Commencement speaker under fire for warning of ‘racism’ and ‘white supremacy’
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A Virginia school district has gained national attention over its commencement speaker’s controversial speech telling graduates they were entering a world of “racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, [and] white supremacy.”
Abrar Omeish, the sole Muslim member of the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia, delivered the commencement address at Justice High School in Falls Church, Va., last Monday.
Her speech, first reported by the Daily Wire, began by congratulating the class of 2021 in English, Arabic and Spanish.
“Today we checked off a box in your academic journey. As a human being, you have developed and you have grown,” she said before shifting her tone from inspirational to political.
“We struggle with human greed, racism, extreme versions of individualism and capitalism, white supremacy growing wealth gaps, disease, climate crisis, extreme poverty amidst luxury and waste right next door,” she told the graduates. “And the list goes on.”
“You understand that social justice is only political for those that can afford to ignore it. You understand that ‘neutral’ is another word for complicit. And you have made a choice to take a stand,” Omeish continued.
The commencement speaker went on to give the graduates some advice.
“The world may try to quiet you by deciding for you what’s cool, what’s weird, what is or isn’t objective. It may try to convince you that what you hold dear is too different to be accepted,” she said, asking, “But who gets to decide?”
“Every part of your being may scream in rage at the ways others have wronged you,” the school board member warned. Students, she continued, should “let compassion for your fellow human beings, not anger or rage — and believe me, this is hard to do — fuel you.”
Omeish’s speech was preceded by an introduction from the president of the student government. The student body president noted that their next speaker was “Virginia co-chair for the Bernie Sanders campaign,” as well as the daughter of Esam Omeish, “leader and a board member of the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center [who] raised his daughter to be an outspoken woman.”
The Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a mosque, was attended by two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, the radical imam Anwar Al-Awlaki and Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan.
The high school did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Speaking to the network’s “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, former Wall Street Journal columnist Asra Nomani called Omeish’s speech “depressing.”
“It was just really depressing. It was indicative of this radicalization that is happening within school boards and school districts and schools across the country, from principals to teachers to political operatives like [Omeish],” the former columnist said.
She added that she knew Omeish “very well” and both were Muslims.
“She gave that speech but the script was written years ago.”
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