From Clayton County to Buffalo, Joe Biden is right about White supremacist terrorism

White Supremacy AP photo
If you can’t bring yourself to join that condemnation of White supremacy, why is that?

In March, a U.S. judge here in Georgia sentenced 48-year-old Larry Foxworth to 20 years in federal prison for firing multiple gunshots into two late-night convenience stores in Clayton County.

Foxworth’s shooting binge wasn’t an act of random violence. It also wasn’t personal. It had a purpose, a motivation, an ideology behind it.

“Foxworth told officers that he had targeted the stores because he wanted to kill Arab and Black people, and he believed that there were people inside the stores who belonged to those groups,” federal prosecutors said after his sentencing.

“Foxworth expressed hope that he had killed his targets, and professed belief in White supremacist ideology.”

If you happened to miss that story, I’m not surprised. I did too.

These days, such mundane acts of racist violence tend to be overshadowed by those that come with a high body count. In Texas this month, a White supremacist went on a shooting spree that killed eight. A year ago, a White supremacist drove three hours to a grocery store in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo and murdered 10 people, all of them Black. In Pittsburgh, a White supremacist attacked a synagogue, killing 11, including several Holocaust survivors. In El Paso, a White supremacist attacked a Walmart in a heavily Hispanic community, killing 23.

Again, those were the headline grabbers. We don’t hear as much about less spectacular outbursts of White supremacy, such as the three Georgia White supremacists who conspired to murder a Bartow County couple, or the woman in Indiana who was knifed because she was Chinese, or the man in West Allis, Wisconsin, who “vandalized a Black woman’s vehicle parked outside her apartment by slashing her tires and smashing her windshield,” and then “left a note on her car, filled with racial slurs, threatening to slash her throat and demanding she move out of West Allis.”

Again, we don’t hear much about such cases, because that’s just life in these United States.

But it shouldn’t be.

Last weekend, in a graduation ceremony at Howard University in Washington, President Joe Biden took note of the ongoing and rising tide of racist violence, accurately pointing out that “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is White supremacy.”

Biden is not alone in that assessment. Back in 2020, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security warned in a report to Congress that “those advocating the superiority of the white race likely would continue to be the most lethal category of the (domestic terror) threat to the Homeland,” and that has proved to be the case.

Biden’s statement, in other words, should not have been controversial in the least. It was an accurate, data-driven, expert-backed assessment of where we stand in this country. He simply stated fact.

Yet to many conservatives, the notion that White-supremacist violence is the most dangerous form of domestic terror was received as an insult and provocation, as an effort to drum up fears of racism when no such fears are justified. Biden’s statement created a major backlash on social media and conservative media.

“Nobody stokes more division than Joe Biden,” tweeted a researcher for the Republican National Committee, linking to a video of his speech.

“What the left wants to do to restart race challenges in our country,” complained Peter Hegseth on Fox News. “They want us to not get along, when our default right now as Americans is to want to love each other, want to work together, want to be together.”

Really? Is that the default these days? Because that’s not the world that I’m witnessing.

I’m witnessing a broad, concerted media campaign intended to incite White fear, a campaign in which Fox News has played a major role. I’m witnessing a world in which White Americans are warned that they are being replaced, that they are victims of persecution, and that it’s time to fight back. The rising tide of White supremacist violence is a direct consequence of that campaign.

The thing is, we’re not supposed to take notice. We’re not supposed to admit it, to see it, which is why Biden’s statement drew the backlash it did. The idea seems to be that if we refuse to notice racism, even violent racism, if we don’t mention its impact, if we pretend it doesn’t exist and that “our default right now as Americans is to want to love each other,” then by pretending racism has disappeared it will in fact disappear.

The effort to ban discussion of racism from public schools and even colleges and universities is an extension of that attempt at willful blindness.

But that’s not how life works. If condemnation of violent White supremacy makes you nervous or uncomfortable, if it offends you in some way, I suspect you’re telling yourself something that your better self may not want to hear.

If you can’t bring yourself to join that condemnation of White supremacy, why is that?


Jay Bookman reporting. Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix is a news and opinion outlet focused on government and political news coverage within the state of Florida.


  • Your Lord Thy God

    May 21, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    You what we say in Antifa?

    Be Kind.

    Or Else.

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  • Leonard

    May 21, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    What does the FBI data tell us? Here are the murder statistics:
    White victims. 3,299 (white killer 2,594; black killer 566)
    Black victims 2,906 (white killer 246; black killer 2,574)
    Other race victims 247 (white killer57; black killer 40)
    Unknown race victims 126 (white killer 51; black killer 38)

    According to US Census date the US is 75.8% white, 13.6% black, 18.9% hispanic….

    Here’s a line in this article “Biden’s statement, in other words, should not have been controversial in the least. It was an accurate, data-driven, expert-backed assessment of where we stand in this country. He simply stated fact.”

    That, of course is not true. Journalism is dead.

    • PeterH

      May 21, 2023 at 5:54 pm

      Comparing white supremacy terrorist to America’s horrible gun violence statistics is disingenuous to say the least. You’re comparing “apples” to “oranges!”

      Donald Trump opened the basement door to white nationalist….. and Biden is putting a lock on that basement door. More arrest are bettering America!

    • Michael K

      May 21, 2023 at 9:40 pm

      Where on earth did pull this from? It’s certainly nos US census data

  • PeterH

    May 21, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Right Wing politicians banning of the study of Critical Race Theory is a concerted effort “back door” mechanism to erase the history of all people of color. This is the strategy of Ron DeSantis and other governors.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office.

    • Ed Dot Com 👍

      May 21, 2023 at 8:22 pm

      To be fair…CRT is left wing theory.. similar to Karl Marx’s oppressor and oppressed thought on economics.. has striking similarities to socialist thought. I took this class and liked it, but Republicans don’t like it for more reasons than race. The class can be taught in a way that doesn’t resemble socialist thought and still be anti-racist education.. but it’s not. Still it should be available if students want to take it. Also, notice even the GOP reaction to it will be used for political purposes. CRT is a lose lose for the GOP. As long as it exists and they come out against it also…the GOP will suffer consequences. Likely it will become more popular as a result of the attention they give it.

      • PeterH

        May 22, 2023 at 12:04 pm

        Good points.

Comments are closed.


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