Knowles: It’s easy to cast aspersions on our forebearers from
our privileged positions in the most powerful,
most equitable, most just, most prosperous country in
the history of the world. It’s far more difficult
and humbling to recognize the complexities of history and show gratitude for the people who made our lives possible. All of that is beside the point. All of that has been missed
by the ignorant activists who insist that GW ditch the Colonial. The point that they are missing is this: the colonials that the mascot represents were not defenders of colonialism. In fact, they were the opposite
of defenders of colonialism. They fought a bloody war, they risked their lives to
end colonialism in America and to end rule in Great Britain. They wanted their political independence. Protestor: F**k you, you f**king fascist. Protestors: Shame. Shame. Shame.
Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. Knowles: These kids are
really proving me wrong. My premise was that these students
are ignorant and not well behaved, but they’re proving me wrong tonight. [Protestors chanting] Knowles: They called me a fascist for
defending George Washington. Behold your country, leftists. Behold. I hope the cameras
catch all the faces here too because I think this school costs about 70 thousand dollars a year to attend. This is the job they’ve done. [Protestors chanting] Knowles: Just for the
people in the room like that guy right there, what did I say that you disagree with? [Protestors shouting] Knowles: What did I say that
any of you disagree with? Can you name one thing? Protestor: Yes.
Knowles: What is it? [Protestors shouting] Knowles: What did I say?
I can’t hear over all the shouting and the screeching. Protestor: F**king fascist. Knowles: What did I say
that you disagree with? [Protestors shouting] Knowles: Thunder? I can’t…
What you are saying? [Crowd laughing] Knowles: I can’t hear.
They can’t name one thing. They can’t name one thing. Knowles: I’m glad that now
that those people left the room, we can bring in more people
to hear about George Washington. Welcome back in. [Crowd cheering] Knowles: Glad to hear it. Student: Michael! Michael! Michael! Knowles: As I was saying, some kids have missed the point. [Crowd laughing] Knowles: They missed
the point entirely because if they were in the
room or if they could listen or if they had two brain
cells to rub together… [Crowd laughing] Knowles: …what they
would have realized is if you oppose colonialism, then you should
love the Colonial mascot. The Colonial mascot is a symbol
of fighting colonialism in America. The colonials should be their hero. I don’t know who their hero is.
I don’t want to know who their hero is. [Crowd laughing] Knowles: The question is what
have these entitled and ignorant history erasers ever done themselves, those people who were
shrieking and screaming? What have they ever done?
What credibility do they have? What authority do they have? Outrageous. They signal their own virtue
every chance they get. What virtue have they ever
actually enacted or embodied? Those spoiled, overgrown
children stand atop the shoulders of giants, and
they think that they are flying. They never, ever seem to pause and reflect on their own imperfections. They never seem to know even
what they’re shouting about. They attack the colonials
for occupying a land previously inhabited by Native Americans. We all occupy that same land today.
Why don’t any of us leave? Why don’t any of them leave?
They’re the ones making the claim. If this is stolen land, then why don’t those people pick up and go back to their ancestral lands? For most people, that
would be an impossibility because, in America, we all hail from, ancestrally, many different places. Would I go back to Italy?
Would I go back to Ireland? Would I go back to Britain?
I don’t know. I’d try to figure out a way
to go back to Greenland because I know that that’s
going to come back into America pretty soon. [Crowd laughing] Knowles: Are we really wise
to cast aspersions, with the perspective of 250
years, on men and women who are, in so many ways,
better than us? The anti-historical, anti-intellectual, and anti-American fanaticism that would do away with
George the Colonial, is caused by ignorance, of course, but more than that, it is caused by pride. Our generation’s unearned and unwarranted sense of moral superiority
over our ancestors? That’s pride. George Washington had a motto, and GW has adopted
this motto very often. We would all do well to remember it. The motto is three words. It says, “Deeds not words.” “Deeds not words.” Washington was famously reticent. He didn’t signal his
virtue to his countrymen. George Washington didn’t
need to signal his virtue. He enacted virtue. Our founding fathers’ critics would do very well to
emulate, not just Washington, but so many of
our colonial forebearers. If they quieted their uninformed yaps and, instead, performed
even some small fraction of the great deeds of those great men, those great American colonials, they and all the rest of
of us would be better off. Perhaps then, we might be interested in what those people have to say. Now, certainly, we are not. Until then, I’m sticking
with George the Colonial, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen. Thank you very much. [Audience applause]