23 May 2018, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
If I were asked the title of my address to you today, I would say: Above all else, do not lie. Or don't lie too often. Which is really to say, tell the truth. But lying — the word, the idea, the act — has such political potency in America today that it somehow feels more apt. Above all else, do not lie. I grew up in Nigeria through military dictatorships and through incipient democracies. And America always felt aspirational. When yet another absurd thing happened politically, we would say, 'This can never happen in America.' But today, the political discourse in America includes questions that are straight from the land of the absurd. Questions such as, 'Should we call a lie a lie? When is a lie a lie?' And so, Class of 2018, at no time has it felt as urgent as now that we must protect and value the truth.