There were many unprecedented elements to this particular inauguration. Among them: In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden issued a strong repudiation of White supremacy. As Kat Stafford and Aaron Morrison report for the AP:
In his speech Wednesday, Biden denounced the “racism, nativism, fear, demonization,” that propelled the assault on Capitol Hill by an overwhelmingly white mob of Trump supporters who carried symbols of hate, including the Confederate battle flag.
“A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us,” Biden said in the nearly 23-minute-long speech promising to heal a divided nation. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
Compared to his immediate predecessors, three of whom attended Wednesday’s inauguration, Biden is the first president to directly address the ills of white supremacy in an inaugural speech.
Given the preceding months of civil unrest and reckoning over police brutality against African Americans and institutional racism, and our last president’s treatment of such issues, it’s a welcome change in attitude that will, one hopes, be matched by action and policy change.
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