On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared that America was “a product of a document” and not an “ethnicity, not a religion, not a geography.”
The president made these comments as he signed the Coronavirus Hate Crimes Act at the White House.
The bill creates a new position at the Department of Justice to review “hate crimes related to COVID-19” and creates “grants to state and local governments to conduct crime-reduction programs to prevent and respond to hate crimes.”
President Biden at COVID-19 Hate Crime Act signing ceremony: "Hate can be given no safe harbor in America."
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 20, 2021
Biden: ‘We’re Unique Among All Nations’
Biden celebrated America’s racial diversity, but noted that the country was ultimately founded on the Declaration of Independence.
“We’re unique among all nations in that we are uniquely a product of a document — not an ethnicity, not a religion, not a geography, of a document,” Biden said.
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“Think about this, I’m being literal,” he added. “Uniquely a product of a document.”
Several Democratic members of Congress joined Biden at the signing ceremony who had helped pass the bipartisan legislation.
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) May 20, 2021
Biden: ‘Every Time We Let Hate Flourish, You Make A Lie Of Who We Are As A Nation’
Biden said Americans cannot be silent when facing racism.
“Every time we’re silent. Every time we let hate flourish, you make a lie of who we are as a nation,” Biden implored. “I mean it literally.”
The president continued, “I mean this from the bottom of my heart, hate can be given no safe harbor in America, I mean it. No safe harbor. Can’t be dismissed.”
President Biden signs the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, legislation that aims to combat the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans that have occurred since the coronavirus pandemic. https://t.co/Ew8kxKQ8y8 pic.twitter.com/sinIHElc5D
— The Hill (@thehill) May 20, 2021
Harris: ‘Racism Exists In America’
Vice President Kamala Harris was also present for the ceremony.
“This violence, it did not come from nowhere and none of this is new,” Harris said.
The vice president reminded everyone that she has experienced racism throughout her political career.
She also wanted to let the audience know that “racism exists in America.”
“Here is the truth. Racism exists in America,” she said.
“Xenophobia exists in America,” Harris continued. “Anti-semitism, Islamaphobia, homophobia, transphobia, it all exists.”
The vice president finished, “And so the work to address injustice wherever it exists remains the work ahead.”
Watch Biden and Harris’ comments here:
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