Vice President Kamala Harris spoke Thursday at the United We Stand Summit hosted in the White House’s East Room.
The Summit, organized by President Biden’s administration, is intended to “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety,” according to the White House.
Harris opened the summit with remarks on the federal government’s ongoing actions to address hate crimes nationwide.
“Today, America is again looking at and confronting the epidemic of hate-fueled violence,” Harris said. “In Oak Creek, Orlando, Victoria, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, and in so many other communities we have seen our neighbors, our friends, our loved ones attacked simply because of who they are or where they pray.”
“In 2020, hate crimes in the United States surged to the highest rate in over a decade,” the vice president continued. “As you have heard — as a former prosector, as a former United States senator, and now as the Vice President of the United States, I know the horror and the pain these attacks cause.”
Harris mentioned additional measures planned by the administration to address hate crimes, telling the audience that President Biden would be revealing the White House’s plans later in the day.
“Earlier this year, after speaking with families in Buffalo, I began working with leaders in our administration to identify ways the federal government can better provide coordinated and on-the-ground support in the wake of these tragedies,” Harris recounted. “Later today, the president will announce our work to develop and strengthen our federal response to support communities that have been touched — that have been hurt — by this violence.”
“This federal support must be just one piece of a societal effort to address hate-fueled violence,” she added.
President Biden is expected to speak at the summit later in the day.
In recent weeks, Biden has attacked Republicans on the campaign trail as “semi-fascists” and threats to democracy — painting the upcoming midterm elections as a battle for the soul of the nation.
“We’re seeing now either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA agenda,” Biden said at the rally in Maryland last month. “America must choose. You must choose.”
While Biden has stressed that he does not believe all Republicans are enthralled with the MAGA ideology, the caveat has done little to smooth over the comments with GOP members.