OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden sent his critics into a tailspin again during a commencement speech on Saturday at a historically black college for a questionable claim about whites.
“The harsh reality of racism has long torn us apart. It’s a battle. It’s never really over, but on the best days, enough of us have the guts and the hearts to stand up for the best in us, to choose love over hate,” Biden said during his speech at Howard University.
“Union over disunion. Progress over retreat. To stand up against the poison of white supremacy, I did in my inaugural address to single it out as the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland,” he said, without providing any evidence to support his claim.
After some in the audience applauded, Biden added: “I’m not saying this because I’m at a Black HBCU. I say it wherever I go.”
One source of Biden’s claim appears to come from a misinterpretation of statements made by FBI Director Chris Wray. While testifying before Congress, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) inquired about the number of domestic terrorism cases or arrests related to white supremacists.
“What I can tell you is that, within the domestic terrorism bucket category as a whole, racially-motivated violent extremism is, I think, the biggest bucket within that larger group, and within the racially-motivated violent extremists bucket, people subscribing to some kind of white supremacist-type ideology is certainly the biggest chunk of that,” the director said.
Wray’s statement clarified that among racially motivated domestic terrorist incidents, those driven by white supremacist ideology are frequently observed. However, due to potential misinterpretation, his remarks have been mistakenly understood to imply that white supremacist incidents constitute the foremost overall terror threat, rather than being the largest threat within the specific subset of “racially motivated incidents.”
Without precise percentages provided by Wray, it isn’t possible to determine whether racially motivated incidents instigated by whites indeed constitute a majority.
BIDEN AT HOWARD UNIVERSITY: "The most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy — and I'm not saying this because I'm at a Black HBCU. I say it wherever I go.”
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 13, 2023
In addition, Biden took a not-so-veiled potshot at his most like 2024 opponent, former President Donald Trump, who signed bipartisan legislation providing more than $250 million a year to the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, along with dozens of other institutions that serve large shares of minority students” in 2019, the AP reported.
“Let’s be clear: There are those who don’t see you and don’t want this future,” Biden said. “There are those who demonize and pit people against one another. And there are those who do anything and everything, no matter how desperate or immoral, to hold onto power. And that’s never going to be an easy battle.”
Conservatives reacted with fury — and some history lessons of their own — in response to Biden’s horrific tone.
“The Democratic Party spent most of the 19th Century and much of the 20th using overt racism to win elections. They are doing again in the 21st century. The racism just looks a lot different than the 19th century version,” Foundation for Economic Education managing editor Jon Miltimore wrote in a post that included a period political poster depicting a white Democratic candidate against an opponent who favored rights for blacks.
The Democratic Party spent most of the 19th Century and much of the 20th using overt racism to win elections.
They are doing again in the 21st century.
The racism just looks a lot different than the 19th century version. pic.twitter.com/anijzjjWlV
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) May 13, 2023
Conservative influencer Elijah Schaffer added, “Biden just told a bunch of black people that white supremacy is the greatest threat to America.”
RNC Research’s Jake Schneider shared the clip and wrote, “Divider-in-chief Joe Biden, at Howard University, says ‘the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.’”
OutKick.com’s Clay Travis found the statement completely ridiculous. He tweeted, “I mean, this is completely bonkers. Did anyone talk like this in the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s or even 2010s? Of course not. Yet suddenly white supremacy is the BIGGEST THREAT in America? I don’t even think…”