‘Evil Will Not Win’: Biden Denounces White Supremacy and Takes a Swipe at Trump


WASHINGTON — President Biden convened a summit meeting at the White House on Thursday to denounce white supremacy and other forms of bias, calling on Americans to speak out against prejudice and taking a veiled swipe at former President Donald J. Trump for in his view countenancing hate-fueled violence.

“In America, evil will not win, will not prevail,” the president told a selected audience that included activists and family members of victims of hate-motivated attacks. “And white supremacists will not have the last word.”

Mr. Biden has long said he decided to run for president after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 turned violent and Mr. Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protest and the counterprotest. To reinforce that theme, Mr. Biden was introduced on Thursday by Susan Bro, whose daughter, Heather Heyer, was killed by a driver during the Charlottesville protest.

The “United We Stand” meeting, however, showcased the challenges of Mr. Biden’s vision of unity. No nationally prominent Republican elected officials took part, although the White House did recruit Ana Navarro, a longtime Republican commentator and critic of Mr. Trump, and some Republican mayors to speak. The event also showcased various nonpartisan and bipartisan efforts, including a new organization established by former presidential aides to address what the group called “a rising tide of hate-fueled violence in America.”

The organization, called Dignity.us, was founded by four former White House domestic policy advisers: John Bridgeland, who served under President George W. Bush; Joe Grogan, who served under Mr. Trump; and Melody Barnes and Cecilia Muñoz, who served under President Barack Obama.

While Mr. Biden did not mention Mr. Trump by name, he derided his predecessor’s response to the Charlottesville violence. “When the last guy was asked what did he think, he said he thought there were some fine people on both sides,” Mr. Biden said.

The gathering came two weeks after Mr. Biden delivered a scathing repudiation of Mr. Trump and “MAGA Republicans” as fundamentally anti-democratic. But the president responded to critics who have said that he is the one dividing America.

“There are those who say if we bring this up, we just divide the country,” he said. “Bring it up, we silence it instead of remaining silent.”

“Folks,” he said later, “we cannot be intimidated by those who are talking about this as somehow that we’re a bunch of wacko liberals.”

He added: “We have to stand up, and I’m confident we will.”



Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/15/us/politics/biden-white-supremacy.html