President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, a historic event in the civil rights movement. However, his speech took on a somber tone as he discussed the rise of extremism in the United States in the wake of a racist shooting in Jacksonville, Florida.
Biden expressed his grave concern about the increasing levels of hate and extremism in the country, urging all Americans to actively speak out against it. He acknowledged that the problem of white supremacy has been allowed to grow and fester in US communities, prompting the intelligence community to label it as the most lethal domestic terror threat.
The President also highlighted the challenge of striking a balance between free speech rights and the threat of online radicalization. He underlined the exploitation of the internet by violent extremists and the urgent need to address this issue.
In a meeting with civil rights leaders, Biden shared his concerns about the growing trend in red states of restricting the teaching of Black history. He deemed it an attempt to erase history and pledged to address this issue. Earlier this year, the White House appointed a coordinator to combat book bans enacted at the state and local level, as the American Library Association reported a record number of attempted book bans.
While the President has express his concerns and commitment to combating hate-fueled violence, he has yet to personally speak to the families of the victims in the Jacksonville shooting. However, he is closely coordinating with authorities on the ground to ensure justice is served.
Joining Biden at the event were members of the King family, Rev. Al Sharpton, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, and Vice President Kamala Harris. All these individuals have vehemently spoken out against attempts to divide the nation and have urged the President to hold a follow-up summit to specifically address the issue of hate-fueled violence, particularly in Jacksonville.
In his address, President Biden demonstrated his resolve to confront the rising threat of extremism and hate, urging Americans to stand together against these forces. With the backing of civil rights leaders and advocates, he aims to build a more inclusive and united nation. A follow-up summit on countering hate-fueled violence is anticipated to be one of the avenues through which the administration will tackle this pressing issue.
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