President Joe Biden received an honorary doctorate degree from Howard University on Saturday, a much–praised event that was quickly mocked by conservative commentators on Twitter.
Dr. Wayne Frederick, the president of Howard University, introduced Biden with high praise for his “sound analytical intellect and open embrace for all,” and his “popularity on both sides of the aisle of the United States.”
However, recent polls contradict the notion that Biden is popular on both sides of the aisle and possesses “sound analytical intellect.” An April poll in Gallup showed Biden‘s approval rating at an all–time low of 37%. An ABC News/Washington Post poll released last Sunday found that 63% of American adults do not think Biden, 80, has the “mental sharpness“ it takes to serve effectively as president.
Matt Whitlock, a Republican consultant, tweeted, “Was there any part of Biden’s visit that didn’t sound like trolling?” Nathan Brand, a GOP communications professional, tweeted, “There is no way this guy is talking about Joe Biden.”
In his address to graduating students at the historical Black college, Biden said White supremacy is the “most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland,” which caused a stir on social media. Many critics said Biden was trying to divide Americans and stoke racial tensions.
“The harsh reality of racism has long torn us apart,” Biden said. “It’s a battle. It’s never really over, but on the best days, enough of us have the guts and the hearts to stand up for the best in us, to choose love over hate. Union over disunion. Progress over retreat. To stand up against the poison of White supremacy like I did in my inaugural address to single it out as the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland.”
Biden‘s words were met with backlash from many conservatives, who accused him of attempting to divide Americans along racial lines and fuel tensions.
Dozens of House Republicans, including Rep. Ronny Jackson, R–Texas, who served as former President Barack Obama‘s physician, recently demanded that Biden should take a cognitive test or get out of the 2024 race for president.
It appears that Biden‘s speech and decision to receive an honorary doctorate degree has only further polarized the nation and highlighted the deep divide between Republicans and Democrats.