This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Callan Tansill-Suddath.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” Sen. Cory Booker, D–N.J. said quoting an African proverb at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Monday. But he said it at GW’s Commencement ceremony first.
Booker delivered an impassioned plea to convention attendees to join together in the fight for justice and equality for all Americans after voicing his support for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. In his speech, he echoed many of the sentiments that captivated the Class of 2016 on the National Mall in May.
Here are some of the speeches’ similarities:
1. Focusing on young Americans
Booker began his speech Monday with examples of progress in the U.S. to inspire young voters and inspire hope. He made a point of noting that many of the foundations the country was built on are damaged, but each generation has the chance to repair those damages.
The message paralleled that from his Commencement address, in which he told graduates that their “nation is calling” them to make a difference.
2. Resist complacency
On Monday, Booker also encouraged Americans to take a more active role in fighting against injustice. He emphasized the need to respect all Americans, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. People who benefit from the systems in place in the country should use their voices to fight for those who are oppressed, he said.
In May, Booker similarly told graduates to change the world, not reflect it.
“Will we be people who react to the world or will we be individual lights who say, ‘No matter how tough it gets, no matter how dark it gets, I am going to ignite myself and show my truth blossoming where I am?’,” he asked graduates.
3. A nation of love
The most striking similarity between the two speeches was Booker’s emphasis on the importance of love and how U.S. citizens should strive to create a nation of love, rather than one of tolerance.
“Tolerance says, ‘I’m just going to stomach your right to be different. That if you disappear from the face of the earth, I’m no better or worse off. But love, love knows that every American has worth and value,’” Booker said at the DNC.
At Commencement, Booker said the U.S. isn’t “linked by love,” and encouraged graduates to show compassion.