When President Biden condemned violent white supremacy, leading Republicans complained. Why?
President Biden recently became the first president to condemn white supremacy by name in an inaugural address. Then some Republicans got mad because, they say, it’s an attack on them.
He’s “calling us racists,” Rand Paul complained. “According to the left, supporting border security and celebrating July 4 could make you a white supremacist,” Tucker Carlson claimed. “I was offended” by “the racism thing,” Karl Rove added.
These complaints are disingenuous.
First, consider President Biden’s exact words. After alluding to the racial justice protests over the summer, Biden turned to warn of “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
It seems clear that Biden was referring to the people who recently attempted a coup at the U.S. Capitol, where the presence of white supremacists has been well documented.
“Members of Several Well-Known Hate Groups Identified at Capitol Riot,” read a ProPublica headline. A New York Times headline offered help “Decoding the Hate Symbols Seen at the Capitol Insurrection.”
Biden was not talking about rank-and-file Republicans who voted for Trump but are not members of hate groups. That’s not at all consistent with his message of unity. These talking heads are just stoking outrage among Republicans to gain cheap political points.
However, I think this issue is worth breaking down a little more.