commencement speeches

Lady Gaga Has Faith New Graduates Can, and Will, Tear Racism Out by the Roots

Lady Gaga turned up for YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 virtual graduation ceremony Sunday in her Chromatica finest. And while her look is classic, her speech was brand-new, seeing as how the speech Gaga wrote two weeks ago about the coronavirus pandemic is no longer so timely. In her new commencement address, the singer counted off the three things this year’s graduates will need to unearth America’s deep-rooted racism, which Gaga imagines as an invasive, old-growth forest: “time, sufficient effort, and divine grace.” While the divine grace part is out of our hands, time and sufficient effort is all yours, Class of 2020.

“All of us are being invited to challenge that system and think about how to effect real change,” the singer explains. “I believe in my heart that people who are going to make this change happen are listening to me speak right now. I know this is true, because it’s you who are the seeds of the future. You are the seeds that will grow into a new and different forest that is far more beautiful and loving than the one we live in today.”

“I believe you beautiful seeds have been presented with a wonderful gift: the opportunity to reflect in this powerful moment, on your morals, your principles, and your values and how you will guide you through life as it presents itself,” says Gaga. “People can do hard things. You can do hard things. You can rip up and replant the forest to be a vision only you have.”

Lady Gaga Urges Graduates to Tear Racism Out by the Roots