"You know, there's a tough through-line of subjugation of enslaved people from our earliest days to the reigns of radicalized terror of the KKK to Dr. King being assassinated," Biden stated.
"And through that — though that line continues to be torturous, emerging from dark shadows in Charlottesville, carrying out Nazi banners, and chanting antisemitic bile and Ku Klux Klan flags, and the violent, deadly insurrection on the Capitol nine months ago — it was about white supremacy, in my view," he expressed.
The siege of Congress, when hundreds of people stormed the Capitol complex as lawmakers convened to affirm President Joe Biden's electoral victory, including former President Donald Trump's actions, remains under intense scrutiny. Hundreds of people have been charged in connection to the riot.
In March, FBI Director Christopher Wray said some of those arrested were classified under “militia violent extremism," pointing to members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. Others were “racially motivated violent extremists, specifically advocating for the superiority of the white race," Wray said.
In his address Thursday, the president also cited the recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and growing antisemitism worldwide .
"The through-line is that hate never goes away," Biden stressed. "It never — I thought, in all the years I'd been involved — I thought once we got through it, it would go away. But it doesn't. It only hides."
"I know the frustration we all feel, that more than one year after George Floyd's murder, and the conviction of his murderer about six months ago, meaningful police reform in George's name has still not passed Congress," he said.
On Tuesday evening, the select committee investigating the deadly riot voted to advance criminal contempt proceedings for Steve Bannon after the onetime advisor to former President Donald Trump refused to comply with a subpoena.
The unanimous vote will send the resolution recommending contempt for Bannon to the full House for consideration.
“Preserving our Constitution and the rule of law is a central purpose of this investigation. The plain fact here is that Mr. Bannon has no legal right to ignore the committee’s lawful subpoena,” said the select committee’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., before the vote.