In Tulsa on June 1, President Joe Biden said this: “According to the intelligence community, terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today. Not ISIS, not al-Qaeda: white supremacists. That’s not me. That’s the intelligence community under both Trump and under my administration.”
If I were the media, I would call that a Big Lie.
Not only is it quite obviously false, to the point of absurdity, to say that white supremacists are “the most lethal threat to the homeland today,” it’s also false that “the intelligence community” has said any such thing.
Biden also claimed that he had said this before, in his address to a joint session of Congress on April 28, but that wasn’t true either.
Back in April he had been more careful, citing the supposed white supremacist threat in the context of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. “The threat has evolved way beyond Afghanistan,” he told the congressional lawmakers. “Those of you in the intelligence committees, the foreign relation[s] community, defense communities, you know well. We have to remain vigilant against the threats to the United States wherever they come from. Al-Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, other places in Africa, in the Middle East and beyond.”
And then he added, as if it were an afterthought, “And we won’t ignore what our intelligence agency has determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today: white supremacy’s terrorism.”
See the difference? “The most lethal threat” vs. “the most lethal terrorist threat.”
But the latter isn’t true either, at least not judging by the number of terrorist incidents we can positively identify as such.
The problem is that “terrorism,” like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder.
Remember when the Defense Department of the Obama-Biden administration described the massacre at Ft Hood, Texas, in 2009, by the Muslim Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan in which 13 people were murdered and more than 30 wounded as “workplace violence”?
Hasan had shouted “Allahu Akbar!” before he began shooting and was later found to have been in correspondence with Anwar al-Awlaki, identified by “the intelligence community” as a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
President Obama himself must have agreed with this assessment by the time he had Awlaki assassinated by drone in 2011, but the official identification of the massacre as “workplace violence” remained in effect.
On the other hand, the killings of six Asian women in Atlanta in March by Robert Aaron Long, though they were not officially classified as white supremacist terrorism, and though the shooter himself claimed that his motivations were sexual and religious rather than racial, were spoken of by President Biden at the time as typifying “anti-Asian hate crimes.”
Such a characterization of the massacre cannot have been entirely unconnected with calculations of the threat from “white supremacy” by “the intelligence community”—and it was used to persuade the Senate to pass (as it did with only one dissenting vote) the bit of virtue-signaling known as the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.
Moreover, we know from the last four years (if we didn’t already know it during the George W. Bush administration) of the extent to which the intelligence services have been politicized—which makes it more than probable that they are as eager to find excuses for labeling anything that might conceivably fit the bill as “white supremacist” terrorism as they have long been eager to deny that random killings by Muslims amount to Islamicist terrorism.
In both cases, “the intelligence community” has become a reliable supporter of the Democratic party narrative.
This has become clear once again just this week with the news that they are now having to reconsider their dismissal of the Chinese lab theory of the origins of the coronavirus.
It would take someone more naive than Biden, or even Anthony Fauci, to believe that intelligence reports contradicting a speculation by President Donald Trump as to the manmade origin of the virus were the product of a disinterested concern for the truth.
But no doubt it’s their truth, just as it is Biden’s truth to see white supremacists everywhere he looks. His ideology requires him to believe that there has been no change in our politics or culture, no progress in race relations since 1921 when the Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its power and the Tulsa massacre took place.
We also know that the President has lent his authority to Democratic calls to investigate the breach of the Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6 as if it were a terrorist incident on the scale of 9/11 and that he has continued to repeat that other big lie, that Trump once called white supremacists in Charlottesville “very fine people.”
In short, the President was using the massacre in Tulsa a hundred years ago to reinforce the Democratic narrative, going back at least to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” in 2016, that the Trump campaign itself was based on and derived its energy from a “white supremacist” movement—later said to have been allied to “police violence” in which all Republicans and supporters of the police were necessarily complicit.
It was that fabricated narrative which the audience was recognizing when it burst into applause in response to the President’s false assertion that “white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today.”
The whole occasion of the commemoration of the killings a century ago was designed to inflame racial animosity, because racial animosity works to the advantage of Biden and his fellow Democrats at the polls. If he continues on this course of rabid partisanship, relying only on the appeal of being the anti-Trump, he may find by November of 2022 that it is their only advantage.
James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of “Honor: A History,” Bowman is a movie critic for The American Spectator and the media critic for the New Criterion.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.