Biden Stokes the Flames of Distrust

I've been interviewed several times by a podcaster who contacted me after reading one of my articles.  We always have lively and respectful conversations — about even the most sensitive topics. She is a woman "of color."  I on the other hand am so pale that I could sunburn from sitting too close to a bright table lamp. According to the CRT consultants, she and I should have diametrically opposed worldviews and couldn't possibly trust each other enough to have candid conversations.  Our talks should be limited to her demanding and apology from me, for the slaves my ancestors never owned.  And yet, we can talk about anything without taking offense — even things like racism, LGBT issues, morality, and civil rights.

We have found that our beliefs are more common than diverse.  Our skin tones do not define us. The way we understand the world defines who we are — and as it happens, we're not very different at all.

It makes me wonder: what if our candid conversations were the national norm?  How different would the country be if we could talk about racism without referring to privilege, trigger words, microaggressions, hate speech, and systemic racism?

Racism clearly exists in the world and has been experienced by people of all skin tones.  It's the black man presumed guilty for driving in the wrong neighborhood at night.  It's the white woman beaten into unconsciousness as an entry in the Knock-Out Game.  It's the Asian denied college admission because his ethnicity is "over-represented."

But the vast majority of Americans mean no harm to their fellow citizens.  Relative to the important things like values, aspirations, prosperity, and emotional fulfillment, melanin content is so far down on the scale of importance as to be meaningless.  The presumption that one race is superior to another has been stigmatized to near extinction.

Our national problem isn't racism.  It's a lack of trust in one another.  We presume injustices are due to malice rather than mistakes.  If only we could come to know one another, perhaps we would learn that we have much in common and little to fear — or hate.  Is racial harmony best achieved through developing an understanding of one another or by encouraging hatred and distrust?

This brings me to Joe Biden's commencement speech at Howard University.  He told a predominantly black audience that "white supremacy" is the greatest threat faced by our nation.  I'm not going to analyze whether Joe has any substantiating evidence for that statement — or if it was just a flat-out lie.  I want to talk about the effect that type of language has on the society he is charged to lead.

Biden made no mention of threats from Antifa, transgender mass shooters, pro-abortion assassins, or even narco-terrorists crossing our border.  White supremacy must be a truly monumental problem (snark intended).

But Joe didn't elaborate on what a "white supremacist" is.  Luckily, we have his prior speeches to help figure it out.  In 2012 Joe told a mixed audience that if Mitt Romney were elected, the Republicans would "put you all back in chains."  That sounds as though all Republicans are the threat to the republic.

In his 2022 Philadelphia "red speech," he called MAGA voters a threat to the country — even calling them fascists.  That narrowed the population of threats from all Republicans to merely the Trump voters.  The good Republicans (i.e., the NeverTrumps) are okay.

Now Joe is adding the "white supremacist" qualifier to his threat assessment.  Perhaps the DOJ has narrowed the threat population to only white Trump voters.  Luckily, there's a simple way to detect the threat: white people in red hats.

Did anything about his speech encourage open dialogue about racism — or did it sow distrust, fear, and hatred?  Are people who distrust one another more or less likely to have candid discussions about sensitive issues?

For Joe Biden, the words are not just cynical pandering.  He puts the force of law behind them.  His DOJ and DHS have both issued threat advisories against "white supremacy" — and his administration has included those speaking against the government in that category.  Merrick Garland even used the FBI to investigate school board protesters as domestic terrorists.

Joe Biden is telling non-white people to fear a late-night visit by men in white robes, and the people of pallor who question the preferred narrative to expect an early-morning raid by men in SWAT uniforms.  Does that encourage candid conversation?  He is stoking civil unrest for political advantage and is doing so with little apparent concern about the unrest transitioning into open conflict.  What kind of man does such a thing?  Only one with no moral compass.

How much healthier for the country would it have been if Biden had given a speech along these lines instead?  Which message would better promote harmony in America?

How much healthier would our country be if we stopped worrying about triggering one another and had candid conversations to explore our concerns and aspirations?  If we came to understand goodness in each other, could we stop attributing mistakes to malice?  Is it possible that we could forgive past wrongs and drop our grievances before they destroy our future?

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho.  He has written for American Thinker and American Free News Network.  He can be reached at

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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