In his speech, Biden stated that Trump has “a toxic tongue” and has “more in common with George Wallace than he does with George Washington.” Biden structured his speech so that it included a long litany of Trump’s hate filled rhetoric, reminding his listeners that Trump’s racist remarks are not isolated or occasional incidents, nor are they statements befitting the President of the United States. Biden then pivoted to say that there is not a long distance between such words emanating from the highest office in the land and the murderous fruits of those words: the emboldened violence of white supremacists in our country. Investigators believe that, before the massacre at Walmart, the shooter in El Paso published a screed (which police are calling a manifesto) online that used many phrases lifted directly from the president’s tweets.
“We have a president,” continued Biden, “who has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation… Trump offers no moral leadership, no interest in unifying the nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least.”
Other Democratic candidates also spoke out with a new level of candor about Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric today. In a speech at Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, candidate Corey Booker said, "He's given the people license to not only hate, but to foment that hateful violence. And this is a time that the President of the United States should take responsibility and he has not done that. That's unacceptable.” Booker also said: "White supremacy is not a mental illness, and guns are a tool that white supremacists use to fulfill their hate.”
In a live interview on MSNBC yesterday afternoon, just ahead of the president’s arrival in El Paso, Beto O’Rourke said that he believes the president is a white supremacist.
In response, the president could not refrain from jumping onto Twitter to attack Biden, public officials in Ohio, and also those in Texas.
Words matter. How we speak matters. In the words of Jesus, “the things that come out are what defile.” Trump has used racist language since the very first day of announcing his candidacy in 2016, when he called Mexicans rapists. Before that, he spent years in his real estate businesses refusing to approve applications from people of color. He was the most prominent supporter of the fallacious birther conspiracy about former President Obama. To all those who said, “He will grow into the office,”: you were wrong. It’s been 2 1/2 years since he took power. He remains the same racist person he was before he was elected. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. This man continues to defile everything and everyone around him almost every time he opens his mouth.
It is good to hear the Democratic candidates finally using the proper words to describe this president. They have been tiptoeing around for far too long. It is important to speak truth and call things what they are. The president is a racist. He is a white nationalist. And yes, he is a white supremacist. Even worse, he is willing to use his personal character flaws to encourage the worst aspects of our national character. Did Trump invent and start the racism that permeates our national life? Not at all. But he is absolutely willing to use its power for political gain. There is no longer any room for equivocation on this point. Too many lives have already been lost because we have put an overt racist in the highest office in the country.