In a blistering piece for The Atlantic, former Vice President Joe Biden took off the gloves and hammered at President Donald Trump for coming down on the side of white nationalists after the violence in Charlottesville, warning Americans we are engaged in a “battle for the soul of this nation.”
According to Biden, watching the violence in Charlottesville reminded him of the tumult that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
“I could see the flames burning Wilmington, the violence erupting on the news of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the federal troops taking over my city,” Biden wrote. ”
“In Charlottesville, that long trail emerged once again into plain view not only for America, but for the whole world to see,” he continued. “The crazed, angry faces illuminated by torches. The chants echoing the same anti-Semitic bile heard across Europe in the 1930s. The neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists emerging from dark rooms and remote fields and the anonymity of the web into the bright light of day on the streets of a historically significant American city.”
He then turned his focus on President Trump’s much-criticized response”Today we have a special challenge.
“Today we have a special challenge,” Biden wrote. “Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate. We have an American president who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support.”
“This is a moment for this nation to declare what the president can’t with any clarity, consistency, or conviction: There is no place for these hate groups in America. Hatred of blacks, Jews, immigrants—all who are seen as ‘the other’—won’t be accepted or tolerated or given safe harbor anywhere in this nation,” he continued.
“You, me, and the citizens of this country carry a special burden in 2017,” he exhorted. “We have to do what our president has not. We have to uphold America’s values. We have to do what he will not. We have to defend our Constitution. We have to remember our kids are watching. We have to show the world America is still a beacon of light.”
You can read the whole piece here.