Biden Focuses on 'White Supremacy' and 'Hate-Fueled Violence' at an Event Celebrating Victims

Susan Jones | September 16, 2022 | 5:29am EDT
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President Joe Biden speaks at the United We Stand Summit in the East Room of the White House on September 15, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks at the United We Stand Summit in the East Room of the White House on September 15, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - "White supremacy" and "hate-fueled violence" were the focus Thursday at President Joe Biden's White House.

Amid calls for unity and "a new era of national service," the President of the United States offered a bleak view of our history, saying "hate-fueled violence and threats are not new to America."

(Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, told Fox News on Thursday: "If Joe Biden wants to find one of the main sources of division and potential threats of political violence in our country he should probably look in the mirror or just look at the crowd of liberals he's going to have with him at the White House today." More on Cotton's remarks below.)

According to a White House transcript, Biden used the word "hate" 29 times in his speech. He used the word "violence" 27 times, and he mentioned white supremacy twice.

"There is a through-line of hate, from massacres of Indigenous people, to the original sin of slavery, the terror of the Klan, to anti-immigration violence against the Irish, Italians, Chinese, Mexicans, and so many others laced throughout our history," Biden said:

"There is a through-line of violence against religious groups: anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh. Look, folks, and that through-line of hate never fully goes away.  It only hides...And when given any oxygen, it comes out from under the rocks.

"In the last few years, it’s been given much too much oxygen in our politics, in our media, and on the Internet; too much hate — all for power and profit.  That’s the part we don’t — that’s changed a little bit.  It’s about power and profit.

"Too much hate that’s fueled extremist violence that’s been allowed to fester and grow.

"You know, as a result, our very own intelligence agencies — our own intelligence agencies in the United States of America have determined that domestic terrorism rooted in white supremacy is the greatest terrorist threat to our Homeland today.

"I’ve been around a while. I never thought I’d hear that or say that. Enough. We need to say it clearly and forcefully: White supremacy, all forms of hate fueled by violence have no place in America.

"Failure to call it out is complicity.  My dad would say, “If you’re silent, it’s complicity.”  We can’t remain silent.

"There’s always the saying: If we bring this up, we just divide the country. Bring it up. We silence it, instead of remaining in silence. For in silence, wounds deepen. We have to face the good, the bad, and the truth.  That’s what great nations do, and we’re a great nation.

"So, we flace [sic] at this — we face at this moment, in my view, an inflection point, one of those moments that determine the shape of everything that’s going to come after.

"Our great-grandchildren are going to look back and decide whether or not in this two-, four-, six-, eight-year period we stepped up.  Because the world is changing...We must choose to be a nation of hope, unity, and optimism or a nation of fear and division and hate.  And we choose — as we do, we know this: Hate-fueled violence is born into the fertile soil of a toxic division."

Biden was speaking at a "United We Stand Summit," an event celebrating victimhood, or -- as Biden put it -- "survivors of hate-fueled violence."

Biden said the event was organized by civil rights organizations following the mass shooting in Buffalo four months ago. Those groups include he National Urban League; the Anti-Defamation League; the Asian Americans Advancing Justice; the League of United Latin Citizens; and the National Action Network.

'Look in the mirror'

Sen. Tom Cotton said Biden and his fellow Democrats are the ones stoking violence and division:

"The deranged speech he (Biden) gave just a couple weeks ago and his remarks in recent weeks of declaring 74 million people who voted Republican in the last election semi-fascists are beneath the dignity of any president. But especially one who promised the try to deliver unity in his Inaugural Address.

"But again, remember, Joe Biden has a long history of such comments. He said in 2012 that Mitt Romney, of all people, were going to put African-American citizens back in chains. And his Department of Justice has not taken steps necessary to try to prevent political violence.

"I mean, you had left-wing agitators outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices this summer in clear violation of federal law, and they refused to arrest a single one of them. That whole episode culminated in a deranged Democratic hit man flying from California, trying to assassinate Brett Kavanaugh. Yet again, not a single person who organized those unlawful gatherings outside of justices' homes have been arrested and brought to justice.

"So I think Joe Biden needs to look in the mirror and look at his fellow liberals when he talks about sources of division in this country."

Cotton said some Democrats are actively working to put violent people back on America's crime-ridden streets:

"Look at the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes. He wants to eliminate the bail system in Wisconsin that would release criminals the moment after they get arrested and arraigned. Yet Joe Biden supports him.

"Look at the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, John Fetterman. A man who said if he could have one wish it would be eliminate long sentences for murderers. Yet Joe Biden supports him as well. The crime wave you're seeing in this country is a result of failed Democratic policies, and it starts at the top in the White House."

'Greater national unity'

At Thursday's summit, Biden announced a new White House initiative on "hate-motivated violence."

"We're going to use every federal resource available to help communities counter hate-fueled violence, build resilience, and foster greater national unity.

"For example, trainings on identifying, reporting, and combating hate-fueled violence for local law enforcement agencies, workplaces, and houses of worship; partnerships with schools that help them address bullying and harassment.

"I’m calling for a new era of national service through organizations like AmeriCorps to foster stronger communities and bridge divides in our society.

"And I’m calling on Congress to do its part: raise the living allowance for national service positions to the equivalent of $15 an hour. This would make national service an accessible pathway to success for more Americans of all backgrounds.

"Pass my budget to increase funding to protect nonprofits and houses of worship from hate-fueled violence.  And hold social media platforms accountable for spreading hate and fueled violence.

"And I’m calling on Congress to get rid of special immunity for social media companies and impose much stronger transparency requirements on all of them."

Biden noted that nonprofit groups such as Interfaith America, Habitat for Humanity, and the YMCA are launching "new nationwide training to teach 10,000 Americans how to become bridge builders in their communities."

And that's not all, he continued:

"And the U.S. Conference of Mayors is spearheading a compact with over 150 mayors — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — to address hate-fueled violence in their communities.

"And today, a group of philanthropic leaders are announcing they’ll mobilize $1 billion investment toward building a culture of respect, peace, and cooperation in our civic life. 

"But, folks, this is just the beginning.  A new bipartisan initiative,, will take this nation and the national conversation we launched today on the road across all 50 states and the District of Columbia — territories, Tribal lands — to listen and learn from the people doing this work and find ways to scale up the best ideas..."

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