Biden calls for end to ‘white supremacy’ in politics at event attended by former presidents

President Biden also focused on a message of faith during his appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast

This week, President Joe Biden used his appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast call out and once again renounce the “political extremism” that inspired the U.S. Capitol riot that took place last month.

The annual gathering is a Washington D.C tradition that encourages political opponents to set aside their differences for one morning and break bread for the greater good. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama addressed the lunch by video while Jimmy Carter sent a written message on Thursday.

President Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden makes brief remarks before signing several executive orders directing immigration actions for his administration in the Oval Office at the White House on February 02, 2021 (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

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“We just witnessed images we never imagined, images that now we will never forget: a violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, assault on our democracy, on our Capitol,” the president explained, referring to the Jan. 6 riot in which Trump supporters stormed the building as a joint session of Congress met to certify Biden’s Electoral College victory. “A violent attack that threatened lives and took lives. We know now that we must confront and defeat political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism.”

“For so many in our nation, this is a dark, dark time. So where do we turn? Faith. Kierkegaard wrote, ‘Faith sees best in the dark.’ I believe that to be true. For me, in the darkest moments faith provides hope and solace, it provides clarity and purpose as well. It shows the way forward,” Biden continued. 

Celebrating America Primetime Special
In this screengrab, (L-R) Former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush speak during the Celebrating America Primetime Special on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Handout/Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images )

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POTUS also encouraged everyone in attendance not to see people as just “Democrats and Republicans” but as “fellow Americans, fellow human beings,” during a time when we all need to confront the pandemic and prepare for the “many difficult nights” that are still to come.

“This is not a nation that can or will simply stand by and watch this,” he concluded. “That’s not who we are. It’s not who faith calls us to be,” Biden said. “In this moment, we cannot be timid or tired. We have too much work to do. It’s by our work, not just our words, that we’re going to be judged.”

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