In remarks on Thursday marking the 10th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in D.C., President Joe Biden insisted that white supremacy was the foundation of the Jan. 6 breach at the U.S. Capitol. He also alleged that such prejudice motivated supporters of then-President Donald Trump to storm the landmark, and accused Trump of explicitly appealing to racists.
"The violent, deadly insurrection on the Capitol nine months ago, it was about white supremacy, in my opinion," Biden said of the Jan. 6 riot, according to Bloomberg News.
It's uncommon for Biden to mention Trump by name in his speeches, Bloomberg noted. Nonetheless, on Thursday he lamented that to many Republicans, "I am not your president. Donald Trump is still your president."
In his remarks, Biden reportedly placed Jan. 6 in the context of other racially-tinged episodes in recent history. One of these was a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, four years ago in which a woman counterprotesting the event was killed.
Earlier in his remarks, Biden admitted he was frustrated by congressional logjams over efforts to overhaul policing practices and pass voting rights legislation.
Several GOP-led states have enacted their own voting reforms and more rigorous restrictions, motivated, Biden said, by Trump's claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud and therefore illegitimate. Many participants in the Jan. 6 breach sought to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden's election win by Congress.
As recently as Thursday, Trump reiterated his claim, saying in a statement through his political action committee that "the insurrection took place on Novever 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!"
"They are following my predecessor, the last president, into a deep deep black hole of a mess," Biden said, according to the Bloomberg report. "Jim Crow in the 21st century is now a sinister combination of voter suppression and election subversion."
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