tradition for seniors to wear a tough, imaginative headdress and Clinton holds up a Russian coat jacket saying: "I brought a hat, a Russian hat. Imagine if you can not beat them, go with them!"
But she became serious when she said that the 1,360 seniors were "one of the most tumultuous times in our country's history" - and I say it as a 60's graduation.
Reciting the contrasts of Charles Dickens opening lines "A number of two cities," said Clinton, "could have described the ricocheting heights and falls of this moment in America. We live through a time when fundamental rights, civic virtue, freedom of the press, even facts and reasoning are under attack as never before. But we also witness a time of new moral conviction, community engagement and a sense of devotion to our democracy and country. "
And the members of the class 2018" have already shown signs and courage to help you navigate this turbulent momentum and above all you have demonstrated resilience, "as she referred in three ways: personal, community, and democratic resilience.
As for her own resilience after losing the election, Clinton said, "Let me get this out of the way. No, I'm not over it. I'm still thinking about the 2016 election, I still regret the mistakes I made. I still believe that the understanding that occurred in such a strange and wildlife in American history helps us to defend our democracy in the future. Whether you are right, left, center, republican, democrat, independent, vegetarian, anything. We all have a bet in it. So today, as a person, I'm good, but as an American I'm worried. "
She called" the resistance of society "" something that this class has embodied during your time on campus, literally sometimes, as in March in your resilience last year. It was the biggest demonstration in school history - it's 300 plus years. Led by women of color, supported by students and faculties determined to make Yale a more fair, fair and safe place for all. Many of you have said that March was a crucial moment in your college experience, and it says something about this class and your values. "
The Marching and Collection at Cross Campus are ignored by e-mails that are considered to be ruthlessly insensitive by the head and associate director of Silliman College, numbered 1000, with students requiring a more inclusive campus.
One of March's planners was Ivetty Estepan, awarded the Nakanishi Prize Sunday, awarded to two seniors' achievement, has given leadership leadership to improve race or ethnic relations at Yale College. The second winner was Haylee Makana Kushi, a native Hawaiian who was president of the Indians Association in Yale and revived a tradition, Yale Powwow, after a decade of decay.
Clinton said bringing people together will be important. "For truth, our country is polarized than ever. We have sorted ourselves in opposite camps, and it differentiates us from how we see the world." In addition to politics, "the divisions of race and religion stronger than ever before, "she said.
"Now I'm not going to be politically here, but this is not just a problem on both sides," continued Clinton. "The radicalization of American politics has not been symmetrical. There are leaders in our country who blatantly encourage people with hate rhetoric, fearing change, which sees the world in zero terms, so that if others win, they must lose. It is a recipe for polarization and conflict. "
She said it will take" radical empathy "to" reach over parts of race, class and politics. Trying to see the world through the eyes of people who are very different from ourselves. ... trying to regain a sense of community and common humanity. "
She said that the graduates had experienced the deportation of a classmate's father, black students felt discriminated and heard of continued school shots.
She said that the country needs" democratic resilience "as" starting to stand up for the truth, fact and reason not only in the classroom and on campus but every day of our lives. It means talking about the important role of higher education in our society to create opportunity and equality. That means calling out actual false news when we see it and supporting major journalists and their reporting, maybe even by subscribing to a newspaper. "
And above all she said that it means voting in every election.
Clinton said when Barack Obama was elected to the first black president in 2008," It was such a hopeful moment. And yet, this moment is even more hopeful, because this is a battle-hardened hope, tempered by loss and clear eyes of mistakes. We face politics that hurt people. We stand up to treat all people with dignity. We do the job to translate these emotions into action. "
She mentioned the reply from Parkland, Florida, secondary schools after 17 shot down, more women went to office and winning and increased rejection of sexual harassment and misconduct
" Currently in our history, our country depends on every citizen who believes on the power of their actions, even when the power is invisible and their efforts feel like an unprecedented battle, "she said. To Yale, she mentioned how two home colleges are now named after women, including one" celebrating one of Yale's own hidden figures, on Grace Hopper College, "honors a naval officer and early computer programmer.
" These changes did not happen on their own, "said Clinton." You made them possible. You continued fighting. You kept faith. And because of that you finally changed Yale as much as Yale changed you. And now it's time for you to make your mark on the world. "
Outside Woolsey Hall afterwards, Clinton posed with seniors for selfies and signed autographs. The students were pleased with their message.
" I thought it was fascinating, "said Beckett Lee in Sacramento, California, who pointed out that Clinton quoted Republicans, American Senators John McCain and former State Secretary Rex Tillerson. "It's not an indicator that she's holding a party line" but she tried to "try to get everyone together ... like an American who was worried about the country."
Christopher Williams-Lopez in Atlanta said, "It was very inspiring. I like what she said was related to students here today. ... She passed the torch to class 2018 to go out and change the world. "
Katherine Oh in New York City said it rather than appearing as" an incredible figure "" in the end she could talk to us as fellow human beings. Being able to relate to such an outstanding figure made you less afraid of the future and she was just really inspiring. "
On Monday, the seniors will join Yale's doctoral student and vocational college students at the Old Campus to begin when honors degrees will be awarded. Traditionally, there are no introductory speakers, although an exception was made in 2001, the last time Clinton spoke on Class Day, when then President George W. Bush spoke for his honors degree. Bush diploma from Yale 1968.