“I want to leave this wish with you: Tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness, for nothing has to stay as it is”.
– Angela Merkel’s speech to students after receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from Harvard University. pic.twitter.com/r144M2Qb6K
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) May 31, 2019
Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent jibes at Donald Trump and his policies.
Though she did not name the U.S. president, the German chancellor devoted much of her Harvard University commencement speech to attacking major pillars of Trump’s presidency: protectionism, trade wars and building walls.
She also warned of the “threat climate change poses to our planet’s resources” and called for the world to work together. Trump announced in 2017 that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.
The German chancellor began her speech by describing her life in former East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She said that every day on her way home from her work, she would walk toward the wall, only to have to “turn away from freedom” on the other side at the last minute.
“The Berlin Wall limited my opportunities. It quite literally stood in my way,” Merkel said at Harvard, which earlier in the day awarded her an honorary degree.
She further stressed “multilateralism instead of unilateralism,” a “global” way of thinking rather than a national one, and “being open-minded instead of isolationist.” [Continue reading…]